Note from Art: While I’m not racing for 100 miles, my friend and professional colleague, Ted Friedman is, and I’m pleased to offer my support for his efforts. I’ve known Ted for a good number of years and we’ve continued our connection even though our professional lives have diverged. We also share an unfortunate common bond…we both lost a parent to cancer.
If you’ve lived through the loss of a loved one or colleague to this miserable disease, you are no doubt aware how critical the caregivers and assistance providers are to the patients and to the families during these battles. Ted recently described his cause and his approach to supporting and helping those in need of assistance, and I’m honored to share his story and encourage you to offer whatever support you can afford. -Art
In 2010, I started 100 Miles For Life, a charitable campaign focused on raising awareness and funds in support of an outstanding community services organization — The Gathering Place, in Cleveland, Ohio. The mission of The Gathering Place is to provide assistance to those whose lives have been impacted by cancer.
The Gathering Place opened in January 2000 as a nonprofit, community-based cancer support center to fill an unmet need in the greater Cleveland community. The programs and services offered address the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of individuals with cancer and their support network.
The mission of The Gathering Place is to support, educate and empower individuals and families touched by cancer through programs and services provided free of charge.
My Dad’s Cancer Story:
My personal connection to The Gathering Place began in 2000, when I lost my father to cancer. My dad was originally diagnosed with colon cancer in 1995, but after surgery was fine for a few years. Then during a routine scan in 1998, doctors found his cancer had spread to his lungs and eventually to his brain. Unfortunately surgery was no longer an option. He was ill for 14 months, and underwent chemotherapy and Gamma Knife radiation treatments. He lost his hair and some of his independence and mobility, but never his love of life or his sense of humor!
While The Gathering Place didn’t exist for most of my dad’s illness, my parents became aware of it in early 2000, shortly after it was first founded. Since that time, the organization has helped countless families like ours, providing support to navigate the physical and emotional impact of battling the disease, and the challenges that arise in losing a loved one.
An Event to Symbolize the Severe Challenges of Fighting Cancer:
The Gathering Place operates on a limited budget, with operating funds generated 100% from corporate and personal donations, and privately-organized fund raising campaigns like mine. To provide a focal point for my efforts in support of this worthwhile non-profit organization, I will be competing in the 2011 Burning River 100-Mile Endurance Run on July 30th-31st.
To most people, the idea of running 100 miles is impossible. But that’s partly the point – I wanted to choose an event that was ridiculously difficult, to symbolize the severe challenges of fighting cancer and to show that things that may seem impossible actually aren’t if you have the right knowledge, attitude, and support. And that is what The Gathering Place is all about – providing knowledge, fostering positive attitude, and offering support to individuals and families in need.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read more about my effort at http://www.100milesforlife.org and consider supporting the campaign.