Today I attended a funeral of a man I only met once on the beach.
I feel that funerals aren't really for the poor soul resting in the coffin or urn, but more as support for the family and friends and that's the reason for my attendance.* When my father passed away there was standing room only at the service and the procession was more than a mile long. That alone meant everything to me.
Today's service was for my good friend, Bob's, father who succumbed to a long battle with heart disease last Friday. This has prompted me to start something I've been planning to do for a long time; help fight the battle against heart disease!
Just about all of us have been affected by heart disease in one way or another, whether personally or we know someone with it or whom has died from it. For Bob and myself it was our fathers that were taken from this world by heart disease.
I was only 15 when my father had a sudden heart attack with no warning one Sunday morning while out for his weekly long run. The doctors said he was gone before his body fully collapsed to the ground while running. We had no warning signs and if there were any they weren't recognized, which actually happens very often with heart disease.
By raising awareness of these sometimes misunderstood symptoms and continuing research in science, The American Heart Association is fighting the battle against heart disease and this is the core of why I'm writing this post.
Many of you know I am currently training for the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 26, 2010. Running this race along side me will be, Jenny, my girlfriend that stands witness to the battle against heart disease every day she goes to work as a dietitian in a cardiac wing of a major hospital. But, I want you to know exactly why I am running this race.
I'm dedicating my running of this race to my father and I find it fitting that when I cross that finish line I will be doing something he was passionate about the last few years of his life, running, and also accomplishing something he never had the chance to.... running a marathon!
This is also why I've started a fund raising effort for the American Heart Association and why I'll be asking for donations these next several months. My goal is only $795. That's $15 for each year my father graced this Earth with his sense of humor, helping hand, smile and love. Times are tough economically. I don't expect any person to donate, but it would be nice and every cent helps a great cause. Consider this; In the time you took to read this at least three people experienced coronary events and one person has died due to heart disease.
Please at least check out my fund raising page over at AHA and maybe.... at least consider a donation. You know I'll be totally stoked if you make even the smallest contribution! I'd also love to hear your personal stories if any of you have suffered a loss in the family due to heart disease. I'll even co-dedicate this race to any of my reader's loved ones that have passed away to heart disease! Here's the link to my fund raising page:
*Note: Mark my words, when I bite it I want all my family and my friends to have a huge party, go surfing, go running, drink to much alcohol, dance and have a good time in my memory!