image - alyssa foote

Alyssa Foote is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of her grandfather. Kyle Ludowitz/Review

An ambitious challenge to race her first triathlon while raising money for charity is proving easy for Alyssa Foote. And she is dedicating her efforts to her late grandfather.

Foote, who lives in El Granada part time, is embarking on an intense training regimen prior to running a triathlon at the end of March in Hawaii. As part of her training, Foote is also raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through an organization called Team in Training. The organization, founded in 1988, allows people to raise money for the cancer research society while training for an endurance sport.

In 2018, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society invested $46 million to advance life-saving research.

Choosing to honor her grandfather Tony Marwan was an obvious choice for Foote. 

Marwan, who died seven years ago at age 84, was an Army veteran who served in the Korean War, an avid gardener and active member of his church in San Mateo.

As a young adult, Foote said she suffered from depression and anxiety. She relied on her grandfather for his stable support. “He was this beacon of light and love,” Foote said.

Marwan was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, possibly related to a rare blood disorder. Marwan survived his cancer but lost his voice as a result.

“Until his final days, he never stopped donating to charity or volunteering in his community,” Foote said. “He was just a calm presence in my life.”

As part of her fundraising efforts, Foote designed shirts using the iconic Highway 1 logo with the words “All for one, one for all” written on the front and back.

“The design reflects my deep love of the coast. I just love it out here,” Foote said. “Especially the community and how everyone is so passionate about supporting the locals.”

To date, Foote has raised about $3,277 and is close to reaching her goal of $4,400. As someone who used to work in research, Foote feels strongly about raising awareness toward an organization helping to reduce the symptoms and pain caused by cancer.

“The whole thing is constantly training and fundraising,” Foote said. “But because you have such a passion for what you are doing, it just makes it so much easier.”

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