Running for Health and for a Great Cause
As most of you know, I became a distance runner (for the first time in my life) after my cancer diagnosis. I loved it! It was mentally cathartic to have that time alone in thought, I achieved a “runners high” and there are a number of studies showing the beneficial effects of significant physical exercise after a CRC diagnosis including in Stage 3 patients (my original diagnosis) for example here and here. I simply loved the running and I felt the most physically fit of my entire life. My goal was to successfully run a half-marathon length without break, which I achieved on the exact same day the first signs of my Stage IV recurrence occurred.
Since my return to Stage IV treatments last Fall, unfortunately my running has largely fallen by the wayside, including when I began weekly Erbitux infusions. Compared to standard chemo, at least for me, Erbitux has been a wonder drug in terms of side effects. Yes I have to deal with the main side effect rash but it is fully tolerable especially since it is “The Perfect Rash” and since my tumors are responding to the treatment! There are other potential side effects of Erbitux however and the other one which has hit me pretty hard are foot sores. Open foot wounds and running really don’t work well together! So my running languished…But this weekend I came to a decision. I missed the benefits of my running, my sores are small enough that I decided to suck it up, put on some Band-Aids and Neosporin, it was time to get back into the game.
Today I ran 5 miles without losing my breath – not bad for a guy with Erbitux foot sores and a lung surgery a week ago! Especially considering that the first time I ran (since college) in June 2013, I was completely out of breath and had to take a break within the first mile! My how things have changed for the better in the past 2 years!
As I was running today, I decided that my return to running would be a great opportunity to raise money for my non-profit charity of choice “The Colon Club” which I discussed at length here and with more brevity here. I see it as a win-win-win situation: My running would improve my emotional & physical health and the fundraiser would help incentivize me to do it even if my feet were sore; My running as a “currently incurable” Stage IV patient under active weekly treatment may inspire others (patients or otherwise) to exercise or run as well; My running could serve as a mechanism to raise funds for The Colon Club, an organization I feel strongly about! I also have to thank our corporate sponsor #Nike for their support!
Here’s how the fundraiser will work:
- I ask you to please consider sponsoring me via a “₵/mile-or-$/mile” pledge. For budgeting purposes, I can’t tell the future but my current “goal” is to run a 10k twice a week (~12-13 miles) while under active treatment
- This fundraiser will run from July 1 through Sept. 30 (3 months)
- Please add your pledges in the blog comments below. You can use your full name; First name with last initial; or “Anonymous” (in which case please email/text me directly who you are for my files)
- At the end of the fundraiser I will contact all donors with both a paypal link and directions for written checks to allow 2 different ways to pay the pledge. The Colon Club is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit colon cancer association/charity so these donations are tax deductible. They also may be eligible for an employer match, doubling your impact!
Update July 6. 2015 : This morning I received a VERY generous pledge match offer: ALL RUNNING PLEDGES WILL BE DOLLAR-MATCHED up to a $2500 cap! WOW! So a quick & easy way to double-your pledge impact & the impact of your blog link shares to others!
CURRENT RUN TOTAL: 68 MILES
On behalf of myself, my 11 2016-Colondar 2.0 sisters and brothers and on behalf of the millions of living Americans either diagnosed with CRC or who have CRC which remains unfortunately undiagnosed for now. Thank you!