BENEFITING: THE SERGEANT THOMAS JOSEPH SULLIVAN CENTER
EVENT: Marine Corps Marathon 2013
EVENT DATE: Oct 27, 2013
Well, it's happened. I've finally manned (womanned?) up or lost my mind and have signed up to do my first marathon. As a previous cross country, half marathon and everything in between runner, I have always been aware of how lucky I am to be able to run at all. As such, each race I dedicate my run to those who cannot, and those who have supported me along the way. Now that I'm running my first marathon, I wanted to do more and actually give back.
Being that my race is the Marine Corps Marathon, I couldn't think of a better group to support than our military veterans. Our country's soldiers defend our freedom and often pay a heavy health toll. I may need to be carried to brunch after the race but that is a luxury and nothing compared to what young men and women sacrifice every day. I have chosen to support the Sgt. Sullivan Center because they work tirelessly to improve the health and lives of those who serve.
Their mission: "The SSC is dedicated to improving health outcomes for current and former military personnel, especially those who are suffering from emerging, complicated, or currently unexplained post deployment health concerns. "
I've included the story of the center below, please help me support this great cause and help me finish my first 26.2 miles. Thank you for all of your kidness, support, and encouragement.
Sgt. Thomas Joseph Sullivan, a veteran of the recent Iraq war, died in February of 2009 at age 30 after suffering health complications that included chronic widespread pain, swelling, severe inflammatory bowel issues, and side effects of pharmaceutical treatments. The symptoms of his illness began in Iraq and worsened upon his return, but his health problems were never fully explained.
Sgt. Sullivan's postmortem examination uncovered evidence of widespread organ and cardiovascular degeneration that were not detected during his life using general diagnostic procedures. During the worst of his symptoms, Sgt. Sullivan was referred to treatments for psychosomatic illness. He was also prescribed high dosages of steroid and narcotic drugs with serious side effects.
After Sgt. Sullivan's death, his family learned that a significant number of veterans return from war with emerging medical problems. Many are referred for psychological therapies and prescribed drugs with side effects, interactions, and outcomes that are difficult to track.
Having learned this, Sgt. Sullivan's family founded the Center in his memory as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health outcomes for veterans with emerging post deployment health concerns – working with veterans, healthcare providers, and researchers to find a way to provide real help for veterans with complicated health problem