Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All About Family by Jim Osterman

For Sasha Buzzetta it is all about family.

A few years ago her whole family – parents and their grown kids -- left upstate New York to move to Atlanta. This March she will be doing the ING Georgia Marathon – her first Team In Training event.

She is doing it in honor of her brother Phillip, who underwent treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma last year, and her Uncle Anthony, who recently lost his fight with colon cancer.

“There has been so much cancer in my family sometimes it has felt like there was nothing we could do,” she said.

She connected with TNT when she was approached about donating a massage -- she owns Ananda Massage in Buckhead – as a raffle prize for another TNT runner’s fundraiser. The more she heard about the program, and the work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the more she saw an opportunity to do something about her family’s fight against cancer.

“There is a lot of it in our family history,” she said. “This is something I can do to make a difference.”

And while she is new to endurance-event training, her grounding as a licensed massage therapist has been an unexpected asset. She had been interested in the discipline since high school, attracted by the notion that mind, body and spirit needed to be in balance.

But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when, like so many others in the corporate world, she was laid off that she rekindled her interest.

“I was looking for jobs like the one I had been laid off from and I didn’t feel good physically,” she said. “Then I had a dream of building a wellness center and wrote that down. The next day I saw an ad for massage schools and started looking into it. And I started feeling better.”

And one of the chance benefits of her new path was connecting to Team In Training, and much like the family move from New York several years ago, expect to see a passionate army of Buzzettas on ING event day.

“Everyone is so excited about this,” she said.

While the war with cancer is best joined using medicine and science, Sasha and the Buzzetta family remind us never to underestimate the restorative potential of a family’s love.

Want to support Sasha on the course of the ING Georgia Marathon? Come out and volunteer at the Team In Training water stop at mile 5. Call the TNT office, (404) 720-7842.

About the author, Jim Osterman and his wife, Carol, have been a part of the Team In Training family for years now. You can join him on the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego TEAM.

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