My brother Jeff is living with cancer and kicking its butt. Last Sunday he ran the Chicago marathon to prove to himself and to everyone that he could do it. He gave me permission to publish this personal thank you letter he sent to donors below (still time to give here). It’s a reminder about the teamwork it takes to achieve any big goal that you set for your life. Lean on your people!
We made it! 3 Brothers, 26.2 miles and one cause. 5 hours, 47 minutes. 50 seconds of joy, laughter, pain, sweat, exhilaration, focus and determination!
How blessed I was to have 2 of my brothers at my side… my “training wheels” to keep me from tipping over so to speak. Brad kept track of time and our 30 and 60 second walk breaks, calculating and recalculating our pace and finish time.(I wanted to beat last year’s time of 5:55 no matter what.) David was a one man jingle machine! He sang, chanted and repeated just about every single commercial jingle from the past 30 years as a very clever distraction. He danced and high fived thousands of hands along the route. He knew if he could entertain or distract me enough, I wouldn’t focus on the fact that my longest run before the race was only 12 miles instead of 20-22 miles. He distracted me from thinking about the 70-80 miles of total running I had done, which normally would be almost 400-450 miles. The steroids had reduced me to the strength of a kitten in June, until I was able to get off that regime.
What in the world was I thinking?! If I were coaching someone for the marathon, I would have pulled them from the race and said, “Don’t do this, you will really hurt yourself.”
So why did I do it? I didn’t want to disappoint all of you who have given so generously to MMRF, and the folks who have been following my journey via David’s Blog for over 2 years. I feel an obligation to keep hope alive for those who can’t run…yet! We don’t have a cure for Multiple Myeloma…yet! The power of yet!
My brother so eloquently delivered a moving speech at the MMRF reception on Saturday, with a memorable poem that I want to share with you. This is “how” and “why” I want to continue with events that will inspire and move us closer to converting “yet” into reality. – Jeff Goad
When the Road is Long
When the road is long, the rules rearrange
Your plans, your dreams, your priorities change
Welcome to where it’s NOT worry-free
Welcome to doubt and uncertainty
Long roads go beyond the horizon line
You can’t see it all, so you watch each sign
As it passes, reading carefully what it might say
Am I staying on course? Am I going the right way?
Then big hills come along and they slow your pace
And you wonder why YOU are even in this race
I say look left and right at the runners beside you
And live on the energy we came to provide you
We will pace each other as we move our feet
Inspiration is a two-way street
You have strength, and you’ll find out just how strong
In this challenge of a lifetime, when the road is long.
By David Goad; Dedicated to Myeloma Survivor Jeff Goad
Congratulations to all of you!!
That is a moving letter of thanks, Jeff. It took a lot of grit and determination to finish with such limited amount of training.
David, I love the poem.
I didn’t know you had THAT in you! The poem is quite impressive as a literary construct – but the message you deliver is superb. Yes – it’s not only okay to lean on your ‘brothers and sisters,’ it’s our ‘way.’ We’re supposed to do that. Otherwise God would have planted each of us on our own plant – Lord knows He’s got plenty of them. So, setting things in perspective, we’ve heard it said, “Man does not live by bread alone…” I would shorten it… “Man does not live alone!”
Congratulations #1 on the poem, and it’s wonderful message., which is the one that I’ve always known you for – working together towards the common goal.
Jeff, your courage is amazing. Seeing your smile in the photo tells the greater part of the story. I’ve been listening to David’s ongoing message since he began. It’s good to put some ‘flesh and bones’ on the iconic image of a hero. Thanks for allowing the world to focus on you in the light of challenging adversity, and gleaning such great inspiration from your example. Your challenge is vivid.. Some people have issues that are much more elusive, which lead to self-destruction in other senseless ways. The example you set will give people a way of relating to faith, hope, and endurance that will help them on their own path. Thanks so much for expressing.
Congratulations #2 on your personal achievement and the essence of courage that you have demonstrated.
Brad, ‘three’s a charm.’ The power of having three of you unified on such a mission is super. The time-keeper / pace-setter is such an important part of any endeavor. He constantly reminds everyone to preserve and conserve, and spend energy wisely, all the while diligently expending a limited resource toward an as of yet, unproven achievement. I am sure that your presence as ‘brother,’ and your place as milestone marker made a big difference in all of your states of mind with which you tackled this endeavor. I appreciate your important part in this.
Congratulations #3 on your your contribution, certainly the third, and crucial leg of the table.
What an oddyssey. Thanks for keeping me posted on such a worthwhile endeavor. It has touched me deeply, and helped polarize the essence of my own commitments in life.
CONGRATULATIONS to you all. And above the exhilaration and pride you all feel for finishing – also take note in the inspiration MILES you are giving everyone to be determined to get to the finish line no matter what.
What is most important is connection.
What is most important is sense of self.
What is most important is survival and hope.
You all demonstrated this together in unity….BEAUTIFULLY.
And this is something to be most proud of.
The milestones for the race you finished is an achievement that is astounding.
But the milestones in your hearts and in your faith go beyond the miles you’ve done on foot…
God smiles upon you for this accomplishment
and above all the endurance and strength of spirit.
Peace, love and blessings!! Keep up the good fight!
VERY PROUD TO CALL TEAM GOAD FAMILY!!!! Thank you David for keeping all of us posted on Jeff’s journey. Also Thank you to you and Brad for everything you have done for Jeff and MMRF!!!