Helgi Olafson wrote -
Hello, my name is Helgi Olafson. I am twenty nine and have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis for ten years. I am on the road to becoming a professional triathlete and I am looking for support to help raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a very rare degenerative back disease. In some of the worst cases, progression could get as far as complete fusion of the entire spine and even some of the pelvic region and sacroilliac joints. Here is a link for more info on the disease:
My next race is the Kona Marathon on June 24th of 2012. I am also on Waikoloa Canoe Club's 6-man long distance paddling team. We are just getting into Regatta season. I have also scheduled out the Keauhou Lavaman Sprint Triathlon and the Waikoloa Sprint Triathlon. This is a quest for pushing myself to the limits and raising awareness for AS, first on a local level, and ultimately worldwide.
My current profession is as Executive Chef of Waikoloa Grill 'n Bar here on the Big Island. Does anyone have any pointers or suggestions for me about how to raise awareness effectively. One of my main problems is the lack of time and money. All of my free time these days is spent training or working.
Thank you all in advance for your support.
I am setting my goal at $5000 to raise for the SAA through this single event, which seems attainable. This ad is being posted on May 8th, which means that we have about six weeks left until race day. A personal goal of mine is to place in the top fifty runners for the entire 6 mile run.
I feel that I can use my physical training and competitions for inspiration to those who are less fortunate patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I am one who takes Enbrel, but I believe that my success with living with AS is not only due to the shots that I take, but also because of my diet and consistent exercise. I also believe that my choice of profession has something to do with my success. I don't think I would be running marathons if I had a desk job. As a chef, I am on my feet all of the time, which keeps my posture in check and keeps me twisting and turning throughout my shift. Its a win win situation for me, really. I also put myself through a rigorous training schedule with about 200 miles of cycling, 50 miles of running, about 5 miles of swimming every week, not to mention about twenty miles of paddling. If I want to be competitive and become a professional triathlete, I need to focus on hard training and do extremely well in these races.
Staying limber is very important to me. Building muscle around my core has helped me deal with the chronic pain that I experience from time to time, which has, at times, been bad enough to keep me in bed for hours or even days because I couldn't move in any direction without shooting pains in my spine and/or hips.
With your help, or the help of people you may know that would be interested in donating money for a good cause and a cause that will keep on giving to search for a cure through funded research studies and information about Ankylosing Spondylitis, please help support me, Helgi Olafson in my desire to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis through my quest and journey of becoming a contender in the running for an IRONMAN World Championship.
I promise to keep training and keep racing. If I can really raise some money here, my plan is to go to ENBREL, which I am prescribed, and attempt to gain professional sponsorship and spread awareness worldwide. But I need to show them that I am legit and that I am a viable contender. Please I ask that people donate at least one dollar per mile for the 26 mile race. All proceeds will go to the Spondylitis Association of America, after reimbursing me for entrance fees and training expenses, which are nominal amount.
Furthermore; If anyone would like to support me on race day, sport your AS awareness gear and come join us on the sidelines in Kailua Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii on June 24th, 2012. I will see you at the finish line.