Deb Armstrong didn’t think it was possible to complete The Disney World Marathon (WDW), as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017 and spent the majority of 2018 undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. With limited ability to work during that time, finances wouldn’t allow for a trip from Colorado to Orlando for the WDW Marathon.
When she saw a Run Disney Facebook post “Only ONE MONTH until the 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend begins!” she shared her predicament in the comments, stating she has been “training to walk/run with all of you virtually,” and urging Disney followers, “ENJOY the magic!”
That was one of 959 comments, but ironically commenting just above was David Mutnick, one of Team In Training’s Pop’s Warrior team, a group of some 13 Team In Training teammates travelling to Disney for the third time to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). When Mutnick saw Armstrong’s post he knew the Pop’s Warrior team would help – they all chipped in to fly Armstrong to Disney.
Coincidentally Mutnick learned that Armstrong ran the first of her three Disney marathon’s in 2011, with LLS’s Team In Training (TNT), in honor of her dad who passed from colon cancer a few years earlier. Armstrong was reluctant at first to accept this stranger’s offer – until they learned they were TNT teammates and had a TNT coach as a mutual Facebook friend.
This isn’t the first time TNT’s Pop’s Warrior team has helped cancer patients. Originating in upstate NY in 2016 in honor of a team captain’s grandfather (Pop), who passed from leukemia, the team has grown to include members across the country, like Mutnick from Chicago. Over three years the team has raised more than $200,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They have a great time together while doing great things for cancer patients.