PLANT CITY Fla. — Leukemia and Lymphoma are diseases that claim thousands of lives every year. In its 30-year history the shuttle program has worked on orbit to combat these diseases – but the program will come to an end next month. One intrepid marathon runner has decided that the program’s legacy should be honored – and many involved with the program agree with her.
The runner in question is Marisa Rhian, she competes in marathons for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Team-in-Training.” This year she decided, along with her other fundraising efforts, to host an auction that would highlight the shuttle program’s efforts to combat cancer.
The “Countdown for the Cure” auction will be held from July 1-7 on Mrs. Rhian’s website: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sun/rnrsav11/mrhian
When Mrs. Rhian sought out items to have placed up for bid in the auction – the outpouring of support was inspiring. To date astronauts Robert Crippen, Robert Springer, Roger Crouch, Brian Duffy and Scott Parazynski have donated either flown items and artifacts or autographs and dedicated signatures. The operators of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Delaware North, have donated a package of items including tickets to their complex and others have donated material and other types of support to help the auction get off the ground.
“The shuttle program has been doing cancer research for years – now that program is coming to an end,” said Rhian who is conducting her second marathon with Team-in-Training this November in Savannah, Ga. “Honoring that commitment during the time when the last shuttle is set to launch – was a no-brainer. I just want to close with – Go NASA! – Go Team!”
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As many of you may have surmised, Marisa Rhian is my wife. This is somewhat a conflict of interest – however given the cause and the fact that Lymphoma took my father’s life in 2000 and that all proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – I hope that you will forgive me.