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Teams and Walkers
We are at it again!
My daughter Kim and I are once again running for a cause this January at Walt Disney World during Marathon Weekend from January 9th to 11th, 2020. This year we will actually be doing the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, which we have labeled the Happy Challenge, totaling 22.4 miles over the three consecutive mornings. Kim and I have been doing these runs since 2013 for causes near and dear to our family and friends. We have run to raise money or awareness for Scleroderma, Diabetes, Breast Cancer, Drug Addiction and Organ Transplant Registration over the years. All of these causes were chosen as a result of our family or dear friends having their lives impacted greatly by one or more of the charities mentioned. Happily the other two years we ran just for fun!
Sadly this year we have another cause to run for and we are in need of your support. Late last December, I lost a close friend and coworker to a long lasting battle with Multiple Myeloma. Geoff McLaughlin battled this illness for almost 15 years after his diagnosis. He fought in every way possible using a wide array of conventional and experimental treatments and took control of his battle by engaging with numerous doctors as the illness progressed. He was active in his treatment and questioned each and every directive from the medical community. I personally marveled at how he questioned the status quo and worked with his doctors every step of the way. Whatever the reason, Geoff far outlived his original prognosis but was still taken far too soon.
“Outlived” doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word to describe how he lived. He not only continued his life but he continued to enjoy and extend his mission. Surviving with and managing the symptoms of this disease for 15 years is one thing, but for Geoff it was moving forward. He continued to do those things that he needed to do. He was active in his children’s lives both in good and bad times and saw them through a relocation, a marriage and a college graduation. He remained close with their Mother in what appeared to be a united front with the children. A sailor from way back, he purchased his dream boat, a forty-footer named The Corazon. After moving it to Lake Michigan from its former home in San Diego, he later moved her back to Rhode Island to sail in his old familiar stomping grounds of New England. He taught himself to play guitar and became a collector of over 20 custom-made instruments. He had a vintage motorcycle along with a newer production bike that came to market in 2014. He also fell in love again to a wonderful women in a relationship that was only long-distance in terms of physical locations. Sadly, he was taken long before their story could complete itself.
His courage throughout his battle was impressive to witness. He never really complained about the constant pain and never lost his wit, his sarcasm or love of all those things important to him and his family.
Multiple Myeloma is considered the most prevalent type of blood cancers. It affects each patient differently and has a wide range of symptoms. In Geoff’s case it was discovered after a simple home chore resulted in a broken bone in his back. The cancer had caused a weakening of the bone structure as a result of attacking bone marrow and over time did more and more damage. The pain had to be excruciating. If you read anything about Multiple Myeloma it always speaks to the damage that the treatments cause on the body. We lost Geoff as a result of a sudden and unexpected heart attack but this should not overshadow his fight with Multiple Myeloma.
We know you have been overwhelmingly generous to our causes over the years and we thank you in advance for your support on this one as well.
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