Running in memory of Stever Rider
Apr 20, 2009 by Brian Gist
Racing to Save Lives
I never thought I'd be the guy emailing friends to raise money for some run for some cause. I also never saw myself as someone who would join the anonymous bone marrow registry, or even sign up to be an organ donor.
All of that changed last summer.
Last summer, my best friend, Steve(r) (on the right) was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Syndrome. During the very rapid treatment and acceleration of this disease, I learned more than I ever thought I would about Leukemia, blast cells, stem cells, cell counts, etc. It eventually progressed to become acute myeloid leukemia.
In January, Stever's had his bone marrow transplant. His recovery started stronger than anyone expected. He saw strong blood cell counts inside of 40 days. He had limited GVHD, and the transplant was considered a success. At day 100 (the threshold for make-or-break), he was a model patient; a success story.
After 120 days, things took a suddenly took a turn for the worse. His counts plummeted. After 5 days, the specialist at SCCA determined the transplant has failed and rushed to schedule a re-transplant. Within two days, he fell ill - and 7 hours after being rushed to the hospital for a suddenly appearing illness, Stever succumbed to the complications associated with his leukemia. Stever passed away on June 5, 2009 - one year from the day he received his diagnosis.
Stever was one of the kindest, most positive human beings that have ever graced this planet. Never at any point through his treatments did Stever ever show a moment of negative energy, and he faced each day filled with energy and positive outlook. He fought to the very last minute, and he was a role model for anyone facing adversity.
Over 130,000 are diagnosed with Leukemia, Lymphoma, or other blood cancers each year. Supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) helps provide funding for research and new treatments.
Here's the skinny. I need money. UPDATE: I'm now trying to raise $2300 so I qualify for both the Rock & Roll 1/2 AND the Chicago Marathon. (This means I have to work my butt off). UPDATE TWO: I now have qualified for both marathons. The new goal of $3000 (if made) will make me run the full marathon in 4'30" (instead of the 5'00" i was planning). If we hit $3500 then I'll run in 4'00".
How can you help? Cash cash dolla dolla bill. Send me $5. Send me $50. Whatever you can spare. No donation is too small. (your employer probably makes matching donations. Email your HR person). (ed: Wonder why it is that titanium is greater than platinum)
If you have any questions, please email me.
For more information about Leukemia and other blood cancers, please visit the LLS website.
For more information about the Rock & Roll 1/2 - look here.
For more information about the Chicago Marathon -look here.
For more information on Stever and his condition, and his amazing experience , recovery, and sudden passing, please visit his blog. Its surprisingly uplifting,
Last - but not least. Please, please, please consider joining the Bone Marrow Registry. Anonymous donors save thousands of lives a year, but there aren't nearly enough to match all of the Leukemia patients that are in need. Please.