LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) For one mother the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver 1/2 Marathon is a celebration of the first half marathon she finished 10 years ago. It’s also a mission to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

Deiree Wachter is training to go 13.1 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon.

“Oh, I’m a walker. I think running is ridiculous,” Wachter told CBS4.

She walks in memory of her daughter, Melina.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“On Sept. 7 of 2004 at 10 months old, she passed away,” Wachter remembered.

Melina was diagnosed with Leukemia at three months. She went through chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. She left a legacy that has lasted for more than 10 years.

“I love it. … I love the difference that she still makes. And I love that I can introduce her to new people,” Wachter said.

From her home office, Wachter writes thank you notes and reaches out to donors, always motivated by Melina. The money she raises for Team in Training goes to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

“If we raise $100,000, a research portfolio would be named after Melina,” Wachter says through tears.

LINK: Donate to Team Melina

Text to Give to Team Melina: Text the dollar amount you’d like to donate to (720) 370-8882. You will receive a text back with a link to make your secure, tax deductible donation from your mobile phone or tablet.

Team in Training is the largest endurance training organization in the country. It’s a division of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

“Combining doing something great for yourself and feeling good about yourself, combining doing something great for someone else and making a difference, that combination just works,” said Aaron Dunn, the director of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Team in Training.

All the money raised goes to research and supporting families who are dealing with blood cancers.

LINK: Team in Training

Wachter fully admits she’s not an exercise person, but with the encouragement of her team, she’ll cross the finish line at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver 1/2 Marathon.

You can cheer on Wachter and Team Melina during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 18.

LINK: Register for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.


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