Life has been killing me lately. I won’t even bother getting into all the details, but this has been — by far — the most difficult year of my life and I’m aging in dog years right now. I haven’t blogged in two weeks and I don’t suspect I’ll blog for another week. So I want to talk a little about the 3rd Annual Operation Jack Marathon, which is very near and dear to me and will take place next Wednesday, December 26.
Real quick, if you’ve never been here and don’t know what Operation Jack is or who Jack is, you really, really need to click here. He’s my 9-year-old son who’s severely autistic and drives me to try to change the world, one person at a time.
The Operation Jack Marathon is the primary event benefitting the Operation Jack Autism Foundation. That’s my foundation I created in honor of my son and I use it primarily as a way to raise money for Train 4 Autism. The first thing I did to raise money was running 61 marathons back in 2010.
Everything that year brought in about $90,000. At this point, I don’t do a ton because this year has been so difficult on me, but I raised somewhere around $4-5K to fight cancer through the San Francisco Marathon last year and I put on a small race in October 2011 to raise money to benefit the families of mortally wounded soldiers.
So far, the gross through my foundation and the Operation Jack Marathon is approaching $170K. I love doing this. But while I was able to devote every spare second I had to the cause two years ago, life has really prevented that this year. It’s been the exact opposite. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of doing good things again next year.
Anyways, technically, I’m writing this blog for anybody who wants to read it. But really, I’m writing this for a select group of people (in alphabetical order by last name so as not to play favorites): Tim Bomba, Ben Fesagaiga, Matt Popilek, Molly Rearick, Jake Rome, Chris Rosien and Steve Walters. Tim, Molly, Jake and Chris have done a ton of work for the main race down in LA. Matt came out of nowhere to put on a race to benefit the cause in Kansas City. Steve is putting on a race to benefit Operation Jack in Portland, Oregon for the fourth time and has always been a huge supporter.
To all seven of you: Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m grasping for words to explain what it means to me to see everything come together. I feel so blessed to have an ability that gives me an opportunity to fight autism. I hate autism but I love fighting it and you all help me do that and I really appreciate that. A lot.
To my LA Five, you guys are awesome. We’re on the same blue team and I’m proud to be a member of that team. Ben, I’ll be forever grateful that you created Train 4 Autism and gave me a vehicle to try to change the world. All five of you, I know I’ve been difficult to deal with this year (not that I wasn’t difficult in years past!) and I’m thankful that you have moved forward with an amazing event despite me. I created Operation Jack in part as my way of coping with Jack’s autism and channeling all the bad that Jack goes through into something good. Your hard work has let me keep that flame burning and as I’m sure you’ve noticed, OJ is pretty much my fourth child. So thank you. Can’t wait to see you guys on Wednesday.
Everybody else, depending on where you are, there are ways for you to participate and support a great cause and get the coolest medal ever.
Southern California: Operation Jack Marathon, get yourself out there! I’ll see you there!
Oregon: Operation Jack KC Half In The Snow, get yourself out there! Next year, I’m gonna make it out there. This year, I took too long to buy airline tickets.
Kansas City: Operation Jack KC Half In The Snow, get yourself out there! I’ll see you there!
Maine: Maine Satellite Run, get yourself out there! I won’t see you there. But they have a ton of free giveaways!
Everywhere Else: Satellite Run! Shirt, medal and you’re helping a great cause!
Ok, that’s it. Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas and I hope you end up with one of our super-cool medals!