Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Perseverance

The marathon is in 11 days, and I just received an email from one of the coaches on perseverance. I have run 449 training miles, and have only 29 miles to the starting line. I know he meant well, but found it rather odd to use the word "perseverance". I have never persevered. I know this because I know perseverance. I have seen it in the eyes of Tyler. I have seen it in the eyes of Kylee, Stef, Ryan, Rob, and Brett. This past year I have seen courage beyond anything I could have imagined. Unless I walked the halls of J-5, I did not know the meaning of the word.

My total motivation for this race is Tyler. I am amazed as I watch him today. The survivor. The winner. As I run, I remember his expression as they would bring in more chemo. I called it his game face. He was prepared for battle. He was prepared for victory. Never a complaint. Never a "Why me?" I recall when Children's made an error in administering one of the most painful chemotherapy drugs. Tyler was informed the next day and, although he was very ill, he told them to re-do the treatment. Do it right. Do it now. Bring it on.

Once, during one of the 16 mile races, I was in a lot of pain. I lost my pace and started to walk about the 12th mile. An older lady on the side lines yelled at me, "Keep it boy! Read you shirt!" I was wearing Tyler's FIGHT TO WIN shirt. My thoughts immediately went to Tyler and the others on J-5, the Children's oncology floor. (Well, actually my 1st thought was to slap the old lady and throw away the shirt - I was in a lot of pain). But then I began to think of Tyler and J-5. As Tyler says, FIGHT TO WIN. As Stef says, REFUSE TO LOSE. As A.J. says, YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE.

Everyone of these people have taken an ugly disease, and miraculously turn it into a source of encouragement, strength, and power. They are the heroes. They are the meaning of perseverance. They are the meaning of courage.

As for "Why me?"... I don't know, and I've given up wondering. If I have a divine purpose, it is to show the world how to deal with adversity head on, with courage and grace. --Miles Levin


If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.--Lance Armstrong


I am doing fine because I refuse to do otherwise. That much is mine. Attempts to extinguish my fire thus far have only intensified it. With each crashing wave, I plant my feet deeper in the sand and become more resolute. If my health declines, some may say I “lost” my battle with cancer; but as for me, I can’t think of too many ways in which I could have been more victorious. If it comes to it, I’ll go down in magnificent flames purely for the principle glory of the thing. But hopefully it won’t come to it. --Miles Levin


Cancer-I intend not only to beat you, but to better the lives of everyone I can: By loving them, encouraging them, giving them information, making them laugh, praying for them and by any other means I can. Cancer, you are not the end. You are merely my opportunity to serve others and perhaps my only chance to attain at least some small measure of heroism.--Mark Hartwig

There is only one path to greatness, and it runs through Hell. -- Miles Levin



If you are going through hell, just keep moving.--Winston Churchill

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says "I'll try again tomorrow"--Mary Anne Radmacher

Sometimes the only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next. --Mignon McLaughlin

It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you are tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired. --Robert Strauss

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.--Hebrews 12:1

They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary.--Isaiah 40:13

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.

But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
--Dr. Seuss

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