Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another good cause

Michele forgot to mention we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner. Here she is digging into a plate of cheesecake.

Neal and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. In total we have been together for 13 years. Last year we were at a tailgate and Neal had to use a cane to walk and could only stay an hour. This year, we road our bikes down to tailgate from the Park of Roses and I had to drag him out of there. What a difference a year makes! I accidentally scheduled a tennis lesson on our anniversary, so we did that followed by dinner and dessert. At least I did not try to schedule a boys night at an Indians game!

Neal is doing great. Better than ever. Ryan has also recovered quite nicely. What is a guy to do after donating his kidney to his friend...... run a half marathon. Seems logical to me. Ryan is running for a cause. We are proud to say he is our friend! Here is a letter from him.

Friends and Family,

Many of you know that I am training for the Columbus Half-Marathon. I'm currently up to 11 miles in preparation for the 13.1 miles on race day Saturday, October 19th. I recently found out that I will be a "Clydesdale" in the race. When I went to sign up I had to pick a category of runner, the categories are "Men", "Women", "Clydesdales" and "Athenas". No, I will not be in horse-costume towing a buggy of Budweiser. So what is a Clydesdale? It's a man over 200 pounds competing in a half marathon. Apparently we have our own category in the racing world. While my initial goal was simply to complete the half marathon, that has since changed. My new goal is to be the first "Clydesdale" across the finish line. The fastest fat man in the field! For 2009, my goal is to simply attain "Man" status in the racing world! You've got to start somewhere I guess.

What many of you don't know is why I am running in the marathon. This year, a co-worker of mine at Pearson Education, Marissa Feliberty, passed away from cancer. At just 40 years old she left a husband and 3 young children. Marissa's battle with cancer came at the same time as my own brush with the disease. When I went for my follow up with the oncologist in March to make sure my remaining kidney was clear, I made a visit to Marissa, who was also in the James Cancer Hospital that day. Just a week prior, Marissa had learned that her cancer was terminal. Needless to say, when my own results came back that morning clear as expected, it was not a joyous day of relief but a day of many emotions. Marissa passed away days later on March 18th, 2008.

A group of people at my company got together afterward and wanted to do something to honor Marissa and support her family. We are raising money for her children's college funds, Chloe (13), Ben (11), and Olivia (9). If you would like to sponsor me for the half marathon and our fundraiser for Marissa's family, please send your check, made out to Friends of Marissa, to Alicia's attention at the address below.

Alicia Wozniak, Pearson Education, 445 Hutchinson Ave., 4th Fl., Columbus, OH 43235. Any amount, even $10, will help me attain my goal of $1,500 for this fundraiser. Thanks for your consideration and support.

Ryan McHenry