Nicole Ji, a long supporter, resident and Real Estate Broker for Snoqualmie Valley/Eastside, is once again doing what most of us would think, “I can’t do that!” She is training for an Olympic distance triathlon with Team in Training and raising funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where she will swim .90 miles, bike 26 miles and run a 10k. She did her first triathlon in 2010 in memory of her book club friend, Stacy Murphy. She recalls, attending book club and having small talk with some book mates over wine. “I didn’t know Stacy well but we had a mutual friend and I struck up a conversation with her. She was an aspiring book writer, an amazing mom, wife and an elementary school principal in the Northshore School District. After our quick introduction and conversation about book club.” I remember telling her I was contemplating about doing a triathlon at distances that scared me, the fundraising scared me and time commitment to get all that done seemed daunting.
She cocked her head, “That’s really interesting, I was just diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I had a cough, thought it was respiratory!” I was standing there dumfounded, I told her, ”You are the inspiration and message I’ve been looking for and now I have to do it, you suck. I chuckled, then apologized and gave her a hug. She laughed and laughed and thanked me for not feeling pity or sorry about the news. I was in awe of her. She was a good soul, you just felt it.” Nicole goes on to say there were 12 people in that room and she gravitated to Stacy.
That was it for Nicole, all she needed to hear…she signed up the next day!
After Stacy had passed, not more than a year plus from her diagnosis, Nicole heard this over and over about Stacy, and she could attest to it, she had a smile larger than her face, larger than life.
Nicole proudly wrote Stacy’s name on the back of her leg in sharpie and carried her along the course. “She was my sherpa. Thank you Stacy. What a moment! And thanks to all of Stacy’s family & friends (a private thank you to her close family, Geoff & Susan Tate and Audra Mulkern) and my personal tribe, I raised over $10,000 that year.” She did this in Stacys honor…
In 2016, Nicole’s own Mom was ironically diagnosed with non Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer, had major surgery at the age of 74, and was proudly coined a survivor. Nicole says, “She definitely survived longer due to medical advancements from the research I raised money for and those before me.” In 2017 she did it again, raised more than $5,000 and did it in memory of Stacy and in honor of her mom. That year written in sharpie was MOM and STACY, once on each leg.
With a heavy heart, in 2018 she signed up again, trained, raised funds but sadly, in memory of her mom and of course Stacy, her original motivation. Her mom lost her battle with cancer in late 2018. In fact the kick off meeting for this event was a week after Nicole’s mom passing. Her mom’s name was Lise. Nicole has a lost look in her eye and says, “I really miss her.”
Here we are, 2019. Say hello to fundraising name, TEAMLISE. Nicole, a wife, mom, a busy real estate broker and a repeat triathlete for this cause, has been training in the cold, rain and PNW elements since November for Team in Training and raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The triathlon called Lavaman on the Big Island of Hawaii will be held on March 31, 2019. We want to wish her luck and thank her for her commitment to this cause, to raising awareness, her passion to raise money for more research and patient care.