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Something Bigger Than Me. Jay's Road to Ironman Chattanooga

Organized by: Anna Ward

Anna's Photo

EVENT DATE Sep 28, 2014

THE STORY:

Hey, how’s it going? I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to reach out to you directly to ask for your help. Six months ago, I joined Team Ride to Give and will be riding in Ironman Chattanooga on September 28, 2014. If you are not familiar with triathlons, the ironman distance consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. This will be my first Ironman. To me it is the ultimate of challenges, one I have been wanting to tackle for years. And now I have the chance, but more importantly, I have the chance to do something with this opportunity, something bigger than me. As I prepare for this journey, I also want to raise money and bring awareness to two organizations that have done so much to help children in need. Having lost our son in 2003, my wife Anna and I remember the pain and helpless feeling we had as we watched our son fight for his life. And while Christian is at home in heaven, we now have the opportunity to help other children who are fighting their own injuries or illnesses, as their families watch over them and pray for healing.
The first organization I am raising money for is the Ride to Give. The Ride to Give is a charitable non-profit organization based in Nyack NY, just outside of NYC. It was founded by two amazing people, Kaete Nazaroff and her husband, eight-time Ironman Dave Nazaroff. In the summer of 2013, after hearing about a young boy in Georgia, Dave completed the first annual Ride from Nyack to Atlanta (over 900 miles by bicycle) in 5 days to raise awareness and donations for the family of Tripp Halstead (Tripp Halstead Updates), a toddler who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the fall of 2012. After helping the Halstead family, the Nazaroff family vowed to continue the fight and continue to raise money for other sick children, with the charitable donations going to help current and future children in need.
In addition to the Ride to Give, I am also racing for the Friends 4 Michael foundation. While I didn’t meet Mike Kwinn Jr. until the summer of 2013, I remember well when their son passed away within a week of our son and is buried near our son at the West Point Cemetery. Michael J. Kwinn III died in 2003 from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Grade III brain-stem tumor. But before he did, he started his own organization, telling his dad “Daddy, if people want to help maybe we can collect donations and make one large donation. It is too late for me but maybe we can help some other kids.” What has amazed me the most about the Kwinn family is the dignity, grace and humility with which they have approached everything they do. The mission of The Friends4Michael Foundation is to support children like Michael and their families, to keep alive the memory of Michael and his spirit, to increase awareness of the devastating effects of brain tumors on afflicted children and their families and to continue to “Fight for a Cure” for this horrible disease.

As you can see, both of these organizations are terrific organizations consisting of people with huge hearts, humility, and a sincere desire to help who dedicate so much of their time and energy to help children who can’t help themselves, children who fight every day just to survive. Although I'm six months in feel free to follow my journey at https://www.facebook.com/groups/222584034570747/

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Anna Ward

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