At the beginning of the year I said one of my goals is to do something positive with my running that would help other people. I’ve been running for 13+ years now and have got so much out of the sport. I’ve tried to give back whenever I could, whether it being volunteering at races or helping out with youth track.
My Dad passed away on July 30th of this year. He was the type of guy who would do anything for anyone. He spent much of his time volunteering at events throughout the Valley, whether it was running events, car shows, umpiring little league games or raising money for the DARE program. My Dad had a lot of energy to help people despite the fact that he had many health problems that most people didn’t know about. When my Dad was in his late 30’s he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, the same disease that you see Jerry Lewis raising money for every Labor Day weekend.
My Dad was never afraid of physical labor, and he wouldn’t let the disease slow him down. Doctors told him he would be in a wheel chair in 10 years, but that didn’t happen. My Dad may have not been the most physically fit person, but he would mow lawns or shovel driveways or move furniture if it meant feeding his family and keeping a roof over their heads.
Running is something that has given me a lot of enjoyment throughout my life, but it can be a selfish act. I often complain when my training isn’t going well or when I have a bad race. These are minor problems when you consider the fact the thousands of kids are born every year with a disease that doesn’t allow them to walk or run, let alone play sports or be a normal kid. I feel very privileged to wake up every day and go for a run or ski or hike. I was blessed to be born healthy and have the ability to see places that most people can only dream of.
Muscular Dystrophy is a disease that doctors and researchers have been trying to cure for years. They’re getting closer, but more still needs to be done. My Dad benefitted greatly over the last 20+ years from the research done by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His quality of life would not have been the same without their research and support.
My goal for the coming year is to raise awareness of this dreaded disease and help raise money for the cause. I am planning on trying to run 3,000 miles throughout the year. I ask that if you can afford to pledge a penny per mile, it will add up to a $30 donation. That’s a little over 8 miles a day. I will keep a tally of where I’m at on the side of my blog. I’m hoping that every mile that I run will help, even if it’s small.
My Dad helped a lot of people in his short life. He set a good example that I hope I can fulfill.
If you would like to make a donation follow this link to the MDA website: http://www.mda.org/home.htm
If you make a donation feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to keep a tally of how much we can all raise together.