Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding a Cure!

1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer this year—More than 32,000men will die from this disease this year alone.

As you can see from my blog, on May 29th, 2008 I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at age 41. It has been an incredible journey, but after 3+ years I am cancer free! Because I am so blessed I want to make a difference in the lives of others affected by this disease and those who need education about the importance of proactive screening. It’s my mission to continue raising awareness and funds to find a cure for this disease. It’s also an honor to be a part of Team Winter to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Prostate Cancer through the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

On November 6th, I will be running in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon to help in the fight against this disease. I have chosen another marathon because that's what it will take to win the battle against Prostate Cancer! The team at the Prostate Cancer Foundation runs a marathon everyday to try and find a cure and I want to join them in their quest.

I am deep into my training for this event and am inspired by the support you have shown me in the past and would appreciate your support once again as I run 26.2 miles for a cure. Thank you for supporting me in my journey and thank you for supporting the Prostate Cancer Foundation with your kind and generous (tax deductable) donation. Together we can make a difference in this world and look forward to carrying you on my shoulders to the finish line!

Click the link below (or cut and paste into your browser) to make a donation:
God Bless you ALL!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New York City Marathon

Just wanted to give a quick progress report. I went to the doctor last week for my annual physical and ALL is good! I have lost 16lbs since March, blood pressure/pulse rate was great and doctor gave me clearance to run in the NYC Marathon!!

There are only 60 days left to the Marathon and my training is right on schedule. With my pre-race plan, I have been training for 17 weeks and have a little over 8 weeks left. I feel great and am really enjoying the process.

LOOKOUT NYC, I am so blessed!

Friday, May 27, 2011

3 Years Later...Life is a blessing!

I am only a few days from my 3 year anniversary of my diagnosis of PC Cancer and want to share my progress with everyone. As you read in my last post, I ran a marathon in January and continue to run and exercise to help me stay in shape. I will also be running in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon in November. I am so exited about this race, it will be epic!

Just 3 years ago, my life seemed like it was over. It was still the darkest day in my life to hear those words, you have cancer. You don't know how to act or what to say when you find out, you feel trapped and uncertainty of your future and you think about your family and how important it is to love on them everyday. I thank God for my faith during that time. I knew God was still in control which comforted me. You don't always understand why bad things happen, but knowing him allows you to know that everything will be okay.

So you ask, how are you 3 years later? I can honestly answer that I am doing very well and am in the best shape of my life. I have very little side effects from the surgery, my last PSA a few months ago was untraceable and I am a 3 year survivor! My incontinence is virtually healed, only very slight leakage when running long distances, and the ED is much better and am happy with the outcome. I am 34lbs lighter than 3 years ago and have completed 22 endurance races in that timeframe.

I feel very blessed to have caught my cancer early and thankful for all the positive things that have happened to change my life for the better. I know it's not always the same outcome for others and I continue to pray for you during your journey. I promise to continue to use my platform to educate others, promote awareness for proactive screening and raise money for research.

Life is so short, love your family and friends everyday, bless others and Dream BIG! Don't wait until tomorrow to do the things you have always dreamed about for tomorrow may never come.

I dedicate this post to my son Tyler and my wife of 20 years, Peggy, they are the Loves of my life!

God Bless!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marathon Man

It's hard to believe that I just started running 2 years ago and now on January 9th, 2011 I completed the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, FL. I committed early and trained 5 months for the marathon, however it was far from easy. Since this was my first marathon and it was Disney, I planned on enjoying myself and not worry about a time goal. I am so glad I had that I had this attitude for this race because it was a very long day.

It was in the 40's on race morning and excitement was in the air. It was magical and I couldn't wait to take on the challenge. After the gun went off I set out on my journey with confidence. I was running my goal pace and feeling strong through the first 12 miles. I kept telling myself, take one mile at a time and I was executing my race plan to perfection. That is until 12.5 miles into the race, adversity struck.

I was almost at the half marathon split and I got a leg cramp in my left hamstring. I had to stop and stretch it out for a few minutes and then continued on. I made it to 13 miles and another cramp hit. I stopped at the medical tent and had the staff stretch my leg out and after a few minutes I was on my way. The cramps continued the next 5 miles, and they were now in both legs. It was so painful at times and I was becoming frustrated. Then as the race moved on I became worried that I wasn't going to finish. Every time I would go up a hill the cramps would return and I would continue to battle them the remainder of the race.

At mile 19 I developed a very sharp pain in my right knee. As I am standing on the side of the road stretching out cramps in both legs I could barely stand on my right leg because of my knee. At this point God stepped in and sent an angel to help me get past this point. A young lady was walking by with a large bag of ice wrapped on her right knee looked at me bent over on the side of the road and said, "come on, come on, let's go, right now!" I did not even flinch and got up and started walking with her. She was from Connecticut and was really worried about her knee. We encouraged each other and decided to stop on the medical tent at mile 20 to get our knees wrapped. I never saw her again, but I credit her with helping me get through a critical part of the race and pray that she made it to the finish.

I only had 6.2 miles left, but was now walking and trying to run with cramps in both legs and a tightly wrapped right knee that was hurting. I even got cramps under the knee wrapping at some points. At this point the race became about surviving mile to mile. I would jog and walk as fast as I could and then when I couldn't bear the cramps I would stop and try and stretch. I made it to the medical tent at mile 22 and had severe cramps at this point. The staff laid me on a flat lounge chair and was stretching my leg and if I moved the wrong way my other leg would start and one time I fell off the chair because the pain caused by both charlie horses was so severe I couldn't sit still. Once they were under control I drank 2 full bottles of powerade and kept going.

At this point I took out my phone and texted my wife and son and told them I was on trouble and would not be at the finish line near the time I had estimated. They began to text me encouraging words and it helped so much. I also had an inspiration cloth that I tied to my race belt that had names of family and friends affected by cancer and I did not want to let them down. At times I would hold that cloth and pray for strength to finish. Along the way it was encouraging to run/jog/walk/limp through the Disney parks as by standers would call my name and yell encouraging words. One guy even said to me that he was at this point last year and he knew how I felt and he knew I could make it.

I kept on battling the cramps and was in a fight to finish one mile at a time. I was worried about being caught by the end of the race and being taken off the course and I would muster all I had in my to keep moving as fast as possible. When I got to mile 25 I could envision crossing the finish line and having that medal placed around my neck. When I got to 25.5 miles I got really sever cramps in both legs and I had to stop and keep stretching as precious time passed by. I was almost at the breaking point but I took a deep breath and walked with cramps twitching in both legs.

I was so relieved when I made it to mile 26. That was a beautiful sign and I felt tears welling up in my eyes because the battle was almost won. I reached deep down inside and decided to run out the final .2 miles with cramps in all my leg muscles in both legs. When I crossed the finish line all the pain was gone in an instant. I could barely walk, but I had won the battle and beat the odds. Not one time during the race did I ever think about giving up! Out of the 18,000 people that had started only 13,500 finished and I was in that finishing group. It was so great to be reunited with Peggy and Tyler as they so patiently waited for me at the finish, my biggest cheerleaders in life there celebrating this accomplishment with me.

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be here to attempt a marathon and the strength to finish. Facing prostate cancer 2.5 years ago was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but it gave me the strength and mental toughness I needed to finish this fight. I am now a Marathon man!

Thank you for all your support during my training and thank you for helping me raise $2,595 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation through Team Winter and Athletes for a Cure.

Life is an incredible journey, don't wait until life happens, go make it happen for you!

God Bless You!