Leslie Premo will be thinking of her cousin, Scott Dale, when she takes on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Triple Crown Challenge
on Sept. 14. As Animal Care Program coordinator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Intramural Research Program, she is used to challenging work. But the Triple Crown is part of the largest endurance sports training program in the world—the society’s Team in Training program.
According to her colleagues, Premo’s participation with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been longstanding and heartfelt. Her cousin Scott succumbed to leukemia and died 8 days after his daughter, Jamisyn, was born. He was 43, and left behind not only Jamisyn, but also his parents, sister Shawna and two nieces, his wife, a 15-year-old son and two stepdaughters. Scott’s leukemia was undiagnosed until several days before his death.
In order to fulfill the requirements for the Triple Crown, Premo needs to complete a marathon, century (100-mile) bike ride and a triathlon. In 2006, she completed the Baltimore Marathon and in 2007, she biked 100 miles in Salisbury, Md. After finishing the Nation’s Triathlon in Washington, D.C., in the fall, Premo will become a member of an elite group of athletes that is leading the way to a cure for blood cancers. No matter where she places in the event, Premo feels she is already a champion.
“Participating in Team in Training has been a rewarding experience for me,” she said. “The commitment by team members and coaches is outstanding and I suggest participation by anyone who aspires to make a difference in not only cancer patients’ lives, but also their own. My triple-crown challenge will be completed at the Nation’s Triathlon in September, but I anticipate many more events on my horizon. I am relentless. Until there is a cure, there is no finish line.”
Premo has been a NIDA employee for 7 years. In her current post, she is responsible for regulatory compliance to ensure laboratory animals are utilized and cared for in a humane manner. She previously worked for the U.S. Army, both as a contractor and as a member of the Armed Forces, and is working on her Ph.D. in public policy (with a concentration in health policy) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
For more information on Premo and other Team in Training participants, visit www.teamintraining.org.