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Team in Training runs for a cause

Amherst resident Lois Cropp is determined to finish the Lake Placid Half-Marathon on Sunday.

Training hasn't always been easy -- earlier this year she fractured her left leg; then she had to change her diet after she suffered a severe allergy attack.

But she said her cause is too important to slow down.

Cropp is running the race with a team of 24 others to raise money to fight leukemia and lymphoma. To date, the team has collected more than $70,000.

The team was organized by Western New York's chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Cropp, who is on the society's board of trustees, and the other runners joined the society's Team in Training program, an 18-week exercise and nutrition course that prepares runners and bikers for long-distance races. Anyone can participate in the program -- every year, about 100 people sign up.

"When we put the call out there that we need help, people just come out everywhere to help," said Luann Burgio of the society.

Team in Training is one of the society's most successful programs. So far this year, trainees have brought in almost $500,000. The money is used to sponsor four researchers who are doing cancer-related research and to help patients pay medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses.

The society sponsors several events every year. Friday, it will host a Gelatin Splash at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott in Amherst. Participants who raise $300 or more for the society get to take the plunge into a pool of gelatin. For more information, call 834-2578.

e-mail: aerickson@buffnews.com

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