David Bekker via Crowdrise
March 08, 2015
Hi I'm Dave and against all odds I'm a marathon runner striving to run the Boston Marathon for the first time. The most prestigious marathon in our country.
Here's my story: In 1978, at the age of 17, I was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, which damaged the mitral valve in my heart. Bacterial endocarditis is an inflammation to the lining of the heart and the heart valves caused by an infection. In 1985, I underwent open-heart surgery and had my mitral valve replaced with a St. Jude’s valve. Due to the artificial valve and several other factors, I need to take an anticoagulant and undergo frequent blood tests for the rest of my life. Then in 1997, I experienced a series of transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) and my doctors discovered that my heart was in Atrial-Fibrillation (A-fib). A-fib can cause a five times higher risk of stroke, but is controlled with medication and continual medical monitoring.
I've always been an active person, swimming through college, and several years ago I took up running and absolutely fell in love with it. During a recent appointment with my cardiologist, we discussed the idea of me running the Boston Marathon. My Doctor gave me his full support and endorsement of the idea and said I can act as a role model and inspiration for people overcoming medical problems such as heart and stroke issues.
Reflecting on the words of my cardiologist, I now realize my motives for wanting to participate in the Boston Marathon have evolved. Initially, my goal was to thank the medical professionals, friends, and family members who have supported me through my incredible journey. However, now one goal has evolved into three goals. The first aim is to serve as an inspiration for people to lead an active life. When I underwent open heart surgery, I vowed that I was not going to sit in a rocking chair for the rest of my life. I have embraced life and will continue to lead a fulfilling one. My hope is to inspire and encourage people to choose to lead a healthy life. The second purpose is to increase the public’s awareness that people with health issues can lead active lives under the supervision of a doctor. The last objective is to raise money for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Raising money for the BIDMC which is devoted to providing clinical care, education, and research is an incredible honor and privilege.
2015 will be the 30th anniversary of my open heart surgery and what better way to celebrate than running the Boston Marathon. Donations that are made in my name will benefit Kidney Disease Research. I hope that you will consider supporting my fundraising efforts and help me reach my fundraising goal of $7,500. The research that is occurring at BIDMC is truly ground-breaking, and with your support, it can continue benefiting patients around the nation.
Thank you for your generosity!!
Kidney Disease Research
The Renal Division Research Team has identified a reason for the high rate of kidney disease in people of African descent. Kidney disease is five times more likely to affect African Americans than other groups of people, and the team is actively working to alleviate this epidemic. This is a major public health problem and this research, which may lead to major advances in treatment, is unique to BIDMC. Dialysis is not a cure. Fewer than 40 percent of dialysis patients live more than five years. Rates of kidney failure are increasing and the cost to treat those patients continues to rise each year. In 2009, $42.5 billion was spent to provide care to those with kidney failure. Over the next three to five years, the Renal Division Research Team aims to use their findings to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease in African Americans. They plan to develop a multifaceted approach to solving this problem that will be highly visible and have a large impact on the lives of individuals and their families.