Andrew Ramsey wrote -
On November 3, 2013 I intend to run the New York City Marathon. Many of you, who haven't seen me for the past 6 or 8 months are probably thinking that is the craziest thing you've ever heard. My Father In Law nearly choked on his iced tea when I told him, haha! Well, I've been running and dieting and I've gotten back in running shape. I'm confident that if I had a half marathon to run this weekend, I'd complete it in around two and a half hours. So, I've got another roughly 6 months to prepare for this marathon and I have no doubt that is plenty of time. My goal is to run the entire 26.2 in 4 hours flat.
Now, Based on my research - the likelihood of selection into the New York City Marathon may be greatly reduced this year as a result of last year's cancellation and, thus, all the more guaranteed runners and fewer slots for non-guaranteed selection. My backstop would be running the Apalachicola "Running For The Bay" Marathon on October 20, 2013. This is a qualifying Marathon for theBoston Marathon, so maybe if I do well enough - Boston could be on the horizon. Anyway, selection for NYC is 5/29/13 - so, I'll know soon enough. At any rate, the show will go on - God willing..
There are a couple of reasons why I've decided I need to do this. I've wanted to run this marathon since living in New York for nearly five years (2001 - 2005) and really becoming a runner up there at the time. I kind of let go of that and lost interest in my running after moving home, falling in love and building a family. Well, I've rededicated myself to my fitness and, more importantly, I have a cause that I truly believe in and intend to dedicate myself toward the fight for a cure.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare medical condition affecting about 1 in 131,000 people, and occurs equally in males, females and all ethnic groups. People with FA can have a variety of health issues including shortness, dark and light areas of skin, abnormalities of the arms and hands, kidney problems, heart defects, hearing problems and others. Some people with FA have no physical findings, but nearly all people will have a decline in their blood counts over time, eventually leading to bone marrow failure. While the average life expectancy for a patient with FA is 29 years, an increasing number of patients are living into their 30s and beyond. Until recently, the most common reason for shortened survival was due to marrow failure. When the marrow fails, it no longer makes the needed numbers of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (increasing the risk of infection) and platelets (increasing the risk of bleeding). In some cases, patients developed leukemia or other cancer. Today, a bone marrow transplant is the only treatment of bone marrow failure and leukemia. While bone marrow transplant is risky, discoveries at the University of Minnesota have markedly improved survival for this specific disease. In 1995, only 1 out of every 7 patients with FA survived an unrelated donor transplant; today, 6 out of every 7 are expected to survive.
My wife's nephew, Ethan Fisher, is currently afflicted with Fanconi Anemia. I have known Ethan since December 2007, and let me tell you what, that boy is something else. He is truly an inspiration to me. Ethan served in our wedding as the ring-bearer ("ringer" as he referred to himself!) in July 2010. He and his brother, Trey, have held a special place in my heart since the day I met them. Since then, I've been blessed with two sons of my own, George and Sam, and - as all parents do - I have learned about true love and, more importantly, true fear - the fear of any suffering that may befall one my boys.
I hope that through the ongoing research into finding a cure for FA at the University of Minnesota, we can eliminate the fear of FA from parents hearts forever.
Unfortunately for our family, in the Spring of 2011, we learned that little Ethan had been diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia. There is currently not a cure for Fanconi Anemia but guided with the leadership provided by Candi Fisher - Ethan's mother and my wife's step-sister, we have resolved to fight until a cure is found.
This is my way of aiding in that fight. I hope to raise and donate at least $3,000 (I really want to get to $5,000 so bad!!) to the Kidz1stFund (www.kidz1stfund.com). Kidz1st is a fund that Candi set up to support research at the University of Minnesota, where they are leading the charge in the fight against Fanconi.
Please join me in this fight, so that you too can say - "I Fight Fanconi!"
We can make a difference!