PectusStrong.com Fundraiser - PE Race returns in 2017
Organized by: William Kranz
Virtual Race to Honor Lauren and Pectus Excavatum Awareness has ended
May 03, 2016
I am creating a virtual race to Honor Lauren and Pectus Excavatum Awareness. Here is my story.
I hit my bottom in March of 2014. I weighed 280 pounds and my hours were drastically cut at work. I had to do something, so I decided to start running. I figured it's inexpensive, easy and healthy. As it turns out, the healthy part was the only one I got right. I couldn't run a 1/4" mile on my treadmill in the garage. It was so frustrating and I wanted to quit every second that I was walking or running. I just kept telling myself that I don't want to die, even though sometimes I wasn't sure if that was true. I finally got the courage up to run outside, I guess I was afraid of people looking at me and judging me. A few weeks later my mom signed me up for my first 10k race and I finished it even though I was incredibly slow. At that point I was hooked and I put myself on a training plan and I stuck to it. I managed to complete several more 10k's and in October 2014 I did my first 1/2 marathon and May of last year I completed a full. It was extremely difficult to accomplish these goals because sometimes I'm winded just doing simple things. This year I decided to take on the impossible task of Running the Year 2,016 miles
The thing is that I was born with a medical condition. It’s a chest wall deformity called Pectus Excavatum also known as PE. Pectus excavatum is an abnormal development of the rib cage where the sternum collapses in, resulting in a sunken chest wall deformity.
Pectus excavatum is sometimes considered to be cosmetic; however, depending on the severity, it can impair cardiac and respiratory function and cause pain in the chest and back. People with the condition may experience negative psychosocial effects, and avoid activities that expose the chest.
I have been trying to live a "normal" life, but the burden of my chest has just been too much for me. Besides the obvious look of it, which has taken its toll on me mentally all of my life, PE is affecting me physically as well. My sternum is pushing in on my heart, lungs and esophagus, I have chest and back pains, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing and I am fatigued everyday. There are no PE doctor's in Michigan that operate on adults. This is a major surgery and there have been many documented cases of complications and several deaths during the procedure. I found a doctor in Arizona after doing research and having discussions with others who have PE in facebook support group. So during this time when I was running and trying to lose weight I was also trying to get all my medical tests done and every lined up to go have my surgery.
I met many great people in my PE support group and in this group as well. There is one person that stands out and her name is Lauren. She also suffered from PE and thoracic dystrophy. Without getting into all the medical stuff we talked about, we were on track to have to both have our surgeries performed at the same hospital and only two days apart. I’m happy to say that I am 6 weeks post op and recovering slowly.
It’s very difficult to get through this next part, but Lauren sadly and unfortunately passed away from complications of the surgery. I’m personally in thousands of dollars in debt over my surgery, medical tests, travel and being out of work. The thing is, so is her family and they lost a wonderful human being in the process. I wouldn’t be telling any of you this if it was only about me.
I decided I wanted to help, so I setup a crowdrise page and a virtual race in her honor and to spread awareness for pectus excavatum. As a runner I love my medals and I also like helping others out. I helped participate and raise money for MS last year and now I need help for this great cause. Any money raised will go to her family.
I don’t expect any of you to donate, but I am thanking you for reading this and asking you to consider signing up for the virtual race or donating directly.
Here are the links and more info about Lauren, myself and pectus excavatum:
Virtual Race Page
For the Love of Lauren information page
News story about Lauren
For more information about me and pectus excavatum go here
Stay up to date with news about this event by going to the event page
I can’t thank you enough for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, William Kranz Jr