I started running about a year-and-a-half ago. At the time I did this to address some significant health issues that I was having and needed to address either through medications or getting off my backside and getting to work. I chose the latter and it worked! My health improved and I felt really good, I mean really, REALLY good! The big surprise, that I never expected, came to me over the course of time when I discovered that I really love to run! Running and biking help keep me centered and feeling good both mentally and physically. They are my "happy place", so to speak. It was and continues to be a true gift.
My dear friends and colleagues, Dave and Brenda Sievert continue to be huge inspirations and encouragers for me as a runner. I started running just about the time when Dave was forced to stop due to the illness that he suffers from – Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). MSA is a degenerative neurological disorder. MSA is associated with the degeneration of nerve cells in specific areas of the brain. This cell degeneration causes problems with movement, balance, and a myriad of other daily functions which we all take for granted. As the disease has progressed Dave has always remained steadfastlyencouraging to me, never bitter or angry, just enthusiastically encouraging. A better friend and mentor one could never ask for.
Over the course of the past year I have gone from running 5Ks to 10Ks to Half-Marathons, and now I am setting my sights on a marathon this May, the Rite Aid - Cleveland Marathon, which will be followed by a 202 mile bike ride in July from Seattle to Portland. Rather than merely doing these events for the self-satisfaction that comes with this kind of accomplishment, I am dedicating my running and riding this summer as a fund-raiser towards further research for Multiple System Atrophy.
I have teamed up with the people at the MSA Coalition to create a fund-raiser for these events. If you enter the link below into the browser of your computer it will take you to the page for these events. I would be very, very grateful if you would consider making a donation of any size, which goes directly toward MSA research, even small gifts add up to large gifts! I can’t think of a better way to thank Dave and Brenda for all that they mean to Frankenmuth.