Ellicott City, MD 21043
I‘ll be going to the starting line in Hopkinton as a way of educating friends, family, and coworkers about narcolepsy, and to ask for their support in finding a cure for this terrible sleep condition. I learned about the WUNners marathon team from my wife, who is living with narcolepsy.
I’ve finished six marathons and three ultra-marathons. In Boston, I intend to finish in under 4:30. My toughest race was the 2006 JFK 50-mile run in the Washington, DC, area. Reaching the 25-mile point in the race, realizing I had just run the equivalent of a marathon, the furthest I had ever run at the time. I realized, too, that another marathon distance lay before me. This eye-opener was terribly demoralizing, but finally reaching the finish line was enormously rewarding.
At that moment, thinking back to the, "zombie mode" I was in for many of those last 20+ miles, this may have been the closest I've come to understanding what narcolepsy is like. No ability to focus, concentrate, or think about anything beyond putting one foot in front of the other. Too tired to do the simple math of how many miles I had left to run. Sleeping the whole car ride home, then being awakened but remaining too groggy to make the short walk from the car to the house. Eventually making it inside and wanting nothing more than to curl up on the floor and sleep for days.
I did this to myself by choice, for “fun,” as a challenge. After a few days I returned to normal functioning capacity. But people living with narcolepsy don't have this option. They’ve done nothing wrong, they didn’t ask to feel this way. I think I had a taste of how narcolepsy might feel, if for only a short while, and it was horrible.
By donating today, you’ll be supporting the untiring work of WUN. You’ll be helping people everywhere whose lives have been turned upside down by the debilitating symptoms of narcolepsy.