Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are We There Yet? 200 Miles Of Hope!

So a few years ago I was "Promoting Global Hair Loss" and this guy started commenting on my posts and donating money for a picture of my cat with a light-up mohawk!   A friend of ours, Mary, said he was a friend from Ohio so I never thought any further.  We kept in touch and he commented on my Nike+ posts when I was trying to get back in shape after my Stem Cell Transplant.  I was running a very small amount at first but then started getting up to three miles at about a 9:20 pace - I was feeling good.

Then he told me he's going for a run.

I went for a run last week - 2.5 miles in my brand new shoes.  My friends kid ran a 5k and got 2nd in his age group.  But none of us went for a run like Eric went for a run.  Eric went Forest Gump style. 

He started on Friday morning and didn't end till Sunday morning. 

"Ah wehnt foh a run"*

I ran with him around 10:30 on Friday night.  When I caught up with him he had been running for 15 hours.  15 hours!  And he was just getting started.  After one loop I met my brother and went to get a beer just utterly amazed that I was going to go home, sleep, wake up, have a full day, go to sleep wake up and meet Eric when he was finishing his run.  Eric ran over 160 miles that weekend and raised a ton of dough.  And he raised all this money to help find a cure for Multiple Myeloma. 

I have Multiple Myeloma and I now know a whole lot of people who also have this disease.  It sucks having this disease but, as I've mentioned in the past, I've got it easy compared to some folks.  Cancer sucks and I believe there are two ways of dealing with it: Ostrich or Eric.  Now Eric doesn't have cancer, but a very dear friend of his died from MM and Eric has gone out of his way, and through many pairs of running shoes, to help raise money to find a cure.  If you talk to Eric he will tell you that we're his motivation.  And though we've said it, he'll never take credit for him being our motivation to keep going.

Think about the last time you had your Jerry Lewis moment - you have to be over 40 or maybe even 45 to get that one.  When was the last time you pulled a telethon type moment, where you did something for 24 hours?  The Jerry Lewis Telethon, when I was growing up, was something you did. Watching the TV all night and all day to see the guests and the stupid stuff that Jerry Lewis did.  That was a great memory and it was hard work, watching TV for almost 24 hours.

Eric is going to be running for over 48 hours - can you imagine?  There are no breaks.  What's worse, at 1am Central Park closes and Eric has to run AROUND, literally AROUND, Central Park till 5am.  That's why I'm running Friday night and running Saturday night and why I let Betsy convince me to buy a REAL pair of running shoes.  I run 3 miles at most.  I'll run 12 that weekend.  Eric has inspired me and given me a reason to post another blog spot to hopefully motivate others to be inspired.   You do what you can but Eric's gone well beyond that.  In fact, to get an idea of how inspired...look at this year's "poster" and my picture of Eric pointing.
Eric's pointing at my name...That's a real picture of Eric, or should I say shadow of Eric and the color around him are names, lots of names.  These are all people Eric has run for, communicated with or simply pointed at!  These are all people that inspire him but more importantly have hope because of him!  These are all people with Multiple Myeloma.  And I'm damn proud that my name is up there, right around the left hip!

I've said this in the past - we will find a cure for Multiple Myeloma within my lifetime - of that I am sure. 

The MMRF has done an unbelievable job moving drugs forward and the research is starting to pay off.  But none of that takes place without sponsorship and without donations.  I've done my fair share of fund raising over the last few years but Eric takes this to another level.  Because of what Eric does (and many other events/fundraisers like the Rubino Girls, the Crawfish Guys, the IceCream ScooperBowl) we will find a cure in my lifetime.  My kids won't have to worry about this, I won't have to worry about this, but most important of all, my MOTHER won't have to worry about this!

This is what I call hope - and Eric creates that hope with every step he takes.  And this brings up a great point and a little game.  Remember trying to guess the number of M&M's in the big jar?  Whomever can guess the number of steps Eric will need to take to reach 200 miles, I'll make a $100 donation in your name to Eric's run!  Eric or Tani will be my judge but whomever gets the closest will get due recognition here, on my FB PGHL page and via my Twitter account as well as a $100 donation to Eric's run.  So start counting steps - i can hear it now - "are we there yet?"

For donations:

Eric's kickoff video link: here

* for full and total transparency, I have no rights whatsoever to the picture from Forest Gump and am not trying to abuse that image for financial gain.  I have cancer, I'm writing a post about this guy that runs alot - that made me think of Tom Hanks!  I think Tom would agree, this is a good reason for using the image so hopefully I won't get in trouble!

1 comment:

Andrew Downs said...

Excellent post. Thank you. Eric has been doing amazing (crazy) things for years for those of us with Myeloma. And it seems like every year he ups the ante, both in terms of what he raises for MRF and what he does as endurance runner. Maybe next year, if he is not too crazy with his run, I will be able to share the experience as you did. Happy for you and hats off to you and Eric.

Andy Downs