Well, it is Race Even for my Half Ironman “A” Race this year. I’m really excited to get going.
This race has a special meaning to me this year. I am dedicating this race to my friend Heather Grand. This is the first time I have ever raced for anyone, and I’m excited to be racing for her.
I have known her for a little over 10 years now. She is 31 years old. A while back, she had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. The brain scans revealed that she had 30 tumors in her brain! She was given 6 months to live. That was 3 years ago!
Heather has taken more radiation, and done more chemotherapy than anyone I’ve ever heard of. As a matter of fact, her oncologist told her the same thing! In addition to all the tests, chemo, radiation, brains scans, and doctors appointments, she has had multiple brain surgery’s. Through all of this, she has always kept and incredibly positive attitude. Her body fails her now, and I’m afraid the end is near. However, she remains positive and has faced this adversity with a strength few people could have.
Approximately 2 weeks ago, one of her many brain scans revealed that she has about 20 new micro tumors in her brain. Even with this news, you know what she was concerned about? Being approved for a clinical trial that is only in phase 1 and will have unknown effects on her. She knows that even though this trial has had positive results in animals, this most likely will not heal her. She realizes it is too late for her, but still wanted to be approved for the trial, and is willing to go through more testing and possibly horrible side effects, so that she can hopefully be part of finding a cure for her type of cancer so that others will not have to experience what she has had to experience. Heather is an amazing woman, and I love her deeply.
I was speaking to her on the phone last week, and we were discussing my training. We discussed the race length and then specifically started talking about running. She said she misses running (she can’t even walk up and down stairs without help these days.) It was at that moment that I told her I would be running this race for her. She was so happy.
I called her today to ask her if she knew what tomorrow was (her short term memory fails her sometimes these days). She didn’t know, so I told her it was R4HG day! She said “What?” and I said Racing 4 Heather Grand day. She was sooooo happy and told me that it means a lot to her.
When you see my pictures from this race, you will see R4HG on my arms and/or legs. Now you will know the significance of this alpha numeric code. If anyone feels so inclined in their upcoming races to race for Heather also – please feel free to write R4HG on your arms and send me a picture. I think she would really like to see that people are racing all over the world for Heather.
Tomorrow is the race of my life, as I will be RACING 4 HEATHER GRAND!