I'm the first person to survive cancer and a heart transplant to finish a full distance Ironman. For me, victory was getting to
the starting line.
Beginning a new journey is often a humbling experience, but to begin, no matter how simple, is a victory in and of itself.
For me, beginning again meant literally, lifting my head off of a pillow.
At the time, it felt like a herculean effort. After I accomplished that,
I crawled across the floor.
Though my story is unique, there are parallels between my beginning again and what it takes to face any new challenge. Pushing ourselves and cheering ourselves on when no one is around, often means seeing victory in the tiniest of efforts.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Is there a team, group or organization that you think would
benefit from hearing my story? If so, let's talk!
A Mission and a Mindset
I spend a lot of my time simply speaking to others who are going through or have gone through their own health challenges. It is both fulfilling and amazing to me to be in those moments – to see and feel the genuine warmth and compassion that is shared among complete strangers. People need something to relate to; they want to know what it's like both during, and on the other side of sickness. It's my responsibility as a survivor to share my story with others and help people through the obstacles in their path; to remind them that as bad as things might be, there's always hope.
Organizing for a Common Purpose
In 2013 I started the the Recycledman Foundation as a way to give back. The motto of the foundation is "fighting for
a life worth fighting for" and the mission simply put is: "Improving quality of
life for those affected by significant health challenges."
Individual Patient Advocacy
When you strive for better, when you try hard, and when you represent a goal to those who have realized the devastation of significant health challenges, you immediately create a spark. That person now sees the possible beyond the impossible. Moments like the one with Craig make everyday worthwhile. I push myself to be a representative, to be hope, and to always honor the the hero that saved my life and gave me the chance to do all of this – without donors like him, there would be no me.