It’s hard to describe my feelings for my brothers. I love them very much. My older brother has such a big heart, he’s humble, a great father, husband and son. He fights hard for his family. I always looked up to him. Over the years, I’ve seen him overcome unbeatable odds. I'm convinced you can judge someone's character pretty precisely by the sound and authenticity of one’s laugh and his is ridiculously infectious. Mt. Rainier’s magic wooed him to the Northwest, now he lives on an island near her, surrounded by whales swimming happily around him, with his handsome son, Luke, and his beautiful and adventurous wife, Therese.
About a year ago he was diagnosed with amyloidosis. I typed that last word right but I still can’t pronounce it. Whatever scientist discovered this rare disease is a genius, but he gets an “F” for naming weird ailments. He should have simply named it “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Regardless of what word slips out of your mouth trying to say it, you should know it’s rare and very serious. Only 4,000 people get this thing per year in the U.S. and it can be fatal. This bizzare plague occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein that is produced in your bone marrow and can be deposited in any tissue or organ.
The dude needs to get his bone marrow replaced. I’m no doctor, but I remember my bones expanding through growth spurts as a kid. I can’t imagine the pain this will cause. He’ll need to rebuild his white blood cells. The chance of living a long healthy life after surgey is small, as my fingers slowly push the buttons to write the first 11 words of this sentence.
I want to raise awareness of this confusing disease so I’m doing a few things. I’m running in the Pittsburgh Marathon on behalf of the cause Amyloidosis Foundation. My old bones got nothing on what his will have to deal with. If you could be so kind to go to donate a little, anything to support the brilliant doctors and scientists trying to cure this thing.
I’m also selling merch, proceeds that will be donated as well. The term “Big Dog Tough” is fitting. It’s a call for motivation, for him and others who not only find the struggle of recovery as a source of inspiration but also see it as a personal journey. Bob calls everyone “Big Dog” an endearing term for those he cares about -- a statement I love to hear everytime we connect. The word “Tough” is obvious, but it’s who he is, one tough dude. As a mid-life crisis he decided to go back into lifting weights as a powerlifter, resurrecting his pumpin’ iron, stash, Pert-Plus mullet energy he had as a teen and twenties.
The whale makes sense. Seattle, they call home. They are strong and mighty -- symbolize peaceful strength, physical and emotional healing and the importance of family. Something that embodies him in so many ways.
No pressure, but if you can give or buy please do. I sincerely thank you.