Jon Blakeslee decided to start the Cherish Life 10K for two reasons. First, he started the Cherish Life 10K to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) when his wife Harriett was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005. She was in remission for two years, but in 2008 she relapsed and had to have a bone marrow transplant. The Blakeslee family has been supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their endurance training campaign, Team in Training (TNT) as well as their Light the Night Walk, but Jon wanted to do something more that would continue to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the years to come.
Secondly, being a runner in Martin County, Jon felt that there was a lack of 10K distance races in the area. In addition, besides bringing a 10K to Martin County, Jon also wanted to bring a race to the Rocky Point area because there are so many runners in the Rocky Point neighborhood. The course of the Cherish Life 10K is a route that Jon uses for his training runs and known by many locals. The running community helped Jon get through a trying time in his life and for that he wanted to give them a great community event.
Jon’s vision is that as the race continues to grow from year to year, that so will the amount of money that they donate to the LLS. Over the past 7 years, the Cherish Life 10K has raised over $30,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society but there is still much work to be done. In 2016, the Cherish Life 10K will be celebrating its 8th anniversary and hope to continue the tradition until there is a cure!