JOIN THE FUN AND GET A SHAVE - THE KID'S WILL LOVE YA FOR IT

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

CHILDHOOD CANCER & NEUROBLASTOMA FACTS

Leukemia - Leukemias are the most common childhood cancers. They account for about 33% of all childhood cancers. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) are the most common types of leukemia in children.

Brain and nervous system cancers - Brain and other nervous system cancers are the second most common cancers in children, making up about 21% of childhood cancers.

Neuroblastoma - Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that starts in certain types of nerve cells found in a developing embryo or fetus. This type of cancer occurs in infants and young children. It is most often found during the first year of life. It is rarely found in children older than 10. This tumor can start anywhere but usually occurs in the belly (abdomen) and is noticed as swelling. It can also cause bone pain and fever. It accounts for about 7% of childhood cancers.

Wilms tumor - Wilms tumor is a cancer that starts in one, or rarely, both kidneys. It is most often found in children about 3 years old, and is uncommon in children older than age 6.

Lymphomas - Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma (sometimes called Hodgkin disease, Hodgkin's disease, or Hodgkin's lymphoma), are cancers that start in lymph tissues, such as the tonsils, lymph nodes, and thymus.

Rhabdomyosarcoma - Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children.

Retinoblastoma - Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the eye. It is rare, accounting for just under 3% of childhood cancers

Bone cancers - Primary bone cancers (cancers that start in the bones) occur most often in children and adolescents.

Osteosarcoma is uncommon, accounting for almost 3% of all new childhood cancer cases in the United States. It often causes no pain or symptoms until swelling starts, but sometimes there is bone pain that keeps getting worse. .

Ewing sarcoma is a less common primary bone cancer which can cause bone pain. It is mostly found in adolescents. It accounts for a little more than 1% of childhood cancers
.

Neuroblastoma:

• Approximately 500 to 1,000 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States each year.

• Doctors have known about neuroblastoma for approximately 35 years.

• Neuroblastoma is primarily diagnosed in children ages 14 and under, with most cases in children younger than 5 years.

• The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown, and it is more likely to occur in males than females.

• Neuroblastoma is difficult to diagnose in small children, and its progression is often rapid and painful.

• Neuroblastoma accounts for 8 percent of childhood cancer cases, but is responsible for 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths.

• One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.

• Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

• Each child in the U.S. diagnosed with cancer receives approximately one-sixth of the federal research support allocated to each patient afflicted with AIDS. Yet in 2004, 48 new cases of pediatric AIDS were diagnosed vs. more than 12,000 pediatric cancer cases.

• Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die 5 years from the time of diagnosis

• Cancer accounts for the greatest number of disease deaths of children in the United States and kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined

Sources: American Cancer Society, Band of Parents, Texas Oncology Group

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI_2_6x_Children_and_Cancer.asp http://www.bandofparents.org/neuroblastoma.html
http://www.texasoncology.com/about.aspxid=2750&terms=neuroblastoma

C.O.L.E.'s FOUNDATION

C.O.L.E.'s FOUNDATION
Caring Openly, Loving Eternally

In need of prayer, please click picture to go to C.O.L.E.'S

Grandpa John's Prayer for His Little Buddies

I hear no voice, I feel no touch,
I see no glory bright;
But yet I know that God is near,
In darkness as in light.
God watches ever by my side,
And hears my whispered prayer:
A God of love for a little child
Both night and day does care --- Anonymous

Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication

- Our Angels -

Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, Dustin Cobb, Alyssa Chappell, Addison Whipple, Amber Mastey, Katie Krize, Gustavo-Alexis, Kelvin Harper, Maggie Achuff, Kristin Hope, Kahlilla Blyss, Arden Quinn Bucher, Douglas Swift, Max Mikulak, Eliza S, Brandon Loose, Kody Edwards, Brody Hurt, Jay Jay LeBoeuf, Kyah Milne, Nicholas Pagano, Trooper Dante Tareboreli, Carter Wax, Zachary Finestone, Cora McClenahan, Little Roy Gutierrez, Chloe Smith, *Cody Johnson*, Emilio Gravez, Jacob Stovall, Noah Tyler Bell, Shu Qinpet (pet name Xinxin), Jenna Mussolini and Owen Lea, Carson Clark, Juan Santiago Wall, Erik Ludwinski, Layla Grace Marsh, Samuel Thomas Hutchison, Sydney Marie Dudley, Sophie Atay (And Our Big Warrior hero 1st Lt Joseph Helton, USAF - 8 Sept 2009),

-Race Dedication-

  • In Memory of: Samuel Thomas Hutchison, Layla Grace Marsh, Sydney Marie Dudley and Sophie Atay.
  • In Honor of: Jessica Trotter
  • Next Race - TBD
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Gj's Buddies & Angels - Lighting the Way

SAVE THE DATE AND JOIN ME


For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

Circle the Lake for the Cure

Circle the Lake for the Cure
Houghton Lake MI - 36 hours for the Cure

Email Grandpa John

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Never Ending Song, A New Addition to Gj's Family

The Never Ending Angels Song: Monitoring my email over the weekend I received notice of another Angel joining our ever growing Angelic Choir. Such news always saddens my heart. Yet, a calm peace over takes my soul for I know that our newest beautiful Angel Kyah Milne will never again feel pain but only joy as he/she sings melodic melodies to our Creator. Praying for the day when we reunite for eternity, I offer my sincerest and most heart felt condolences to the family of Kyah Milne. My next race will be to honor her memory.

A New Addition to Our Family: Late last week Missus Gj informed me that a co-worker of hers had a beautiful puppy that she had to give away because with rheumatoid arthritis she could no longer care for the baby in an appropriate way. Since I was looking for a running companion I was interested. So, on Saturday we went over to the coworker’s house to see this beautiful animal…I was surprised! Brindle in color, stood a strong, but beautiful little 4 month (?) old female American Pit Bull. Prior to going over to the house I knew that we’d be seeing a pit bull, but I had to do my homework first since I've heard so much bad publicity about these dogs. Well, to make a long story short, what I found to be true was that while these dogs can be animal aggressive, most if not all, pit bull attacks are a result of poor training & caused by human neglect. I further found that this breed of dog is very athletic, and when fully matured looks forward to walking (read running :) 5 to 10 miles daily, an ideal running companion for me to be sure. With that said however, I am not naive. To be a responsible owner of such a fine animal, I will be taking “Babee” to Obedience Classes right having her spayed and given all of her shots. A chore to be sure, but one I look forward to as I have already fallen in love with her and look forward to training her as well – I will be the alpha male in our house…well at least as far as she is concerned I will be, to Missus Gj wellllll that is another matter altogether. :) Belwo are a few pictures of our new Babee, I just think she is so sweet)

Hi! It's me Babee.Yes, I am Cute, Aren't I?
Babee getting Warm after our Walk















"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

Till Later, God Bless,

Gj

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Race tomorrow - Angel's Rainbow Shirt updated.

Our Angel's Rainbow Racing Shirt has been updaed for tomorrow's race, "The Rugged Man 4.8 Trail Run / Walk " Along with Pictures of some of my Little Buddies this is the shirt I'll be wearing. Since it is almost the end of the running season, I'll be retiring this shirt soon, But I will make up a new one for the 2009 Racing series and it will have all of our angels names on it too.

If God is your partner, make your plans BIG!
D.L. Moody
Till Later,
God Bless - Gj

Friday, November 7, 2008

Again, Today I Hear of Another New Angel

Again, Today I Hear of Another New Angel: It always saddens my heart to hear of and report on another of my Little Buddies earning their Angels Wings. Yet, again today I learned that my Little Buddy, unknown to me until today, Jay Jay LeBoeuf is now singing angelic songs of love to our creator. At times, I think I hear the faint melodic refrain of love as the choir joins in welcoming their newest angel, Jay Jay.

As with all of my Little Buddies I make the promise to Jay Jay's family:

"I shall not quit running until the cure is found. If too old or weak to run, I shall ask our Heavenly Father to carry me to the finish line - the cure."

My most heartfelt condolences to the family of Jay Jay; may God’s grace heal the wound of such great loss. – Gj.


"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world.”
Leo F. Buscaglia


All of you are a Blessing to me, You enrich my Life - Thank you - Gj


Rest peacefully in His Arms of Love,

Grandpa John

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Angels to Grace our Memories; Our Other BLOG - Recently Updated: New Fund Raiser Link

New Angels to Grace our Memories: Sadly, this morning I again learned of two new Angels. My heart aches for them and their families. Yet, comfort was mine through the knowledge that they no longer suffer in this earthly body, but are rejoicing at the feet of our Heavenly Father for all eternity. Singing most wonderful songs of love, as the angelic choir welcomes Kody Edwards and Brody Hurt into their midst my heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends May we find comfort in His loving mercy now and for ever as we too shall join them on that glorious day when we are called home (Our Angels Rainbow Racing shirt and Race dedication will be updated with Kody and Brody's names. I will post a picture of it when the ink is dry)

Our Other BLOG - Recently Updated: If you haven't had the opportunity to visit our other Blog, "From the Border to the Bridge - Fighting Childhood Cancer - a 330 mile Running Odyssey" please do so by following this link:

http://fightingchildhoodcancer.blogspot.com/

NEW Fund Raiser Link: Ol' Grandpa John is helping to promote this excellent Fund Raiser Soooooooooo, please click on the Press On Store button (above) to give a gift of fragrant, white, super easy care paper whites and support childhood cancer research at the same time! For each gift purchased, 15% of the price will be donated to fight neuroblastoma. Choose super large, top quality paper white bulbs in a stylish ceramic square to brighten the window sills and desks of your friends,family or coworkers and take this opportunity to support important cancer research work. Just type PATRICK into the Discount Code/Special Offers field as you checkout and 15% of your gift order value will be donated to Press On: The Patrick R. Chance Fund for Neuroblastoma Research.

Well Folks, it's time to call it a night as Missus Gj requested that I join her for a cup of bed time tea. So till later, remember this:

I Love Each and Everyone of You for You just being You.

Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.
Leo Buscaglia


God Bless, Rest peacefully in His Arms

Till Later,

Gj

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Half marathon Report...long

Since the half marathon report is so long I'll catch you all up on the other events of the day within the next few days...Please enjoy the read.

The Report:

It’s 3am race day and I am fully awake and being ever so quiet so as not to waken up Missus Gj. It’s a wonder that we got any sleep at all considering the noise outside our hotel room window. (And noise it had to be since we were on the 15th floor) Surely it had nothing to do with the fact that a RAVE night club was right across the street and all patrons ere being frisked before entry. Yes we could see that from our window (ahh, security at its finest. Every so slowly time marched on.

After showering and eating my pre-race ritual meal, it was approaching 5:30am; time to put the coffee on for Missus Gj. As the aroma of the coffee filled the room, Missus Gj’s nose twitched once or twice and like a bolt of lightning she was out of bed, had her first cup of coffee, showered, ate a light snack and off we were to the race: Time 6:20am.

Going to elevator we again found it to be out of order (during our stay, 3 out of 4 elevator banks were down for repair, save once when 2 banks were working) geesh, just what we needed, not only was I going to run the half, but I was also going to walk 15 flights of stairs down to the lobby, not to mention the toll this had on Missus Gj, who by the way, is not a runner. Down the stair we walked….

Reaching the lobby we noticed that about 30 or 40 runners were milling around waiting to depart to the race. Since we are slow walkers, Missus and I left immediately for the starting line which was about 4 blocks away (the race director strongly suggested that we be in or corrals by 6:30am). Getting closer to the starting line we noticed that thousands of runners and spectators were already there (yes, thousands) lining the beginning of the course. Some runners had already made it to their respective corals; whereas after a quick kiss, I left Missus Gj at the corner of Michigan and Washington Streets. I still had to walk a couple of blocks to find my coral lettered P. Yes, one of the blessings in being slow is being placed way to the back of the pack.

I am not too sure about the number of people in our coral, but I sure was glad to see that many of us were in about the 10 minute pace range or so…fast enough to have fun but not so fast where we’d be called speedy by any stretch of the imagination. Suddenly the loud speakers blared bringing all runners to a quiet whisper. The MC announced that the Canadian national anthem was to begin followed by the Star Spangled Banner…all was quite till the end…I must say both anthems were sung beautifully, ours (the American) by “The Shades of Blue” (Oh How Happy you Have Made Me). The time had arrived….

First it was the special runners, those in wheeled bicycles, then the marathoner runners and walkers. Finally it was our turn, us half marathoners. Runners.. Ready...Set...Go... Time: 7:15 we were off. Well, not really since there were a few thousand of us, it took several minutes for the group to start moving. About two minutes later we moved a few feet, then a few more; off and running the crowd began its 13.1 mile journey..

Trying to gain momentum and achieve pace was almost impossible. As we moved down Michigan Ave, volunteers were lining the street warning us of cars, yes cars, still parked on the street. And since we had only the south side lanes, thing became quite tight every now and then. In fact I tried to gain momentum by running on the sidewalk, only to trip myself on a curb I did not see as I crossed the road. Ouch, my knees, or should I say pride. But, up I jumped and continued on. Turning left on Rosa Parks we headed south to Fort Street where we’d turn right again and start our journey towards the bridge at about mile 3 or so…that is where the major bottle neck slowed all runners to a crawl. In fact, my pace was reduced to over 16 minutes per mile, less than 4 mph…it was then I realized that my sub 2 hour goal was out the window. So, I did what I intended to do all along; I enjoyed the run and conversed about my Little Buddies to all who would listen.

The sun was just beginning its westward journey as we ran across the Ambassador Bridge. How beautiful Windsor’s skyline is set against a rising sun. It was breath taking, I wanted those few moments to last forever. All too soon however we were in Canada and rounding the bend on the truck exit to to the right. Traveling down this road we were finally on the waterfront edge were we’d be traveling for a few miles prior to entering the Windsor Tunnel to head back to the good Ol’ USA via the marathons world only International underground mile. I can’t thank the folks of Windsor enough. Great aid stations with friendly and smiling volunteers…the Canadians really came out in force to cheer us runners on. Truly this is an International event worth running.

As we entered the tunnel, my body began to give me little signs that I was going to be in for a battle, a small one, but a battle nonetheless. Shortness of breath, thanks to over 40 years of smoking, caused my body to scream for more oxygen. I did slow down just a tad in response, but I continued on running. I would not quit. As much as I loved the idea of an underwater mile, my body was demanding fresh air and a cool breeze How much further? It was the longest mile of my life. Finally however we exited the other side (Ahh! Blessed Fresh Air) where a few dozen border guards kept informing us runners to make sure our bib numbers were visible. Up and out of the tunnel we ran and turned left on Jefferson Ave heading straight toward Cobo and the Joe Lewis Arena, where we then turned left and headed toward the river front again by taking a sweeping ramp around and down to the right. I saw a sign were it said that we were at kilometer 15 of the race, or just a little over 9 miles. Only 4 miles to go.
Making a few more turns we ran a short distance through historical Cork town. Crowd support was wonderful here too and I think I saw Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (Heat Wave) performing somewhere along here too. Oh how their music brings back memories of a youth so long ago. Turning left on Michigan Ave we were getting close to the final stretch; only about two miles to go. Here the course started to open up. Far too late for a slow poke such as myself, but I was having the run of my life, or should I say time of my life (So many asked about my Little Buddies and my 330 mile run next year). Suddenly we were where it all began.
Turning left we headed north on Washington Blvd toward Grand Circus Park where we’d make a right turn go one block and turn right again and head south on Woodward to the Finish line just past State St. Weird, I thought I heard someone call my name. Who would know me here? Hey Grandpa John, is that you? Looking around I noticed that another runner was calling my name. She told me her name was Alex (forgive me if I misspelled your name. I am ashamed to say that you were speaking in my left ear which is about 80% deaf). She too was running to the memory of our Special Friend Angel Mitchell Butler and that if Mitch had run the half he would have finished a half hour ago. She also told me that she had heard that I was running from the Border to the Bridge next and that she would monitor my progress. With that she was off like speeding lightning.

As we turned south towards the finish, I knew the race was almost over…..picking up speed I so wanted to have a good finishing kick, but that wasn’t to be. A runner by my side was bent over and appeared to be getting ready to lose her stomach. I slowed to a crawl and asked if she was ok? T o that she struggled to say yes, but just a little sick to her stomach. I walked a few feet with her as she regained her composure. Once I was sure she was o.k., I was off and only had a half block to go. Before I knew it, I sped across the finish line hands raised high into the air. Victory will be ours. Childhood Cancer will be beat! My time: 2:06:35…..not bad, not too bad at all.

Post Script: Missus Gj was supposed to meet me at the finish line. I looked and could not find her anywhere. Ultimately, it took us over 5 hours to find each other….where? At our hotel of course.. I even had the front desk called the police to make certain my sweetie wasn’t in the hospital somewhere or worse…talk about crossed lines of communication..LoL
Pictures:
Sun set from our hotel window:

Gj in Running gear:



















The Runners at the Start













Michigan's Governor Granholm - She's quite the Runner from what I hear..and fast too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Angels Rainbow shirt updated; Promotion of Next Year’s 330 Mile Run

Angels Rainbow shirt updated: Finally had a chance to add Eliza’s and Brandon’s name to our Angels Rainbow shirt. As can be seen, our 2008 Angel’s Rainbow shirt is showing some wear, but not too bad considering that it’s been through 8 maybe 9 or so races this season ranging from 5K’s up to and through our extreme 50K Ultra marathon, which was more akin to a Ranger’s qualification course (well that might be just a little exaggeration, but not by much). Now it stands ready to be worn again for the onslaught of the 13.1 miles this Sunday.

Promotion of next Year’s 330 mile Run: Below is a picture of the back of our Angel’s Rainbow shirt with a sign promoting our next year’s run. What is really exciting is that a running bud of mine made several similar signs made up and has been asking coworkers and friends to wear one as they run either the half or full marathon. At last count I think Lisa handed out 12 or so signs, and I made up and additional 40 signs and will be handing them out to any runner willing to wear one. I also will be handing out the promotional cards I had made up.
As soon as I find out the names of all the runners promoting our cause, I add them to a new listing which I will call “Our Little Buddies Friends” or something like that.

Well, I am getting ready for Sunday's run, so I will close for now with these words:
Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Ronald E. Osbornun
God Bless,
Gj


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Angel –Brandon Loose, A Special Friend Angel – Mitchell Butler, Another Step Closer to the 330 Mile Run

Another Angel - At times, when I run I swear I hear the NB Angels calling my name and cheering me on to run just a little faster and just a little further. Today was no different except the Angelic c choir sang a sweet melodic refrain of love as a welcome to Brandon Loose as he joined the heavenly hosts…forever pain free and sitting by our creators feet..Brandon, we patiently wait our turn to join you in heaven where together will sing songs of praise for eternity….My condolences to the family and friends of Brandon…I shall continue to run until the cure is found or my feet too tired to carry me, then I’ll ask my heavenly father to carry to the finish line: “The Cure.” That is my promise, I shall keep it!

A Special Friend Angel – Mitchell Butler: As I ran my 5 mile training run tonight I came across a memorial built on the side of the road where several young men and a young lady with heads hung low were paying tribute, to what I was to find out, a very special friend killed in a most tragic accident. I won’t’ go into detail but suffice to say they were wounded to the quick. I can’t, as with our NB Angels, even fathom the pain felt by the family. As I stood there also paying tribute to Mitchell, I told them who I was and why I run. I promised them that I would also run the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon in Mitchell’s memory…So I shall!

I know the depth of love of my NB family and how they all too knowingly understand the pain of loss, and hopefully in some small way the love I have for them by running in honor and memory of their children, my "Little Buddies." My condolences to the family, friends and all at Redford Union High School whose lives were touched by this fine young man, Mitchell Butler.

Another Step Closer to the 330 Mile Run –Today I received the “business cards” (if you want to call them that-see Picture below) that advertise the “From the Border to the Bridge Journey Run” I’ll be running next May. Along with wearing my Angel’s Rainbow shirt and my Little Buddies pictures, I will be handing them out at the upcoming Detroit Free Press Marathon/ Half Marathon October 19, 2008).

Hopefully, this will help raise awareness to a new level (If you have visited the blog site for the run: www. fightingchildhoodcancer.blogspot.com - please forgive me as I am way behind in updating it. I will update it in a few days- ).

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

God Bless & Rest Peacefully in His Arms

Grandpa John

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Angel Reminded Me

At 5am, the air was refreshingly cool and the skies very clear as I began my morning’s training run. Stating out from home, I wound my way down the road to Lola Park, which I find very enjoyable to run since it borders the Rouge river flood basin. Here and there every so often my headlamp would catch the glimmer of some small (or not so small) animal scurrying about in attempt to hide from the light my lamp provided. I could never completely make out who the visitor was. I do know that on previous runs I had seen squirrels (way too early), skunks (hmm hope not), possums, raccoons, and every so often a ground hog. I felt overwhelmed with thanksgiving knowing God has given me so much. I thanked him as I ran on with prayer stirring in my heart; all too soon I had reached the half way point, time to turn around.

As I turned to begin the journey home, I noticed that a fog started to settle in the low lying area giving a very eerie glow and twinkle to the few lights bathing the area. The fog continued to thicken, yet the twinkling lights were become brighter, not dimmer. What’s happening? I wondered. Another strange event is that I thought I heard someone speaking to me. Looking around I saw no one. Yet the voice continued, but I couldn’t make out what was being said…Until I heard, “Hey Grandpa John did you forget about me? Before I could ask, forget about whom, my question was answered:

“It’s me, Eliza S. I’m an angel now, but I didn’t see my name listed on our “Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication” list. You didn’t forget me, did you?”

Oh my, I must quit procrastinating I thought …

“No Eliza, I didn’t forget about you, I never could. Forgive me, I have no excuse. I’ll add your name as soon as I get home. I’ll tell all about our meeting and just how special you are and how you are singing gloriously sweet melodies to our creator and that you’re patiently waiting for us to join you as you are loving held in God’s hand.”

“I knew you didn’t forget me GJ, I just had to remind you,” was Eliza’s reply.

Oh, the twinkling lights...that easy. The twinkling lights were all of the other Angels trying to get my attention.

My condolences to Eliza’s family, may God comfort & bless them as they too wait patiently for that glorious day when we are all reunited in love.

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all"
.....Dale Carnegie


God Bless, Till Later….

Grandpa John.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spur of the Moment - St Val's Fun Run, The Big Adventure & Next Race

Spur of the Moment -St Val's Fun Run: Sunday’s St. Valentines church “5K Fun Run and Walk” was a spur of the moment decision Yet, one I gladly made since it gave me another opportunity to spread the word about my “Little Buddies,” which I freely did to all who would listen. In fact many folks asked about the pictures around my neck If I were to guess the total number of runners and walkers, I would have to say that about 190 folks participated in this fun filled event made even more beautiful since Sunday’s weather was made for running, about 70 degrees with a cool breeze blowing out of the west. The starting time was 3pm or there abouts. Nothing was left to chance nor were “things” overly stuffy and laden with rules and regulations. In fact, the starting time was delayed a few minutes to allow for runners running a little late (pardon the pun). At 3:10 the color guard marched up to the starting line and as the St Val’s choir sang our national anthem (Although most were quiet, it still surprised me that so many didn’t know that they should have placed their right hand over the heart during the singing of our nations song – you do know the proper practice don’t you?) A cheer went up as the choir finished singing. The run was about to begin.
Sirens blaring and horns a tooting, we runners took off. Since I waddle more than run I was at the back of the pack. Yet, I found myself overtaking many runners, only to see the reason why- stretching across the street were about 15 or 20 walkers walking abreast and beside them were several youngsters pedaling their bicycles, some still were using training wheels. How wonderful to see so many families and children enjoying each other so much; smiles and giggles wafted through the air. As we turned the first corner we runners were able to side step the walkers and shoot for the gold, which surely would be ours for the taking at the finish line.

Ever so slowly the pace and tempo of the run increased. But what is this I am hearing? Clomp, Clomp, Clomp! I turn my head slightly to look and what do I see a youngster of all about 8 or 9 running totally flat footed and over taking me like I was standing still. How could this be? I do not know. Yet I continued on and making the first mile in a little over 8 minutes I knew this would be a good race…until I turned the corner on 5 mile road there walking was Clomp Clomp…I asked if he was ok..He indicated that he was fine but he had a side stitch…ouch…haven’t had one for years but I remember them well...So, I slowed to a walk and asked his name. It was Andy. Seeing the picture hanging around my neck Andy asked who they were. So I told him all about my little buddies and why I run and I asked “Andy would you like to wear one of these pictures? My Little Buddies always give me help when I am having trouble with my run. Andy replied “sure.” So I pinned a picture on Andy’s shirt and true enough, my our little angels must have gave him strength as he was off like lightening. In fact, Andy started running so fast that I didn’t catch up to him for about a mile or so and that was only about a half a mile from the finish line…

As I turned what was to be the last corner in the race I saw the finish line about 400 meters up ahead…turning up the steam I let no one pass me as I kicked it in gear and pushed my lungs to their limited capacity crossing the finish line in 27:27. Surely not as fast as I could, but it was a fun run. Wasn’t it?

The Big Adventure: Mark your calendars now folks OL’ Gj will be doing the journey run next May - Exact date still TBD.

Here is the link to the blog site (needs to be up dated badly) tracking the details of this adventure which will be called “From the Border to the Bridge – Fighting Neuroblastoma”

http://fightingchildhoodcancer.blogspot.com/


Next Race: Oct 19, 2008 - The Detroit Free Press Half Marathon or Oh, how I love distance
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"I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you."
Roy Croft
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I love each of you
Till Later - God Bless,
Grandpa John

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mini-Race Report or Better Late than Never.

Run Statics:
50K – 31.0685 Miles
Elevation Gain over 50K: 9, 572 ft
Elevation Loss over 50K: 9,570 ft
Avg. pace: 16.03 (You had to be there to believe it )
Avg. Speed: 3.7 mph

Max Speed: 11.7 mph

Age Group Standings: 5th of 7 runners
Overall Standings: 112 out of 133
Total Time: 8:49:59.73 – Now that’s a Butt Kickin slow Whew!!!!

Temperatures were around 50 degrees race day morning. Not wanting to be late, Missus Gj and I headed out from our hotel room around 5am. The drive took twenty minutes. Parking attendants directed us to our parking spot, about 400 meters from the stat/finish line. This was necessary since the Relay teams had to use chase vehicles to meet the respective team runners at the various relay points; their race begin their race at 8am

Although we arrived early there where many runners already readying themselves for the arduous journey ahead (and that is not an understatement). I began to double check, no make that triple check my equipment: My Buddies pictures - check (Please note that I did not carry them around my neck due to the many hazards I would encounter on this run – Missus Gj held them for me at the finish line – she did show them off for all to see), Hydration pack – check, power bars & gels -check, trail shoes – check, drop bag – check, safari hat – check, all is ready
Suddenly, the race director called out “All you Krazy ultra runners to the starting line now, the racer starts in 5 minutes”. All too soon, the starting time (6:15am) was upon us; head lamps were going to be needed to see the trail for the first leg or so of the race. Runners Set...Go, we were off…
The runner’s headlamps made it look like hundreds of fire flies were lighting the trail as we set out. Since the starting line was out in the open at the beach it initially didn’t seem too dark until about a quarter mile later when we entered the foreboding wooded trail, made more for a goat than a human to be sure. At first we runners were bunched up as we snaked our way down the winding trail, looking ahead you could see the flickering of the headlights as the runners weaved in, out and down the darken path. As we proceeded, the pace smoothed out, our rhythms found. For safety reasons none of the runners attempted to pass; besides it was still way too early in the race to do else wise. The sun started to crest over the tress as we neared the end of this part of the race; it was a beautiful sunrise. In fact, I had to stop and marvel at its beauty as we turned down “Monks Rd (running west to east). The orange globe filtered thru a rising fog gave a surreal look to my path forward (it was so beautiful that I thought that maybe this is what heaven is like for my Little Buddies). Appropriately, this section was called the Awakening, 4.75 miles in length and technically would rate a scale of 1 on a 1 to 5 rating with 1 being easiest. That rating would soon be nothing but a pleasant memory living within a horrible reality.

The next several sections of the ultra were technically more challenging and would be worthy of rating of anywhere from a 3 to 5. Most time trails were nonexistent as we blazed our way through poison ivy patches, nettle bushes, around fall tree and 3 knee high streams with muck and mud abounding - It was heaven. As I started to land after jumping a hefty tree blocking the trail, my left calf felt like a hammer hit it. Looking down I didn’t notice any blood so I continued on… this was somewhere around mile 9 ….I should have looked first since on the far bottom side of the truck was a broken limb just waiting to give me my first and only injury of the race. Only now a week later is the bruising evident….

I could go on and on about how beautiful the weather was last Saturday, how challenging the trails were and much I enjoyed the “Dances with Dirt Ultra” race, but there are not enough words to describe it adequately; it has to be lived, experienced - for through the pain of the 31.0685miles I found life and was able to spread the word about my Little Buddies to many runners….





















Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.-- Brian Tracy.


God Bless Everyone of you...
Till later,


Gj

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tomorrow is the Big Day

I am so excited! Months of training and preparation have prepared me for tomorrow’s big race, the "Dances with Dirt Ultra Marathon". I can’t wait to tell all who are present about my Little Buddies and Angels....Start time 6:15am

I want to take these brief few moments before I head out to remind all as to the reason I run. It’s contained here in this blog. I run to thank God for giving me back my health; I run because I am blest; I run….I run…I run…. To raise awareness of Neuroblastoma and to overcome the tears which come with that dreaded disease; I run to honor all of My Little Buddies, I love each of you very, very much; And I run to honor the memory of those Little Buddies of mine, who fought so valiantly but are now Angels: Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, Dustin Cobb, Alyssa Chappell, Addison Whipple, Amber Mastey, Katie Krize, Gustavo-Alexis, Kelvin Harper, Maggie Achuff, Kristin Hope, Kahlilla Blyss, Arden Quinn Bucher, Douglas Swift, & Max Mikulak.

My “Little Angels” please help Ol’ Gj should I weaken at anytime during the race tomorrow. I’ll do my best for you, and all who are still here, earth bound till that wonderful day when we are reunited in heaven for eternity.

God Bless

Gj

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update to Race Day Angels Rainbow Shirt.

Just a short posting to let you all see the shirt I will be wearing this Saturday for the Dances with Dirt Ultra. It contains the names of all the Angels I've been made aware of since I began this blog back in the April time frame.


Well I have much left to do prior to Saturday mornings race starting time of 6:15am so till later I leave you with this:

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”
Karen Ravn


God Bless, Gj

Monday, September 1, 2008

Newest Angels & My Promise to My Buddies & Their Families

Newest Angels: Since I've begun this journey of mine I am amazed at how quickly our Angelic Choir grows. Arden Quinn Bucher, my little buddy, I was going to run the Dances with Dirt 50K in her honor, now I will dedicate this run to her memory. Joining her are Douglas Swift and Max Mikulak. I did not have the privilege of introducing myself to these fine young men , but I will most definitely added them to our “ Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication” list and will, along with Arden, run the Dance With Dirt Race in their memory too. My prayers and condolences to the families of Arden, Douglas, and Max and May God’s Peace be theirs now and forever.

My Promise to My Buddies & Their Families:

In April when first began this quest, my (our) Angelic Choir had one member to sing us sweet songs of love. Now within the last two days, three new members have joined the host of angels singing sweet songs of freedom. This brings the Angelic Choir to a total membership of 28 Angels; far too many in such a short time span.

Therefore, I reiterate my Promise to all of my Little Buddies and their families:

“I will continue to run for the cause until my legs get too old or tired to run, then I’ll just have to let my Heavenly Father carry me onward in my racing till the cure is found…

Yep! That’s my promise to you, all of you, and I will keep it."

I love each of you with my whole Heart

Grandpa John

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A New Angel Joins The Angelic Host & Race Dedication

Our Newest Angel- Today I received notice that heaven gained its newest angel, most beautiful Kahlilla Blyss join in sweet song pleasing to our ears. May Kahilla's family take comfort knowing that she is forever singing lovely songs to be heard by all of creation. My condolences to Kahailla's family during these most difficult of times.

Race Dedication: On September 6, 2008 I will be running the Dance with Dirt ultra marathon (50K). I will dedicate race to our newest angel,Kahlilla Blyss


Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~C.S. Lewis

Till Later, God Bless

Gj

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Belated Update to Angels’ Listing, Son’s Deployment

Belated Update to Angels’ Listing - Surely as time passes, or so it seems, our Angelic Choir continues growing.

The entire Angelic choir was on hand to welcome into heaven our newest Angels: Alyssa Chappell, Addison Whipple, Amber Mastey, Katie Krize, Gustavo-Alexis, Kelvin Harper, Maggie Achuff and Kristin Hope please sing a sweet refrain most pleasing to our ears. May we receive comfort from the fact that all of you are now pain free & sitting by the feet of our Heaven creator for all eternity. Please save a seat for us as we wait our turn to join you. My condolences and prayers for all of the families during these most difficult of times.

Sons’ Deployment - As I ponder the thought that my son, SRA Raschke (soon to be Tech Sgt) will shortly be deploying, a fear grips my soul, and many “what ifs” enter my mind. Yet, I normally do not live in fear, nor entertain such “what if” thoughts. Therefore, I will do my best not to go there now. However, as an expression of my love for him, I offer to you an open letter to my son Senior Airman Raschke.

Dear Son,

It seems like just yesterday I took you to Ted Nugent’s “Camp for Kids”, you were just 12 years old. How proud I was to see you standing by Ted’s side as you had a bow and arrow shoot off with the Motor City Mad man himself. Do you remember? You scored a “Bulls eye, in the deer silhouette, while Ted shot the outer ring (I may be biased, but to this day I really think he missed). Oh, how I cherish such memories. I guess that is one of the blessings of growing older.

Now as you ready for deployment I wish I had words of advice that would help ease any ill feeling you may have. Well, for once I must admit I don’t, I am speechless, except for this: Rely on your Training and Each Other, Never Quit, Never Under Estimate the enemy, and Do Not Hate them. I say this because that is what makes us so much different than they; if possible in war do all you can to rise to a higher moral plain and protect those whom you have sworn a Holy oath to God to do. Anything else I might be able to say would be inadequate.

However, if God were to grant me one wish it would be that I was still in uniform. I’d love to join you and stand by your side and fight the good fight together as father and son (and maybe in some small way we are). Alas though, the circle of life is almost complete; my son this journey is yours and your teams’ to make. Daniel, you have blest me in so many ways. Please know that you are loved as I know I am.

Son, thank you for your sacrifices and for protecting us from those who would do us harm. I ask God’s Blessings and His protection for you and your brethren daily. I love you.

Dad


"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow."
Dorothy Thompson

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Meeting Some of My Little Buddies, Angels Honor Roll Update, Setting up Camp and Supper & Sleep, & The Race


Meeting some of my Little Buddies - Right after the race on Saturday, Missus Gj & I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet 3 of my little Buddies actually more when you count family :) This was the most wonderful day ever for Ol' Gj. I just have to tell you that I LOVE ALL OF YOU Here are a few pictures to enjoy. God Bless


Gj's idea of what Heaven will be like









Angels Honor Roll Update: Over the last weekend I became aware that our heavenly Angels Honor Roll choir was on hand to greet its newest members: Katie Krize, Amber Mastey, Kristin Hope and Gustavo-Alexis sing a sweet angelic melody for us to hear. Set free from the bonds of earthly existence rest pain free in His gentle arms for eternity as we wait our turn to reunite with you in love when our day comes

Setting up Camp and Supper & Sleep - Friday afternoon saw Missus Gj and Grandpa John setting up camp at Sleepy Hollow State Park. Bordering a line of tress with a really big walnut tree just off center of our lot and just across from the camp showers and bathrooms our camping site was beautiful, if not to say convenient (which for us old’ guys is really appreciated J First, we unloaded the Trailblazer and then proceeded to set up our sleeping area, the tent; next, up went the screen room which was our cooking and eating area. By this time, it was almost time for me to go and pick up my racing packet for the morning race.

It only took a few minutes for me to get my packet and by the time I got back, Missus Gj had put the finishing touches on our camp site: swept the tent, made the bed, set up our collapsible chairs by the fire ring and even readied the stove for he evening meal (She is really a great help). It was then we noticed that we had forgotten to pack several needed items, especially the bug spray, so it was off to the local Wal-Mart about 10 miles away.
Ready to wear race day
After getting our necessities at Wal-Mart we noticed an Applebee’s just across the street….well, by this time it was getting close to 6pm and we really didn’t want to eat too late. So in we went and ate our fill of glorious carbs and proteins….

Arriving back at camp, Missus Gj and I settled by the fire ring and gazed off into the fire I had just started, all too soon though it was bed time. The slumbering world of dreams had called on us. Sleep although interrupted several times by nature (and the noisy kiddies) was restful and all too soon race day morning had arrived.

The Race: It was really a fun race and a very beautiful day for running. The temp was about 65 degrees at starting time (0800), a slight breeze was blowing off the lake, the humidity not too bad. We started on a little hill overlooking Lake Ovid which is located in Sleepy Hollow State Park, about 15 or 20 miles north of Lansing MI. As we went down the hill we round a little bend and started to head towards the trail we’d all too soon be running. About a quarter mile into the race we entered the forest trail which would be our home for the next 10 miles or so.
Everything was going very well, not too many muddy patches and by mile 4 we had crossed only 1 little stream with little mud or for that matter water (I really wanted a big stream with lots of mud and ooze to play in– must be a guy thing). Then like a sudden thunder storm, things turned dark rather quickly.

First, I happened upon a fellow runner who had just fallen and was limping along. Being a couple of miles from help, I asked if she needed any assistance. Like a true runner, all I heard her say was Nah! I’ll be fine, go on. Turning to run again I immediately saw a runner hobbling along, hardly at a walking pace. Stopping again, I asked if he needed assistance, help of any kind. My inquiry was not well received. After a few choice words he indicated that he was OK and would make it on his own…Then it was my turn.

About mile 4.5 I was running down a hill when all of a sudden my trail shoes dug into some soft soil (soft soil on a heavily traveled trail? Surely sabotage) which because of momentum threw me forward rather awkwardly. To avoid tumbling and to slow down I stated to bound, or weave from side to side. Well, on my second step a broken tree limb jumped out of nowhere and smacked me really hard on my right leg, about 2 inches below my knee cap. Ouch!!! Not seeing any blood nor immediately knowing the extent of my injuries, I trudged on. Every so often though I felt a muscle pull or a stabbing pain just below my right knee, but looking down every s saw nothing.

It was around mile 7 or so that I finally noticed that I had been bleeding quite a bit from my injured leg. Was my race finished for the day, was this the race wherein I’d have to wear the DNF (did not finish) tag the rest of my running career? NO! This would not stop me: I had promised my Little Buddies this race was theirs and I was not going to let them down. Besides it was at my weakest moments like these several times before that my Little Buddies and Angels came through; they never let me down they gave me the courage and strength to carry on.
Angelic voices filled my mind and soothed my body .First it was my “Forever Heroes” carrying me forward: Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, and Dustin Cobb singing a song I never heard before; it was beautiful. Not really a song or spoken refrain, rather thoughts of love, beauty and pain free acceptance flooded my spirit. Like a lark on high and not remembering much I flew down the trail. Then as I near an exhausted state my Little Buddies with me in spirit all chimed in a melodic chant. Well not so much a chant, but a loud roaring cheer: Justin Gaudineer, Jackson Boyd, Nick Franca, Kerry Leary, Serena Lambert, Sammy Klimas, & Melina Riniolo all with me in spirit were hollering Go GJ! You can do it, you’re almost there, just around the bend and up the hill and you’ll own the 10 miles. Sure enough as I round the bend I saw the small hill; up I went striding all the way. As I crossed the finish line I knew we did it! The 10 miles was ours!!!

Race day Pictures

Getting Close top the Finish














Crossing the Finish Line


Want some Water?













Till Later, God Bless

Gj

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Remembrance and Honor; Updated – Photos and Angels Rainbow Memory shirt, & Camping

A Remembrance and Honor: As I ready myself for Saturday’s run I wish to hold high the memory of all my Little Buddies who are now Angels especially: Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Williams, and Dustin Cobb. As I run the Legend in their Memory, I am also running to honor Little Buddies “Justin Gaudineer, Jackson Boyd, Nick Franca, Kerry Leary, Serena Lambert, Sammy Klimas, and Melina Riniolo. I’ll be carrying all of them with me on race day.

Updated – Photos and Angels Rainbow Memory shirt: The pictures below are of the photos and shirt I will be wear on Saturday for the 10 mile race.

Camping: Missus Gj and I will be camping at the state park where the race is being held this weekend. We both are looking forward to a couple of days of relaxation. Nah! I don’t think that will happen, but we are excited that we are getting away for a couple of days. It’s been quite a while since we’ve be been camping, but I never remember it being so labor intensive…Oh well J I am sure we’ll have a few stories to share with you when we get back.
“Great Men Cultivate Love…only little men cherish a spirit of hatred”
Booker T Washington
God Bless ,Till Later
Gj

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update to Race Dedication & Poll Question

Race Dedication Updated - Welcome Melina; we'll have fun race day.

Poll Question - Please take a little time to answer our poll question: Should I allow advertising on the blog to earn funds as doantions to the Band of Parents? If the poll affirms the question I'll take the necesary steps to garner advertisers...monies not much but a little at a time over time can really add up.

For some strange reason I like this message ----

God Bless,

Gj


Monday, July 21, 2008

From the Border to the Bridge- Our Other Blog - An Update

To see a map of my proposed route, please follow the link above (clik on the picture of the Mackinaw Bridge) to our other Blog

"From the Border to the Bridge - Fighting Childhood Cancer - a 330 mile Running Odyssey"

Now it's off for a little Crosss training.


Till Later

God Bless,

Gj

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Angels Update, Touched Again & Update to our Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication and Race Dedication Listing

Angels Update, Touched Again: A mist filled the air, as I ran along on my 10 mile training run this morning. I know the weather man had forecasted rain, but it was supposed to be later in the morning, not at 8am. Memories flooded my soul; the last time I ran in the rain I communed with our Angels. Would it happen again? Sure as rain is wet, a bunny hopped by, then another, a mother duck waddled along with 6 or 7 ducklings, and off in the distance a ground hog scurried along to hide in his hole. But what’s this, a lone butterfly, in the rain, fluttering by my cheek. Surely I am, again, being touch by our Angels. In their way, they are letting me know that the Angelic choir gained two new members this past week and that all is well in Heaven. Janie Kashino and Dustin Cobb sing a sweet refrain for us, forever pain free in the bosom of our Heavenly Father.

My condolences and prayers go out to the Kashino and Cobb families. May His Grace comfort all of you.

Updated Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication and Race Dedication Listing: Today I added Janie and Dustin to our Angels Honor Roll, and added Serena Lambert to our Race Dedication Listing. I do have a couple of more Buddies to add, but I am waiting for the Ok from the parents.

Below is a picture of the update to our Angels Rainbow Racing shirt.

Fighting Childhood Cancer ---

--- "Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true."
Leon J. Suenes

God Bless You. May You Slumber Restfully in His Heart Tonight and Always,

Gj

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Angelic Cleansing, Missus Gj Day and MY Garden

An Angelic Cleansing: Today I was at mile 14 of a 24 mile training run when it just decided to rain, not just a light sprinkle, but a heavy down pour; I was completed soaked in less than a minute. Oh well, I do enjoy running in the rain so I continued on…until Thunder reared its ugly head. Now, I do enjoy listening to thunder and truth be told watching electrical storms. But, I do not run in such! So I headed home, only two miles away.

As I headed home, the rain continued its rhythmic beat, drenching my soul with bliss rarely felt. It was then I remembered the last time I felt so; it was our Angels again cleansing my spirit with their tears. These were not tears of sorrow, rather tears of joy experiencing a pain free existence unknown to us earth bound creatures. The thunder I heard was merely the angelic band keep rhythm for the choir welcoming the newest member to heaven. Sing and play on Joe Daily, and Ryan Williams, as we wait our turn to join you
.

Missus Gj Day: For all of her support and love, which without I would never be able to accomplish anything, I proclaim tomorrow, Sunday July 13, 2008 Missus Gj Day. To honor Missus Gj, I further proclaim that she will do no work around the house. I will do her daily chores. I will also take her to a movie of her choice and to dinner at a restaurant of her choosing. Thank you for loving me so much honey, I do love you so. The flowers are for you Sweetie

My Garden: Oh, how I love the beauty of flowers. Their aroma intoxicating and each provide a floral display so pleasing to the eye. My garden, it is where I commune with my Creator daily.

Please join and enjoy with me what I see very day.







































Hold Dearly those you Love for they are precious beyond measure.
God Bless,
Gj

Thursday, July 3, 2008

How Time Flies, Picture Mailings, Building our Honor Team, T shirt Layout

How Time Flies - Wow, it is truly amazing how quickly time flies. Its’ been almost 10 days since I last updated our blog. I apologize for such delay. Yet, not one to offer excuse I must say that the tempo at work increased, and my home chore list really needed tackling; so here I sit offering excuses galore J In the future, I’ll really try to be more punctual in updating our blog.

Pictures Mailings - About 2 week ago I promised to send out the pictures I wore at the last race to my honor buddies. Well, I didn’t forget. I was waiting for some race pictures I ordered to come in from the photographer and they still haven’t arrived. So, over the weekend, I’ll be mailing your pictures out to you. When the other pictures do arrive, I’ll be putting them in the post or will email you an electronic copy – Stay tuned.

Building our Honor Team – I am in the process of building our honor team for my next race, “The Legend” There are so many Little Buddies I want to run this race in honor of that I may over-look a few. So if you’d like Ol’ Grandpa John to run this race (and wear your picture during the race) in your honor, please contact me and let me know. I really wish I didn’t have so many Little Buddies, but hey, isn’t that why I am running? We’ll Kick Neuroblastoma’s butt for sure; it’s not if, but when!

T-Shirt Layout –My Band of Parents friend, Carolyn, is working with our t shirt customizer (Unspoken Love- please visit Terry’s site, it’s most wonderful. Use link to the right- thanks) on our design and should have some more information for us with the next few weeks. These shirts really rock and tell the story. They will be cotton, but I am also working on getting tech shirts made for us runners too – so this is another “Stay Tuned!”

“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow” Dorothy Thompson

God Bless and Slumber Restfully in His Arms

Gj

Monday, June 23, 2008

Angel’s Honor Roll – A permanent Dedication; Where have I been & Training update

Angel’s Honor Roll – A permanent Dedication: It is so important to me that the memory of our angels not be forgotten that I have decided to begin the “Angel’s Honor Roll – A permanent Dedication” list. This list will contain the names all of our Angels (that I have been made aware of) that either have had a race run in their memory or will have one run for them. They will never be forgotten!

Where have I been? From Tuesday through Friday of Last week Ol’ Gj was ether fighting some bug, or so run down from over training (Missus Gj’s contention anyway) that his system decided to let him know that he had to slow down just a tad. You see, early Tuesday evening last, I did some very aggressive speed work after which I felt Ok, but later that night and Wednesday morning, Ol Gj felt very ill, nauseous and very weak. If fact, I made all of 30 minutes at work before I decided to go home. .. Fast forward several days… Saturday saw me fit enough to run (waddle) my long run (20 miles) for the week. I feel fine now, I just don’t know about last week though…really strange. Regardless of Missus Gj’s contention, I swear it had to be the chicken salad I ate for lunch last Tuesday. but I’ve been married long enough to know that Missus Gj is always right :) It’s really great to have someone love you so much.

Training Update: I resumed training after a brief illness of last week. Last week I was to train 48 miles but only got 34 in. This week is a down week so my system will get more rest; total mileage scheduled for this week – 36 miles.

Total Mileage To Date: 264 miles

We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.- Stephen Covey

God Bless, Rest in His Arms Safely tonight, always and in all ways.

Gj

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Flirts With Dirt 10K Race Report

This Race was Dedicated to all of My Little Buddies, their Families and especially All of Our Angels guarding over us.

"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race."
Jay Foonberg, 72 year old runner


Feeling somewhat long of tooth over my 10K performance this past Saturday, I received the above Daily Quote from RunnersWorld.com this morning. What a wonderful freeing perspective to have! Admittedly, I thought I had that same perspective but maybe not quite where it matters: in my heart, not my mind!

So, based on its meaning, I asked myself this question: “Did I do the best I could with what I have?” Of course, my answer is yes. I did my best, I did not cheat myself. Therefore, it is with a smile on my face and truth in my heart that I tell you this past Saturday I ran the “Flirts with Dirt” 10K race. My time: 1:10:07, for a pace of 11:18 per mile; now on to the report.
Report: Flirts with Dirt 10K

The 5K started at 7:30am, the 10K at 8am, and here it was 8:15 and still no start. From what I heard, the race director was waiting those few extra minutes to allow the hard core 5Ker’s the opportunity to run the 10K also (several of the younger runners had signed up for both races). Just as soon as that thought crossed my mind, suddenly without warning, at least none what I heard, the race started; we were off.

As mentioned in the race description we started the race going down a sledding hill, around a soccer field at the bottom, and down a dirt road toward the head of the trail. Those of us in the back of the pack heard someone holler “if you’re going to pass you’d better do it now, this is as wide as the trail gets” Since the trail was only 5 or 6 feet or so wide at that point, I began to wonder just how narrow the trail really was. I soon found out.

What this? I am already walking, and not even a mile has passed. Then I heard someone holler, “A snake, it’s a snake!” No, not the reptile, but the trail; narrow of girth and just a winding as a snake slithering through the grass, runners were backed up for about 50, no maybe 70 deep, and it only got worse from there on. So, I zoned out.

Slowly, but most wonderfully, the miles passed, or was it my Angels carrying me over the bunched up gang of runners? I do believe so. Snaking trails, though over grown with weeds bent over, were well marked. Lining the trail, small ponds dotted the inner forest landscape here and there, and I think we crossed over the same stream twice, or was it three times. The surroundings captivated my heart, when suddenly a warning scream woke me from my dream. “Ahhhhhh, Lookout! Mud, I just fell and busted my butt” (I cannot repeat the runner’s actual words). I started to chuckle, thinking who cares as long as you’re not hurt. Mud is very becoming a trail race for sure. Besides, my “Dirty Girl” gaiters were doing their job.

Awakening from my trace like state, I noticed I passed several other runners; how so, I do not know. I was at mile marker 6; two tenths of mile to go, I started my kick.

Rounding the final bending, about 100 yards long and at about 10 or 15 degree incline was the back side of the dreaded sledding hill. I didn’t care, no pain I felt, only the burn of my quads and calves as they did their job. Oh how I love it. We crossed the finish line; all of my Little Buddies and Angels are winners, even if Ol’ Gj didn’t take first place! Below are a couple of pictures a friend of mine took

Here's Ol Gj at the finish line. Notice the pictures around my neck? They are all of the Little Buddies I ran the race for (actually all of them, but I only had these pictures I could wear). I will be wearing more throughout my scheduled races. (Our angels names are on our Angels Rainbow shirt underneath)



Here's one of our Angels Rainbow shirt. If you look closely you can make out some of the names (Click on the picture for a larger view)

Speaking of my Little Buddies and our Angels, would you please consider making a generous donation today to the Band of Parents? If you prefer to make an on line donation just follow their link above, oOr if you rather you can mail your donation to me and I'll forward it to the appropriate people (Please make sure to make all checks payable to the Band of Parents and do not send cash).

Till later, God Bless and Rest Peacefully in His Arms.
Gj

Friday, June 13, 2008

Update to Race dedication - A New Angel

Update to Race Dedication - A New Angel: As I read my email this morning I learned of another one my Little Buddies earning their Angel Wings. Sing sweetly down to me Marissa Monroe. May your spirit sing the soft refrain of a never ending love for our Heavenly Father. Our comfort is in knowing that you are now pain free for eternity singing in a most blessed place- Heaven.
The race I am running tomorrow will be in dedicated to you. Below is a picture of our Angels Rainbow Shirt. That is my racing shirt and I will be wearing it tomorrow for all to see

Now you'll be running every race I run along with all of our other Angels..
Well, I have to go for now till later
God Bless
Grandpa John
PS: Please remember what I look like since when my time comes to go home the first thing I want to do is give you a hug :) but I won't know what you look like in your heavenly body - OK (Well, I gotta hug Jesus first, but I think you understand)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Added Link; Update to Race Dedication & Training Update

Added link to the Band of Parents Fund Raiser Slide Show – Pictures taken during a fund raiser for our Precious children; folks, they are the reason I am going forward and will not quit! Every day my “Little Buddies” become more and more precious to me.

Wont’ you please help put an end to neuroblastoma! Become a hero and a voice for the voiceless join Grandpa John: Together we can do it!!!!

Update to Race Dedication – today I added Ber, Elizabeth, Marissa, and Kerry to the names list for those “Little Buddies” I am dedicating this Saturday’s race to.; with so much support I should win my Age Group; not likely, but I sure will have my buddies within my heart and that’s even better that winning an age group award.

Training Update will be made after my race this weekend.


Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it
Helen Keller

Till Later, Good Night and God Bless.

Gj

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How did Grandpa John Get Into Running?

On numerous occasions I have been asked ‘How did you get started or involved with running?” Ok, you asked for it, so here it is- the story:

After 40+ years of smoking and weighting around 250 lbs, on December 16th, 2005 thinking I was having a cardiac event, I drove myself to a local hospital. Prior to checking in, however and having just bought a pack of cigarettes, I had one last smoke before going into the emergency room (Very very, very stupid!). That was my last cigarette!!!

Well, they did all sorts of testing and blood work ups and even a catheter procedure. Thank God, I did not have a heart attack, but they did find that I had to 2 blocked arteries and that I also had GERD, Acid Reflux. That was the primary culprit. Stomach acid was entering or irritating my bronchial tubes (I wonder why I did get some form of pneumonia from it). Since my arteries were at 50% blockage, no stents were put in, but I was put on Plavix, which I still take religiously to this day. Along with that I was also put on proton pump inhibitors and blood pressure medicine and told by the discharging physician that if I continued to smoke I’d die at a really young age and since my mother died at 45 from coronary disease, I had better start getting in shape.

THat’s all it took. As soon as I got the clearance from my primary care physician I began a work out regimen designed solely to build and restore my heart health. My workout plan was based on a 5 day schedule: days 1, 3, and 5 were Cardio workouts; days 2 & 4 were weight training. Every so slow I started noticing changes, my clothes were starting to get loose and I needed to buy a new belt…I dropped from 250lbs to 210 lbs and I was feeling great. I was doing so good that my doctor took me off all my blood pressure medicines. It was then that I decided to up the workout to include running. So I researched and found the Couch Potato to 5K (C25K) running plan. Following it religiously by the time week 8 rolled around I was running 30 minutes non-stop! I was overjoyed. I signed up for my very first 5K (The Kinesiology 5k) I ran it in the very slow time of 33:19. After finishing, I thought well that was a nice experience but I am not sure if I want to run anymore races. Until….

I was relaxing at home watching ESPN and a special was being televised…It was all about the “Badwater Ultramarathon;”- a 135 mile race that runs smack thru Death Valley and up the side of Mount Whitney California. I was enthralled; the spirit of the event captured my spirit. My testosterone levels spiked for sure. I knew I couldn’t run Badwater, but hey I could run a marathon (Yeah that’s right, 1 race to my credit and I was going to run a marathon)…
So began my journey, the year was Oct 2006. In November 2006 I joined up with Team in Training and a little less than 7 months later I successfully ran (waddled is more like it) my first marathon, The Vancouver International Marathon and 4 months later still I ran the Rochester NY marathon.

Yes, I admit it. I am hooked! I love distance running and I love that I am able to run for my Little Buddies….If you can’t run, then won’t you please help me, help them too.
PLEASE Say Yes to Grandpa John and make a generous donation to the Band of Parents.

Here for the sake of fond memories I post a few pictures for your enjoyment















I AM IN PAIN HERE FOLKS!





I DID'T QUIT THEN, I WON'T QUIT NOW.


Yeah, I know I am slow, but I can go slow for a really long time :)
God Bless and Good Night.
Gj

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grandpa John Receives a High Honor

The Organic Food Bar Company (OFB) Has Honored Grandpa John with their first “Everyday Heroes Award”

Angels tears flowed heavily as I ran my daily training run. So soothing the rain; the angels were cleansing my soul for the good news I was about to receive when I got home.

Several weeks ago, I sent a letter of inquiry to the Organic Food Bar company seeing if I could qualify to be one of their OFB Brand Champions (I was actually seeking a voice for my Little Buddies suffering from neuroblastoma) Well, a few days later, much to my surprise, I received an email from *Eric Harr (more on this fine gentleman later), of OFB and what he had to say shocked me.

Although, I would more than qualify to be an OFB Brand Champion, those positions were reserved more for professional athletes. But, the owner of the company, Dr. Singh and Eric were so impressed and inspired by what I wrote that they decided to launch a new campaign called “OFB Everyday Heroes” and I was their vanguard: their very first Organic Food Bar Everyday Hero. Who, me a hero? I never thought myself a hero and still don’t. How can you be a hero doing what you love for those you love?

The true heroes are my Little Buddies and their families, But, I must say that I am very proud to accept OFB’s accolades and I will do my best to reflect the high values OFB upholds and represents. I am truly honored. They have my never ending gratitude for giving voice to my Little Buddies and the Band of Parents.

*In several emails to me Eric Harr, a professional triathlete, told me that I was such an inspiration and worthy of such acclaim. Yet, it is Eric more than I who deserves much acclaim and honor. This wonderful person and fine gentleman has joined up with CARE and developed the “I Am Powerful Workout” wherein he will make donations to CARE for each hour a person works out… the funds will be used to help women in poor counties overcome numerous adversities…as stated at the I Am Powerful Workout web page: “Empower women and families in poor communities around the world to improve their lives.” Please join Eric by following follow the link in the right column to his “I Am Powerful Workout” website – thanks, Gj

Please follow this link to reach OFB’s Everyday Heroes web page:

http://www.organicfoodbar.com/heroes/hero/9


Dear Lord, may I never forget how great an honor it is to serve those I love.
Gj



Rest Peacefully in His Loving Arms

Grandpa John

Monday, June 2, 2008

Neuroblastoma –Did You Know; Another Type of Hero; Weekend Training

Neuroblastoma-Did You Know?: I know many of my “Little Buddies” and their parents visit our site here and already know about what I am going to post, but this is for our visitors who might not know about neuroblastoma, or childhood cancers. Every so often I’ll post different facts about these dreaded diseases and their impact to the lives of our all of our Buddies

Did You Know:

· Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer
· Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in children
· Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.
· Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
· There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
· The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
· Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.

Another Type of Hero: His name is Sam Seltzer, small of stature, bent and wrinkled with age, with a voice that sounds like a choir, very melodic, and a very wise man to be sure. When you first meet him you’d wonder why he sings all the time, or why that impish grin captures your heart so. Then you happen to notice a small tattoo on his arm, but it’s not any tattoo, it a tattoo made up of only numbers. You see, Sam is a Holocaust survivor and I have the privilege of meeting him and I am just beginning to know him in the slightest meaning of the word. We go to the same gym a few time a week and I find the time I spend with him to be a blessing to my heart; already I love him. I must remember to tell him that the next time we meet.

Pre-world War II Sam lived in Poland, and during the war he survived 15 Nazi slave labor and death camps, to include Auschwitz. Sam also has a book out; it’s title “Fences That Kill” written by Dr. Richard B Traitel and Martha Seltzer as told to them told by Sam. I haven’t had a chance to pick the book up yet, but I plan on doing so this week or so.. I’ll share with you what I find; yes he is a Hero to me.

Thanks you Sam for having enriched my life beyond measure.

Oh, why does Sam sing all the time – It’s simple he loves life and is happy to be alive.

Weekend’s Training: This past weekend I logged 22 glorious miles: 14 Miles on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. Weekly Total: 34 miles.

Saturday’s run began with a soggy 3 mile trail run. The trails weren’t too bad at the beginning of the run, but as I got closer to the lower wetland areas having soggy feet and muddy shoe took on a whole new meaning. It seem that Friday night’s rain storm must have been localized right over the trial I was running. It was fun I was really having a blast, but I decided after the 3 that I plenty of fun for the day and made my way out to the trail along Hines Park Drive; a nice blacktop path and it was dry.

Ahh! So nice to be running on dry land, but therein was a problem; it seems my trail shoes really aren’t made for black top and the pounding this ol’ 207 lb body could give them. I think it was around mile 12 or so when I heard a scream. Looking around I saw no one yet I distinctly heard a scream….Wait a minute! It’s my legs, shins, calves and quads hollering in unison STOP! Did I listen to them? YES I did, I stopped, but only long enough to rub some of the stiffness and soreness out; to avoid further harm though I did the run walk routine. That is, I ran for all of 15 seconds, then walked for a minute (LoL) and repeated that sequence till I finished my 14 for the day. It was a very pleasant experience for sure.

Sundays 8 miles was a very nice recovery run. The weather was nice and the run very relaxing
I am most definitely looking forward to this week’s increased mileage.

And remember the reason for this blog: Please Say Yes to Grandpa John and make a generous donation today to the Band of Parents – Thanks

How long should you try? Until.
Jim Rohn

God Bless

Gj