This year i will be running by 6th Chicago Marathon for the Muscluar Dystrophy Association, here is my reason why!
Hero: A person who is admired for courage, self-sacrifice, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities. My brother Mike is my hero.
My brother, Mike, was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy at 3 years old. This disease, caused by a missing piece in the genetic code for muscle reproduction, is progressive, disabling, and always fatal. Mike was able to walk as a child but became progressively worse over time. By age 10 Mike was bound to a wheel chair and could no longer walk. This never stopped him from living life to the fullest and he never lost hope or complained about what he couldn't do, but focused on what he could do. At 18, Mike got an accessible van that allowed him to drive with the use of hand controls. He was accepted into college in Hoboken, NJ where he pursued a degree in mechanical engineering. He excelled at everything he did and landed a great job as an Aerospace Engineer in CT. Mike met the love of his life Kellie after college, they got married and a couple years later they had their son Joshua. Joshua is now 13 years old and in the words of my brother "was a bona fide miracle." Michael lived in great health considering he was living with a disease that was weakening every muscle in his body.
February 25th 2015 at 37, Michael lost his battle with Muscular Dystrophy and walked into heaven.
The hardest thing for me to overcome when I am running is the mental game my mind plays on me, telling me, I’m not strong enough, and that I should just give up. It’s in those moments that I’m reminded of Mike, my motivation to run. I have to constantly remind myself that any pain I feel is temporary. It is NOTHING compared to all that my brother has had to overcome in his 37 years of life. I recently watched a video of my brother sharing his amazing hope. "Though Muscular Dystrophy is a daily part of my life it does not define me. God has given me an amazing story to tell, MD can only break my body, it can not break my spirit, can not break my soul, can not hinder my faith, and can not take away my hope” Even in Mike’s last moments here on earth he lived this out in such an incredible way that will never be forgotten.
Since 2012 i have put together a team "Muscles for Mike" we have had over 70 members raising over $140,000! This year my personal goal is to raise $5,000, and I can do this with your help! With every dollar donated, we’re advancing MDA’s mission to assist families with health care services, day-to-day support, fund breakthrough research, and fight back against the dozens of life-threatening muscle diseases.
There is something truly beautiful about helping someone who isn’t able to help you back. I would love for you to be a part of this experience. I, on behalf of the MDA, speaking for every person suffering with Muscle disease, need your support. Any amount is a stride in the right direction of our goal. All donations are tax deductible, Thank you for all of your support!