I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Start of race ----------------Patient pleading for donor ---Joseph Jurcic, MD. Leukemia and Lymphoma physician

The Rhulen Rock Hill Run 5K (R4)
The R4 is one of the best races anyone can ever participant in. It is a flat and fast course with great amenities that are worth more than the entry fee.

The race has been in existence for 16 years. But even after 16 years a few wrinkles still have to be ironed out like forgetting the blow horn at the start of the race. However, in spite of what the race director forgets, the participants forget even more once they experience the R4 experience.
The R4 is the only 5K affiliated with Team in Training. It now benefits solely the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raising over 40,000 donated to the New York Chapter to assist in their mission to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients.

The second fold of the R4- the Patient Fund - raises money to assist a local victim of one of those diseases. Race Director Suzy Loughlin thought of the patient fund in 2005 to help one of her friends cover the uninsured medical bills while undergoing treatment for Lymphoma.

Even though helping people in need is a happy thing to talk about let’s talk about the happy part, the race. The R4 added prize money a few years ago to draw higher quality runners. Now, it draws over 700 participants. The race is followed by a fair like atmosphere that includes live music, hot food and great door prizes.

While at the awards ceremony this past Saturday, one can only stop for a minute out of our busy lives and listen to the people on the podium. The apparently healthy people behind the microphone all have something in common, they all have faced or are facing one of the above mentioned illnesses, and 3 of them this year are awaiting a donor; they pleaded to have the audience participate in the bone marrow drive. Without a donor, they will not be around for the R4 2009. That is a pretty tough thing to deal with.

I don’t think I have ever, in the years I have attended this race, closed my eyes and prayed while I stood next to these people pleading for a donor. I never felt so much fear for them, realizing that at least one of them, will not make it.

For them every treatment has failed, and they have not found a donor….that is a tough thing to face. The constant uncertainty for others is also a tough thing to face every day.

Some people attend this race for the race, some attend it for the cause. Some choose not to attend even knowing the cause…if you had been there and your blood matched one of these people, you could have saved their lives.
If you know how close to home these illnesses come, try to attend next year.