EVENT DATE: May 06, 2012
I'm asking everyone I know, and even those of you I don't, for help. Dana Hardy is a friend, and she could use all of our help. She is a mother of two, Carter and Addy, and a wife to Matt (no easy task in itself). She has been diagnosed with heart muscle disease and is in need of a transplant. As you can imagine, the costs for a transplant are astronomical, and in the first year alone it's estimated at $787,700! I can't even begin to do Dana's story justice, so please go here to read her story. She is truly an amazing person.
My plan is to run the Pittsburgh Marathon to raise money to help Dana and Matt through the National Transplant Assistance Fund. Proceeds will help Dana and Matt address financial hardships arising from uninsured medical expenses related to transplantation. These funds will only go to helping with expenses from the transplant itself, but Dana will be unable to work for some time after the surgery and the expenses associated with the event that are not covered will be significant. So if you feel especially charitable, please go to DanasHope.org and make an additional donation. These donations will allow Dana and Matt some flexibility in dealing with the daily living expenses that will result.
I know making a donation is a sacrifice, so I am going to make one as well. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a runner - never have been a runner. But since Dana's first experience with her heart disease came while running at track practice, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to run a marathon. I run 20 miles a week at best right now, not 26.2 in one day, but in about 12 weeks I plan on finishing one way or another. I've set up a twitter account @mgaul8, and will send out occasional updates to anyone who cares to see my progress. At the very least, you may get a few laughs at my expense. Please help me keep my motivation to finish the marathon and donate what you can. Dana, Matt, Carter, and Addy are a great family, and they deserve our help.