Dear friends and family,
As many of you know, 28 years ago, my 20 year old brother Kevin died in his sleep. Kevin was a college football player in perfect health, and the doctors had no idea why he died. 14 months later, my 15 year old brother Timmy died in his sleep. Timmy was a high school track and football star. For over 20 years, we never knew why either of them died.
But 6 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with a heart condition called non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. This condition causes the heart to race, so it can no longer efficiently pump blood, and can cause a person to pass out and die immediately. The doctors are certain that this is what killed Kevin and Timmy.
There is still no definitive diagnostic test for the condition--so "just in case" most of my immediate family (including my brother, 4 sisters, 2 nephews, and one neice) and I have had defibrillators and pacemakers implanted.
I received my defibrillator 6 years ago, and began raising money for the Heart Rhythm Foundation. My first race was the Pacific Crest Half Ironman in 2005--I raised about $12,000 that year. Since then, I've run 2 marathons on behalf of the HRF, raising about $5,000 for each marathon.
This year is a big milestone for me...I am turning 40 in June, and decided such a big birthday deserves a big race...so I started thinking about doing the Pacific Crest Half Ironman again. But this is a HUGE commitment--the race involves a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 58 mile VERY hilly bike ride, finishing with a 13.1 mile run...it will take place at altitude, and it will likely be very hot. This is not an easy feat!
I wasn't sure if I could do it, so I began quietly training 3 months ago. It had been 5 years (and 20 pounds!) since I did this race, and I had a lot of work to do. Even though I'm still not sure I will fit into my wetsuit, I know that my training has come along enough to know that I will be able to finish the race!
I really hope you will sponsor me. Trust me, I am working HARD to earn your support! I have been getting up at 4:30am every Wednesday to swim from 5:30-6:30am with the members of the triathlon club I joined. I have been chased by wild dogs while biking, nearly got hit by a semi-truck after a bike crash last weekend, only to get back on the bike and finish the rest of my 60 mile ride, and I have been logging more running miles than ever before. I'm still not sure my wetsuit will fit...but I must be getting close! The race is on Saturday, June 26 in Sunriver, OR.
The Heart Rhythm Foundation is committed to education, prevention, and diagnostic research related to cardiac rhythm disorders. The Heart Rhythm Foundation created an “It's About Time” campaign on Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is a leading cause of death in this country, taking the lives of more than 250,000 people each year — more than breast cancer, lung cancer, stroke, or AIDS. It occurs abruptly and without warning, and two-thirds of SCA deaths occur without any prior indications of heart disease.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. If you would prefer, you can also mail a check to Betsy Bogdansky at the HRF at:
Heart Rhythm Foundation
1400 K Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20005
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!