Local couple going the distance to find a cure

  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In memory of their father, a Charleston couple is going the distance to help find a cure for the cancer that took his life.

Joe Yurfest was a friend, a father and a man whose life was cut short when he lost his battle with myleodysplastic syndrome this past February. In his memory, Yurfest’s son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Erin Yurfest, have joined Team In Training (TNT) to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) while training to run in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October. “As this horrible blood cancer took the life of our ‘DaddyO’ we are more motivated now than ever to do our part to help find a cure,” said Erin Yurfest.

The Yurfest family has been long time supporters of LLS, TNT specifically, raising over $85,000 to help support blood cancer research and patient aid. While raising funds, the Yurfests have swam, biked and ran more than 1,600 miles in support of one day finding a cure. “Running a marathon is not easy, but what Dad and others go through, really puts things in perspective,” said Jeff Yurfest. With fundraising support provided by TNT, the couple hopes to reach their goal of $8,400 by October. “Like running a marathon, you reach your goal mile by mile, we plan on raising this amount dollar by dollar” said Jeff Yurfest.

This October marks a special month for the Yurfest couple, making the Bank of American Chicago Marathon a perfect race to honor their father. October celebrates the couple’s first wedding anniversary, their parent’s 38th wedding anniversary and what would have been Joe Yurfest’s 68th birthday.

LLS is supporting more than 300 research projects with one goal in mind: Discovering lifesaving therapies for blood cancer patients. Joe Yurfest was given the gift of more time and the opportunity to be the best man in his son’s wedding last October when the drug Vidaiza, an LLS funded drug, initially put his blood cancer in complete remission. “Without the work of many before us, that would not have happened. We are committed to a lifelong fight so others can survive much longer” said Erin Yurfest.

To support Jeff and Erin Yurfest reach their fundraising goal, visit http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/chicago13/teamdaddyo to make a secure online donation.

A program that runs throughout the year, TNT gives participants a choice of more than 200 accredited national and local events in the United States and abroad. In exchange for raising funds, participants receive four to five months of local, personalized training by TNT-certified professional coaches. To date, TNT has helped LLS invest more than $875 million in research to discover and deliver breakthrough cancer treatments that are saving lives today. To learn more or to sign-up to join the team, please visit www.teamintraining.org/sc or call 843-881-8176.

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