I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in August of 1990. 2011 marked the 20 year anniversary of my final treatment. Since that time, my life has been blessed beyond all I
deserve. From that struggle I have learned how to live life basking in the glow of the blessing of life.
As a triathlete, most of my time is spent inwardly focussed: what I need to do to train, what I need to eat to recover, What I need, What I want, what I have for goals, what I achieve. I, I, I. Any successful triathlete will tell you, the "I" portion of triathlon can drive them. But, what if it became about something more? What if it really became focussed on something greater than what "I" am? In 2012, I am racing the Ironman U.S. Championships in honor of a great cause. The race is 140.6 miles of triathlon, swimming in the Hudson River, cyling through parts of northern New Jersey near where I was born, and a run finishing in Manhattan. As I have done in years past, I am focussing this race - the central part of my season - in fundraising for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer research.
Also, in 2012, I will be training and racing in honor of my friend Jae. I met Jae during the merger of Wells Fargo and Wachovia a few years ago. He and I have not yet had the opportunity to meet "live" but in this world of electronic communication and conference calls, we have spent many a day on the phone talking. Jae is battling Cancer as I write this to you today. His treatments are intense and the struggles are tiring. However, it is the courage of people like Jae, battle everyday to add their names to the roles of Cancer Survivors everywhere, that make the work of places like the Jimmy V Foundation worth while.
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has blessed me tremendously. He saw me through a tough time while I battled cancer as a teenager. It is hard to figure out why God tests us. I have learned and believe that He tests us to make us stronger. I also believe He gives us our experiences as a means of helping others struggling with similar problems. Using my joy for triathlons as a means to get the message out for this amazing cause is just icing on the cake!
I feel truly blessed in fundraising for one of my favorite Cancer Research organizations called the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. Jim Valvano was a coach for the NC State Wolfpack men’s basketball team who won a miraculous NCAA title in 1983. After his fatal cancer diagnosis, he teamed with ESPN in 1993 to create the Jimmy V foundation. He passed away 2 months later.
Some really exciting news for 2012 is the addition of two sponsors to work with me. I would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Kestrel Bicycles and K-Swiss who have decided to join me in this journey. Also, huge thanks to Sarah at Upgrade LIfestyle for keeping me afloat in the water and to Bruce at PurVelo for getting my posiitons right on the bike!
The V Foundation awards 100% of all direct donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Of all charities out there, they are considered in the top 3% when it comes to the quality of the organization and how much of the donations goes to the programs advertised. This means that your donations are used here better than most charities you can support.
Don't forget to check with your employer and see if they provide matching funds for your charitable contributions. Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!