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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It was March 10th, on our 10pm newscast, when I got the surprise of my lifetime.

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The Leukemia and Lymphoma had selected me to help represent blood cancer fighters everywhere, at the toughest one day race on the planet. The Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Kona, Hawaii, October 8th 2016. 2.4 mile ocean swim. 112 miles bike. 26.2 mile marathon. 140.6 miles.

Training began immediately, as did fundraising. But something else has unfolded, that caught me off guard.

I began hearing from people touched by blood cancers. Everywhere. Stories that were so close, but I never knew. Stories that I never would have heard, were it not for this challenge. Within days, I had no doubt. The toughest challenge of my life, is for a reason, and a really good one. My bosses here at CBS 11 have my back in the fight. The voice we have in this incredible community is being put to use for this mission. It’s all fallen into place so smoothly, that I just know this is all meant to be.

This story you’ll watch, is the first in an ongoing series called Wednesday’s Warriors. Highlighting the amazing people I am blessed to meet on this incredible journey. Raising awareness for those in the fight for their lives against blood cancers.

I will be going to Kona on June 2nd as well, to race the Kona ½ Ironman. 70.3 miles.

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It’s Hawaii, but this won’t be a vacation. This ½ distance race will provide me the best dress rehearsal for what will be the toughest mental and physical challenge of my life, all to benefit those in the fight FOR their lives.

My twitter feed @cbs11doug, and my Facebook page are two vehicles I use daily, to help share stories and information concerning this important mission. On this journey, I want you to meet those I am meeting. You’ll see them all. The tough stories, like Stephanie’s dad in this link. The success stories, the new therapies, the inspiring and uplifting attitudes, and in some cases, the cures, all of which I will share with you as we continue toward Kona.

My biggest thanks on this journey, goes to my wife, and my two kids. Daddy has been very busy these last ten weeks, and it’s only going to get harder and harder, as we move into summer, and then back to school. It’s hard to think that far ahead, but it’s also going to be here before I know it. They were on board from the moment we talked about even submitting my name. The Ironman is a team effort, on so many levels. The love of my family both in my house, and my mom, my in laws, my sister and brother in laws, my nieces and nephews. Just like those who are fighting blood cancers, I can’t do this alone.

I make this promise to each of you, I will give all I have, in training, fundraising, and ultimately, the race of a lifetime, for those who don’t have a choice.

My goal, is to raise a record amount for LLS here in N. Texas. Every dollar counts. Every penny goes directly to LLS. If you’d like to support my personal mission, I would be honored. The link to my fundraising page, is right here.

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