BENEFITING: KIDZ1STFUND INC
EVENT DATE: Oct 20, 2013
Mileage Tracker: 300
Love Is The Reason For The Fight
So, I get these "Monday Morning Cups Of Inspiration" from Dr Kevin Elko every Monday morning. As most of y'all know, I ran a marathon yesterday to benefit Kidz 1st Fund, well - that is how it started out anyway. No one benefited more than I did personally, to be honest, there's no doubt about that. It's funny that this is the topic he chose for this week, and what inspired FSU this past weekend. It is what inspired me, yesterday.
After mile 20, I was spent. Coming back across the Bay on that 6 mile bridge from St George Island the wind was right in my face. It took all I had to cross that bridge, and I still had another bridge and 6 miles to go. I just kept thinking: do this for your boys - so they can be as proud of you as you are of them. God, get me through this. I was saying every prayer I could think of, but whenever I thought of my sons and how much I wanted to give them something to be proud of - I got that tingling feeling and a little extra energy to get up to a jog again..
I am so thankful for my family. All this past 6 months as I've been doing all this running, my wife had to keep the boys by herself that much longer so that I could go off and do my thing. She never complained. I am so blessed.
So, I finished the run yesterday in 4 hours and 38 minutes. I had hoped for better but it could have been worse. I raised $1,800 for Kidz1st and I'm very proud and appreciative for all my friends and family who contributed and helped me along the way.
The fight continues. This next year will have a new goal. I haven't decided what that will be but we have got to continue until we win this thing.
All of you who have supported me, thank you. I appreciate you and love you all. I hope you know that.
Please give a listen to this "Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration" and apply it in your life. Have a great week!
Best and Thank You,
God, put in me a vision, and goals, that serves you and helps others. Help me to accomplish these things - to do those things. Amen.
This is the prayer that I pray every night, and sometimes throughout the day. About 6 months ago, God put the vision in me to run this marathon that would benefit the Kidz1stFund. But, something different has happened - I wound up being the primary beneficiary. In my effort to be a blessing to others, it turned out that I was blessing myself. The support I have received from you all, and the confidence I have gained from using my God-given gifts to the benefit of something greater than self, it is just indescribable.
I just want to thank all of you who have supported me along the way. And, it is not too late if any of you are still planning to contribute - please do. Any of you who haven't signed up with Be The Match, do it (www.marrow.org). Have a look at my website that my friend, Ben Alexander, set up for me:www.drewfightsfanconi.com. If you want to contribute directly to Kidz 1st Fund, visit www.kidz1stfund.com. If you need some additional motivation, have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRK8v4BLj8U
I'm ready to take on this challenge and I feel great about it!
Thanks again and God bless y'all!
YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES, BUT IT WILL TAKE ALL YOU'VE GOT.
I'd say this quote pretty much sums up the way I've been feeling over the past couple of weeks. I'm getting into the meat of my training program and it is getting rough! I've done a couple of 8 mile runs, a 10 mile and a 12 mile. I've got to go 14 this weekend. I had a minor knee injury a couple of weeks ago that sidelined me for a week. I'll tell you, this is hard! It is no joke.
A friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago why I'm doing all this to myself? Why not just run a half marathon for your fundraiser. I said, "Jason, I'm asking people to make a sacrifice for something I believe in. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that if I weren't making a real sacrifice myself."
DREAMS DON'T WORK UNLESS YOU DO.
I have a dream that we can find a cure for Fanconi Anemia. I believe in it. I'm also determined that we find a match for Ethan's bone marrow. About six months ago, I saw my Father in Law work his own fundraiser for Ethan and I was inspired. He used the gifts that God gave him in the pursuit of something awesome - the love and benefit of a sweet little boy who is fighting against the odds - for his life. I've seen Ethan's mother, Candi Fisher, get absolutely knocked down with the news that her precious child had a disease without a cure. Her response is what defines her, she came back fighting with a resilient refusal to be beaten. If that isn't inspirational, I don't know what could be. When I saw these good, fine, awesome people just going to war against this awful disease, I couldn't sit still. I had to pitch in. Don't you feel the same? Won't you please join us in this battle against Fanconi Anemia? Every child deserves a chance. We can all join together and beat this thing.
Please take a moment to look at the foundation that Candi started, Kidz1stFund (www.kidz1stfund.com) and, I'm begging all of you - please join the registry for Be The Match (www.marrow.org). If you feel compelled to help me, have a look at my campaign site:www.crowdrise.com/ifightfanconi.
We must win this fight. To those of you who have contributed to my campaign and joined Be The Match - I just can't even express how much it means to me. Thank you.
The race will be October 20 and I'll go the distance, 26.2 miles. Y'all could sure help me by joining me here.
God bless y'all,
It has been over a month since I've reached out to all of you with an update on my campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Kidz1stFund in their fight to find a cure for Fanconi Anemia. For those of you who may have been too busy at the time to read the past installments, I've included them below.
I am making progress on my training program (which I've attached), though I may have regressed just a little in my long range stamina. I think I can attribute that to sort of falling off my diet and eating some fried foods. It is really remarkable the difference you can tell in what you put into your body and what you get out of it when you are really pushing yourself often. Of course, it is the middle of summer and I'm certain part of the problem may be that I am just spending so much more energy combatting the heat and humidity. Either way, I can still tell a difference from day to day based on what sort of fuel and hydration I'm running on.
As for my fundraising, I am thrilled to report that I have raised $925 so far! So, with over three months to go I decided to increase my goal substantially to $5,500. I think this is certainly attainable considering what I've done so far and also the pledges I've received.
So, now I'd like to say a little about the people who have contributed and how much it has meant to me. First of all, it is a joy working with the fine folks at Kidz1stFund. Cameron and Ali have been extremely helpful and supportive. One conversation with Cameron comes to mind when she had just received a notification of a contribution and forwarded me the email with a Yahooo!! I said, "Yeah! I love it when I get those emails! It's like catching a fish!" And, it is - in a way. But beyond that first moment when I get the satisfaction of success and then look to see who contributed and how much; I have to say, it is really touching and meaningful to feel that support from your friends. Now, let me say right here that the amount of the donation isn't necessarily what matters, but the fact that you care enough about me to support my cause. I'll never forget in 2009 when a fraternity brother of mine was running a marathon for charity and sent me a request for contribution to his cause. I had lost my job in 2008 and was really struggling to regain my footing. I didn't have much to give but I felt compelled to let him know I supported him, so I donated $5. Y'all, I understand what it is like to be our age and have kids and a family to look after. I understand budgets being tight. So, I'll ask this - if you can't contribute, then just sign up for Be The Match (www.marrow.org). If you can contribute, any dollar amount, please do.
Now, another touching tribute that I've noticed through these contributions. My good friend, Rob Catlin, made a generous contribution and in the notes he dedicated it to his Brother In Law, who died a year ago - succumbing to a bout with epilepsy. I really thought it was meaningful that Rob did that. I'll tell you what, I'll draw a little extra inspiration when I'm digging down deep on mile 20 or wherever it is that I most need it. Brittany's step-mother, Suzanne, also contributed in memory of her son Craig. I knew Craig, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident - way before his time. Craig was actually Ethan's Uncle. I imagine if we had not lost him that way, he would be right alongside me either preparing for the race or giving me some sort of nutrition advice! Craig was always a fitness nut. Craig was a lot like many of the guys I grew up with in Dothan. He had a big heart and in all the time I spoke with him, he never said an unkind word about anyone. I think that says a lot about a person. I was thinking about this last night and I hope when people think of me, they consider me to be the kind of person who looks for the good in people. You know, good people look for the good in others and great people bring out the good in others.
I'm trying to bring out a little good from all of you, my circle of friends and acquaintances. Please help me in this fight. I truly believe it is a fight that we can win. Last night I was thinking about all this and how much of a difference we can make. It only takes a second for something horrible to happen and someone can be lost forever.. But that can also go the other way, hinged on some seemingly small action.
Please, do whatever it is that you can do to help us win this fight. We will find a cure and beat Fanconi Anemia. I'm determined that we do it quickly. But, either way, I'm determined for the duration.
Hey, thank y'all for reading all this. I appreciate your friendship and your consideration.
P.S. If any of you are aware of people who know me (and still like me), who are not receiving these emails - please forward them along as I likely do not have a current email. If you know of people who do not know me, but who might be interested in the cause, please forward along. If you know folks who know me and do not like me, just keep it to yourself. :)
Selection for the NYC Marathon occurred this evening and, alas, I was not selected.
Moving on baby! I'm over it! I had planned for this anyway. This is the third (non-consecutive) time that I've been rejected for the NYC Marathon, so rejection is something I have learned to live with. Of course, those of you who know me well are probably thinking, "Hell! Drew Ramsey came to know rejection well way before that!!" Haha, and you're right! Anyway.. :) I've already registered for the Apalachicola "Running For The Bay" Marathon and, honestly, this is probably the best option for my first 26.2 anyway.
Now, that is not to say that I am not going to continue to pursue the NYC Marathon. There is always next year, and the year after for that matter! This fight will carry on! There is no other option until we have found a cure. This is a real clear and present danger for children right here among us. I will not sit idly by.
I'm asking you all to join me in this fight! Please, help me to make a difference.
So far, I've raised $250 towards my goal of $3,000 on my Crowdrise Campaign Site (www.crowdrise.com/IFightFanconi). You know, hey, that is not so bad for the first month! Particularly considering the uncertainty surrounding my entry into the NYC Marathon. Well, that uncertainty is gone. It's time to get on with it. I have a goal. I have a race, and I have a fight to win.
First Things First
In my last email, I mentioned the Be The Match Foundation (www.marrow.org). Now, if you register with Be The Match, they will send you a swab and a pre-addressed return envelope. All you will need to do is to swab your inner cheek and drop the swab into the package and return it. Postage is pre-paid if I remember correctly. Y'all listen. We still do not have a match for Ethan's marrow. All the money in the world won't change that right now. We need folks to get involved here. If you're asking yourself what could it be like to donate bone marrow, please visit: http://marrow.org/Registry_Members/Donation/Donation_FAQs.aspx If you're wondering, will it hurt? The answer is that it is done under anesthetic and the side effects could consist of: Lower Back Pain, Fatigue, Stiffness When Walking, or Bleeding At The Collection Site. The ache may last a few days to a few weeks. In other words, the risk vs. the return is exponential. We're comparing minor pain with saving a life!
If I could do one thing in this venture and that was to contribute to finding a Marrow Match for Ethan, I'd consider that the greatest accomplishment of my life to this point. Imagine the feeling you could have if you were the Match. What a gift! I would think that all fellow parents reading this email will all understand what I mean. Can you imagine if this were your little baby? I think of that often.. Like when I'm 3 miles into a 5 mile run and, knowing that I have at least 100 more of these runs to go.. And, I dig a little deeper and push on. If I can do this 26.2 mile race, and all the training that goes into it. Could you please join my team and contribute to the fundraiser? If not, could you please register with Be The Match?
Hey - I'm sending this email to a bunch of folks - if we're crossed up right now and you don't want to be on my team.. Look, Be The Match is confidential! I don't need any credit. Just do it!
God Bless Y'all,
On November 3, 2013 I intend to run the New York City Marathon. Many of you, who haven't seen me for the past 6 or 8 months are probably thinking that is the craziest thing you've ever heard. My Father In Law nearly choked on his iced tea when I told him, haha! Well, I've been running and dieting and I've gotten back in running shape. I'm confident that if I had a half marathon to run this weekend, I'd complete it in around two and a half hours. So, I've got another roughly 6 months to prepare for this marathon and I have no doubt that is plenty of time. My goal is to run the entire 26.2 in 4 hours flat.
Now, Based on my research - the likelihood of selection into the New York City Marathon may be greatly reduced this year as a result of last year's cancellation and, thus, all the more guaranteed runners and fewer slots for non-guaranteed selection. My backstop would be running the Apalachicola "Running For The Bay" Marathon on October 20, 2013. This is a qualifying Marathon for theBoston Marathon, so maybe if I do well enough - Boston could be on the horizon. Anyway, selection for NYC is 5/29/13 - so, I'll know soon enough. At any rate, the show will go on - God willing..
There are a couple of reasons why I've decided I need to do this. I've wanted to run this marathon since living in New York for nearly five years (2001 - 2005) and really becoming a runner up there at the time. I kind of let go of that and lost interest in my running after moving home, falling in love and building a family. Well, I've rededicated myself to my fitness and, more importantly, I have a cause that I truly believe in and intend to dedicate myself toward the fight for a cure.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare medical condition affecting about 1 in 131,000 people, and occurs equally in males, females and all ethnic groups. People with FA can have a variety of health issues including shortness, dark and light areas of skin, abnormalities of the arms and hands, kidney problems, heart defects, hearing problems and others. Some people with FA have no physical findings, but nearly all people will have a decline in their blood counts over time, eventually leading to bone marrow failure. While the average life expectancy for a patient with FA is 29 years, an increasing number of patients are living into their 30s and beyond. Until recently, the most common reason for shortened survival was due to marrow failure. When the marrow fails, it no longer makes the needed numbers of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (increasing the risk of infection) and platelets (increasing the risk of bleeding). In some cases, patients developed leukemia or other cancer. Today, a bone marrow transplant is the only treatment of bone marrow failure and leukemia. While bone marrow transplant is risky, discoveries at the University of Minnesota have markedly improved survival for this specific disease. In 1995, only 1 out of every 7 patients with FA survived an unrelated donor transplant; today, 6 out of every 7 are expected to survive.
My wife's nephew, Ethan Fisher, is currently afflicted with Fanconi Anemia. I have known Ethan since December 2007, and let me tell you what, that boy is something else. He is truly an inspiration to me. Ethan served in our wedding as the ring-bearer ("ringer" as he referred to himself!) in July 2010. He and his brother, Trey, have held a special place in my heart since the day I met them. Since then, I've been blessed with two sons of my own, George and Sam, and - as all parents do - I have learned about true love and, more importantly, true fear - the fear of any suffering that may befall one my boys.
I hope that through the ongoing research into finding a cure for FA at the University of Minnesota, we can eliminate the fear of FA from parents hearts forever.
Unfortunately for our family, in the Spring of 2011, we learned that little Ethan had been diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia. There is currently not a cure for Fanconi Anemia but guided with the leadership provided by Candi Fisher - Ethan's mother and my wife's step-sister, we have resolved to fight until a cure is found.
This is my way of aiding in that fight. I hope to raise and donate at least $3,000 (I really want to get to $5,000 so bad!!) to the Kidz1stFund (www.kidz1stfund.com). Kidz1st is a fund that Candi set up to support research at the University of Minnesota, where they are leading the charge in the fight against Fanconi.
Please join me in this fight, so that you too can say - "I Fight Fanconi!"
We can make a difference!