In September, I wrote about three brothers running the Chicago Marathon together. They weren't doing it to be macho or because it was a good way to spend a day together. They were running to raise money for cancer research, specifically research into mulitple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that one of the brothers, Jeff Goad, recently discovered he had.
Even though Jeff was still undergoing steroid therapy as late as this summer, they decided to forge ahead with their marathon plan. Imagine how thrilled I was when, yesterday, I received the following email from Jeff in my inbox:
We made it!
3 Brothers, 26.2 miles and one cause.
5 hrs 47 min 50 seconds of joy, laughter, pain, sweat, exhilaration, focus and determination!
How blessed I was to have 2 of my brothers at my side. My "training wheels" to keep me from tipping over so to speak. Brad kept track of time and our 30 and 60 second walk breaks, calculating and recalculating our pace and finish time.(I wanted to beat last years time of 5:55 no matter what) David was a one man jingle machine! He sang, chanted and repeated just about every single commercial jingle from the past 30 years as a very clever distraction. He danced and high-fived thousands of hands along the route. He knew if he could entertain or distract me enough, I wouldn't focus on the fact that my longest run before the race was only 12 miles instead of 20-22 miles. He distracted me from thinking about the 70-80 miles of total running I had done, which normally would be almost 400-450 miles. The steroids had reduced me to the strength of a kitten in June, until I was able to get off that regime.
What in the world was I thinking! If I were coaching someone for the marathon I would have pulled them from the race, "don't do this you will really hurt yourself".
So why did I? I didn't want to disappoint all of you who have given so generously to MMRF, and the folks who have been following my journey via David's blog for over 2 years. I feel an obligation to keep hope alive for those who can't run...yet! We don't have a cure for Multiple Myeloma...yet! The power of yet!
My brother so eloquently delivered a moving speech at the MMRF reception on Saturday, with a memorable poem that I want to share with you. This is "how" and "why" I want to continue with events that will inspire and move us closer to converting "yet" into reality.
When the road is long
When the road is long, the rules rearrange your plans,
your dreams, your priorities change
Welcome to where it’s NOT worry-free
Welcome to doubt and uncertainty
Long roads go beyond the horizon line
You can’t see it all, so you watch each sign
As it passes, reading carefully what it might say
Am I staying on course? Am I going the right way?
Then big hills come along and they slow your pace
And you wonder why YOU are even in this race
I say look left and right at the runners beside you
And live on the energy we came to provide you
We will pace each other as we move our feet
Inspiration is a two-way street
You have strength, and you’ll find out just how strong
In this challenge of a lifetime, when the road is long.
By David Goad; Dedicated to Myeloma Survivor Jeff Goad
If you're not all verklempt and squishy inside then there's something wrong with you! Instead of reaching for a Kleenex, reach for your wallet, because it's not too late to donate to the CMJ Goad Marathon Team.
Thank you for reading A City Mom! Don't even waste your time Liking me on Facebook here and/or following me on Twitter @acitymom, just Please go to the Goad's website and donate to find a cure for multiple myeloma. No amount is too small.
Editorial note: I added the link to "David's blog" in Jeff's email and also corrected a couple of spelling errors. And I really had their brother Brad pegged as the one who would've been singing "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" or some such, during the run, but then again, I've never met the other two brothers in person :-)