Upon returning from New York, I learned that an 11-year old grandniece of a physician colleague had just been diagnosed with lymphoma. Her treatment was begun immediately at Long Island's Stony Brook Hospital. Her father secured a room at the Roland McDonald House in order to allow him to spend the majority of his time at her bedside. Like so many families whose child requires extended hospital stays for life-saving treatments, the Roland McDonald Houses enable families to move into the residence at no charge for as long as is required so that their physical presence and love can help their child heal.
As someone who spent 60 days in I.C.U. while on vacation in New York, I know that my wife's daily visits were the best medicine I could have received. This would not have been possible had not her sister and brother-in-law opened their home to her and our two kids. Ronald McDonald House is there for families who are not as blessed as we were by the hospitality and support provided by our family.
Similarly, when our daughter suffered a stroke at work in Los Angeles, we could not have been at her bedside throughout her hospital stay without the housing provided at very affordable rates at a residence owned by the hospital.
I ran the Japanese Marathon as a charity runner for Roland McDonald House. Our donations helped support the 12 Ronald McDonald Houses in Japan which have served over 54,000 families.
I ran a very satisfying race until my stomach rebelled against the electrolyte replenishment drink supplied by the race at the 38k mark. Due to hyper-security for the 35,500 runners, race organizers decided that runners could not bring any fluids onto to the course. My nausea and dry heaves took me out of my rhythm, reducing my last 4.2k to a survival event. I kept moving by reflecting on the post-chemotherapy experience of most cancer patients, realizing that my condition would immediately improve once I got to the finish and could settle down.
I finished in 4:10:36, placing in the top 7.8% (23/293) in the men's 70 - 74 division, and first among the six Americans in the division.
My real joy came the next morning when my wife and I visited the Roland McDonald House adjacent to Tokyo University Hospital. We met the Director and a number of volunteers who support the 12 families who find a "home away from home" at the residence.
A portion of the funds that I and other TNT athletes raise go to financial aid to ensure that patients and families get access to treatments and housing support that they would otherwise find unavailable to them due to financial reasons.
We currently have raised $23,500. Please consider joining our Cool Impossible Team by hitting the donate button on the Homepage. Or use this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/london18/whaffey
My short-term goal is to raise another $10,000 in conjunction with running the London marathon on April 22.
Thirty years ago, Bruce Cleland enticed 38 runners to join him in running the New York City Marathon in honor of his daughter, a leukemia survivor. They raised $322,000 for blood cancer research. Since then over 650,000 Team in Training athletes have raised over $1 Billion.
In 2017, the FDA approved 12 new treatments for blood cancers. LLS was instrumental in funding 10 of these new options for patients.
LLS launched its Therapy Acceleration Program by contributing $700 Million to help fund drug development and clinical trials for seven different drugs in seven different centers.
My Cool Impossible Team passed the $20,000 mark in the week of my completing the marathon.
I finished in 4:11:18, placing me in the top 7.8% (16/204) in the men's 70 - 74 division.
I returned to the city of my birth. Running is one factor in my living a long, healthy, vital life. Raising money to fight cancer gives my running a purpose beyond myself. In so doing, my life has meaning beyond myself and my running is a gift of life.
Please consider joining My Cool Impossible Team by donating to the cause. Use this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/london18/whaffey
Berlin was amazing. Received an e-mail on race morning of a $1000 donation moving us past the $10k mark in funds raised to find cures & develop innovative treatments for those with blood cancers.
Race was wonderful. Very pleased with race management and with results. Time: 4:02:36, placed 21/120, top 17.5% in men's 70 - 74 division.