Archive for April, 2012

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Eggers vs. Armstrong; The Race

April 29, 2012

It’s not often that I struggle to find the words to say after an event. Today I am struggling. It was so much more amazing than we could have ever imagined. Sit back, grab a good latte, and thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you.

(thanks for the picture Andy!)

The Race

I don’t have much to say about the details of the race. It’s really well documented as many of you have seen and read. Click here for some of the video coverage and click here for Lisa Barnes’ play by play. She captured every single moment of the actual race. Also try googling “Eggers vs. Armstrong”, we seem to be hitting the CNN airwaves!

Mr. Armstrong and I after I touched him out Photo by Steve Morse

First things first….. we need to be honest…. Mr. Armstrong was gracious in this competition. He had very good reason to come here and kick my ass. I have done a lot of trash talking. Now I won’t say he threw the race.  He might have eased up slightly… but he made me work for that win. With all due respect he’s much more talented than I, he is a swimmer as he’s come back to triathlon, and he could have absolutely destroyed me. I am not even a good kicker.

During the actual race he was talking to me…. saying come on Mary! Come on Mary!!! Had I been able to breathe much less shout something to him it would have been  along the lines of shut the hell up Armstrong. Since I was kicking at about 900 times my lactate threshold however, I couldn’t. Let’s give proper credit here, he knew why he was here and it was much more important than a 50 kick. I knew that whatever game he brought, I had to bring my A game. You don’t dare a 7 time Tour de France winner and bring a B game. (My A game might be his D game, but that’s life).

So a big kudos to Mr. Armstrong for having the graciousness to make it fun, and for making me work for it. Believe me I did.

What was it like to Meet Lance Armstrong?

Believe it or not I wasn’t that nervous. We’ve been in contact over the last 5 weeks and even that morning. The amount of people who were there in the lounge we were waiting in made me nervous. As soon as he walked in, he shook my hand… I think he gave me a hug but my memory is not clear…. and I felt at ease.

I have always been mindful to not be that fan who rushes up to him screaming “Oh my gawd I am your biggest fan..” and rattle off his stats. I am sure he knows his stats and if he doesn’t…. well then there is always Google. I was careful to give him space, because everyone wanted his attention, wanted him to do this and that….. so I backed off as much as possible. I did have the opportunity to talk to him and I kept it about the event and I made sure to let him know we have raised $51,000 as of an hour before the event. He was really happy about. THAT was speaking his language.

I found him to be very kind, gracious and  very interested to meet the teens. He shook all of their hands and took this gorgeous photo with them after the race. They were totally over the moon. They had a poolside spot for the whole thing. One of the girls said to me… I just hugged Lance Amstrong. That’s how it should be.

(Photo by Jeff Tracy)

The Money

Mr. Armstrong talked about the obligation of the cured. He told the story of the doctor who on the day of his discharge told him that there were two exits from the hospital. The private one, where no one knows you were here, no one knows you had cancer, and you quietly go on about your life. The other door is the public door. Where there are people waiting for you and you share your story, listen to others and essentially “pay it forward” when it comes to cancer.

He chose the public door. Thank God. Thank God he did.

We have so much power as a human race, especially today…… to help one another.

We raised $51,000 without the help of any local running store, bike store….. no one. To be fair I am sure everyone comes to stores asking for donations. There are budgets and economies and each does their own thing for charity. So I totally understand. I just want to make this point….. we did it on small donations.

Ever hear the story of the optimist and the pessimist? While the optimist and the pessimist were arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty, the opportunist snuck in and drank the water. While people are out there debating on the value of social media…. we snuck in there and used it to stage one of the greatest fundraising coups ever seen. We had one anonymous donor give us $5,000. Our teammates pooled together their money at Qt2 and donated another 5. The Zimmet group matched total donations for a total I believe that was $2500. (More on some of the things that some of our local companies did this week). One woman donated $10 five times over the past 5 weeks. Most donations were $5-250. This money came from your pockets.

To me that demonstrated again, the power of people. Regular people. You and I kind of people.

While I was at the reception last night a woman grabbed me by the arm. She was elegantly dressed to a T. She wanted to know how I managed to raise that kind of money in 5 weeks, what was my strategic plan?

I looked at her. Here I was standing in a 10-year-old black dress, clip in hair (That’s my pool to party secret… shhhhh) and I was half the woman this lady was. I smiled. “We did it by asking.” And that is the God’s honest truth.

I begged, you shared. Teens Living With Cancer raises $51,000 PLUS.

The speech

During his speech Mr. Armstrong stated that the highlight of his trip was the Duel in the Pool. As I said above it was not because of the race. He explained that his and my paths crossed on Twitter and because of that we not only raised all this money, but we are expanding Teens Living With Cancer to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, filling a much-needed hole in what I consider to be the forgotten age group of cancer victims (age 13-19). He, like we were… was astounded at the power of social media. How it has shrunk the world and connected us all.

Photo by Jeff Tracy

He gave me one of the highest compliments I have ever been given. His words have had me in tears most of the day. He said that I was authentic and that I was passionate about Teens Living With Cancer. My initial reaction was to disagree, but I understand that there are times when a thank you is appropriate.

I struggle with being called a hero. I struggle with being called an inspiration. When people say something like that I interpret it to mean WE. The Teens. The teens are the heroes and they are the inspiration. I didn’t do anything inspirational or heroic. They did. They stared down the barrel of the gun we call cancer. They fought the fight, they survived.

When I think of authenticity….. I think you are or you are not. It’s not something I aim to be. I am or am not. When this all began my only worry is that Mr. Armstrong would think I was some crazed fan who was out for personal gain. His saying those words allowed me to finally relax about it. I felt like he got it, he got me. Through however he came to that conclusion, I felt very honored to be given that compliment in that setting. Thank you for that Mr. Armstrong. I will always remember that, and I will always hold myself to that standard.

Mr. Armstrong quoted Muhammad Ali  “Service to others is the rent you  pay for your room here on earth”. He talked about how we need to take care of one another, look out for each other. It doesn’t take a lot of money. Sometimes it takes hitting share on Facebook, sitting down on the couch and listening, sometimes just a smile and a hug. That’s how we can take care of one another, that’s how we can make this world a better place.

A young lady asked him what his greatest accomplishments were. He said Father, Cancer crusader  / Livestrong / and cycling. It was important to him to communicate that while he was grateful for what cycling has done for him and given him…… his priorities have shifted his goals have changed.

A young girl the age of 12 asked him what it was like to not be able to have kids and then be able to. I can’t recreate the scenario but it was possibly the most hilarious scene ever as Mr. Armstrong apologized to her for swearing in his book, as she told him she was reading it. He asked if her parents were there as he delicately walked through the experience of being deemed infertile and then fertile again. Best Q & A ever in my opinion.

The Teens

At the end of the speech they rolled the film of the Duel in the Pool, although Mr. Armstrong had already revealed the winner on twitter.

(The teens are the real heroes)

When it came to the part of the video that pictures of Melissa were shown (Lauren and Doug’s daughter, who died at age 19 and inspired Melissa’s Living Legacy) I watched as her father looked down, and her mother put her face in her hands. They were sitting in front of my father and I. In front of 4,500 people her story was told, and how Teens Living With Cancer was born and where it is going was explained.

The teens sitting around us all looked at one another. One turned around and looked at me. This was the defining moment of this journey, at least for me.

We are not a big corporate foundation. Some places have $100K to use to organize a fundraiser. I am a volunteer, this is Lauren and Leah. Melissa’s father and brother made the awards, her brother did all the website design and Duel in the Pool logos. Lauren and Leah worked tirelessly for five weeks for this endeavor. We are grassroots, like real grassroots. This event and Mr. Armstrong helped to shine a spotlight on this foundation and the programs we can offer through Teens Living With Cancer. That was their moment. That was our moment. It was like….. wow…. we have this voice.

Second Place

What’s next

We have no idea. Everything throughout the past 5 weeks has led to this point. We had no idea we would wake up this morning to messages from friends in New Orleans and California and Georgia that we were on CNN, and other news channels. Will it raise more awareness? More money? Will it open doors? We don’t know.

For me….. I will continue my work with these Teens. This is what I am passionate about, this is our crusade and what we have done if nothing else is shown ourselves that anything is possible in this world with a little hard work.

In my dream situation I would love a position where I could continue to develop fitness programs for teens who are post chemotherapy or in treatment. I feel that’s a place I can contribute best. It allows me to combine my experience as a Nurse, Fitness consultant, coach, etc. (I don’t need a 6 figure salary. Just enough to cover my family and a good dental plan mouth reconstruction so stinks).

I will continue of course to do that right here too. But just in case the folks at Livestrong are reading! I have a lot of passion for Teens Living With Cancer, for this age group, and to try to help them through something I know something about.

Thank you

Thank you to so many people for so many things. Thank you to Lauren, Leah, Doug and Matt for all of your hard work. To the families of Teens Living With Cancer for the support. To the University at Buffalo for allowing us to crash the party and helping us make this event a reality, to Roswell Park Cancer institute for expanding TLC.

To our Teens….. for being the true heroes and the true inspiration behind everything. You guys are what this is for, and what you had to go through to be part of this is not fair, not right. Together we fight back and together we raised the middle finger to cancer yesterday.

To my Mom, Dad, Aunt, Husband, Son. For teaching me to dream and keeping my feet on the ground. Curt Eggers…… you said from the beginning that he would say yes, that we would hit 50K and that this would open doors for Teens Living With Cancer. You have that intuition and I thank you for that.

To each and every one of YOU. Who shared, retweeted, donated pennies, helped spread the word.

To Mr. Armstrong…. for answering that tweet. You said in your speech that you were so glad that you did, and trust me so are we.

More thanks are on the way as well as more pictures. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Together we did this. Power of the people.

You can still donate by the way…… www.teenslivingwithcancer.org

 

Once in a lifetime. Podium with Mr. Armstrong.

 

Photo by Jeff Tracy

 

photo by Andy Flemming

 

photo by andy flemming

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April 29, 2012

Race report tomorrow….. I promise. Google Eggers Vs. Armstrong for some good coverage.

We are at $51,000 and you CAN STILL DONATE! www.teenslivingwithcancer.org

THANK YOU!

Teens Living With Cancer... THE CHAMP!

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Race day

April 28, 2012

I got to meet Melissa’s Dad for the first time last night. He reminded me of my father in both stature and demeanor. I can see the hole in his heart that losing his daughter has left. There is a special bond between fathers and daughters, and you could feel theirs, even though she is not here.

Today my father will be on deck with me as my “on deck coach”. He will be one of the very few people allowed to be on the deck in fact. I am pretty lucky that I still have both of my parents and that I live an hour away from them.

My Dad has always said….. with everything that could happen in this world. The fact that my parents and their children have made it this far through our lives without any catastrophe (or the fact that us kids didn’t harm one another!) is a miracle in itself. He’s right. I look at Melissa’s family…. I got to meet her brother too (He’s done all the website stuff and design for our logo and is running his first 1/2 marathon in Rochester on Sunday)….. I am in awe of them. Absolute awe. As I am with so many families.

I met an amazing woman who lost her son to a brain tumor last August. I don’t think he was even 2 yet. I got to see Charlies mom and dad…… he has since died. We looked at the wall at Teens Living With Cancer and Lauren told a journalist “I am not even going to tell you how many of those teens have died.”

In the face of great horror this woman, this family… have inspired us to still stand up and to still have hope. To not only live another day but to do it with faith and love and strength.I wish beyond anything I could fill that hole in their hearts….. I can’t. But what I can do is what we are doing.

We are less than $2,000 away from hitting $50,000. Thank you all for your generosity, support, retweeting, sharing. Together, you and I have used social media to raise some relay big cash. In a time when people are not sure what to make of Facebook and Twitter…… we made something really good come out of it. While you were debating whether it’s good or bad, we snuck in and used it to our advantage.

Because of it we were featured on two more Buffalo news stations and we even made the Wall Street Journal.

The power of the people.

Last night our send off party was wonderful. Thank you for coming. And congrats to all of our winners. One of our TLC Fit Teens, won the Cait Snow helmet!

If that’s not just plain awesome…. I don’t know what is.

I will notify winners who weren’t there and the folks who donated…… Monday or Tuesday. I am slightly booked today.

Because it’s race day.

I awoke from two more nervous tweets from Mr. Armstrong:

Like I said…. I am used to this type of psychological warfare. First it’s Homegirl, then it’s the old  “I am running 15 miles” excuse. I told him I was running 30…. 15 is for cyclists. And don’t worry….. homegirl is one of the oldest tricks in the book. By they way… 1980 called, they want their lingo back.

Last night I was presented with this, Lauren made it (because she had nothing else to do, NOT)

I got to pick out the song Mr. Armstrong will be introduced to. You will have to wait to find out what it is. Leah picked out my song, and won’t tell me.

The University of Buffalo has now opened the event to the media, they were all notified and there will be coverage of some sort. I don’t know what but as soon as I know….. you will know.

Charlie, our PR guy from Qt2 Systems will be here and he will be providing LIVE coverage of the event via Twitter. Follow him at @charlesabrahams and me at @maryeggers and use the hash tag #tlckickoff (I know…. if you read that fast…..) for play by play action beginning at about 1:15 when I pick him up for coffee.

The words THANK YOU, aren’t enough, but I have no other words. Look at what we… you and I …. have been able to do. FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. I have a feeling we are going to go further today.

It’s race day. It’s time for me to take a little rest. I will be teaching at Breathe this morning at 10:30 and I will be bringing my lounge chair (think I am kidding).

After that it’s Buffalo time.

Armstrong can throw whatever tweets he wants to. I am ready for him.

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Dear Mr. Armstrong

April 27, 2012

The most important rule in competition is knowing your opponent. I know exactly what you have been up to this week. Thank you Strava. And…..” Juan”.

Riding 112 miles in 95 degree heat. A little ride with Bo Jackson. Then this tweet:

Shouldn’t that be part of the “Sh*t triathletes say video?” Welcome to triathlon Mr. Armstrong.

Five weeks ago I issued you a challenge on Twitter, and much to my surprise……. you accepted.  Since then we have raised over $40,000 dollars for Teens Living With Cancer and Livestrong. A media storm has stirred up all around us and we have been able to shed a big spotlight on this organization and these Teens.

I am incredibly grateful to you Mr. Armstrong. I know your schedule this weekend and that you are doing this is really above and beyond. Thank you so much for accepting the challenge. But I am not going to take it easy on you.

Here are some of the teens who will be there on Saturday.

To say they are excited is an understatement.

I am extremely proud to be able to represent them. I am honored beyond words to be able to lead this charge. To be very honest with you Mr. Armstrong this age group is the forgotten age group. If you take a good hard look at programs that are available for ages 13-19…… they are just not there. Your Livestrong program is awesome, but it begins at age 18.

You know as well as I do that once you have cancer you are at higher risk for developing a secondary cancer. And you know as well as I do that our biggest weapon i fitness and nutrition. We created our TLC Fitness program for that very reason and throughout the entire study we watched them grow in more ways than we could imagine. We were able to give them lifelong tools, real experience and a team atmosphere in which to develop those skills that will carry them forward.

Thanks to you Mr. Armstrong we have been able to raise $40,000 and we may even hit $50 by race time. My original goal was $1,000. We won the minute we exceeded that. Additionally we are bringing a chapter of Teens Living With Cancer to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Because of your name and because of Livestrong….. we were able to do that.

Livestrong has been incredible to us. I understand that folks might try to view them as a big bad corporate entity but you have to look at what Livestrong has done and has meant to so many. It’s more than rubber bracelets and T shirts. Livestrong has reached far and wide with programs and grants to not only further cancer research, but works darn hard in all aspects of Cancer.

On behalf of all of your fans I would like to thank you for founding Livestrong. You could have easily taken your winnings to texas and gone on about your life. instead you have done more than any athlete I can think of.

It took staring down the barrel of the cancer gun…… but you are the commander-in-chief. Those of us who live in this world…. we thank you.

Thank you for that, for accepting my challenge and for taking the time to come to Buffalo and share with all of us. You are a busy man and you certainly didn’t need to do it…. so again we thank you.

As far as the race. Your little tweet didn’t stir me. I am not afraid of you and your psychological warfare.

If nothing else, one of us has second place sewn up.

I will see you on deck Mr. Armstrong. Bring your kick, you’ll need it. (and thank you again!)

Your Friend, Mary Eggers

pre race video (thanks Leah!)

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Dear Zach

April 26, 2012

I remember the day I met you kiddo. Pittsford Triathlon. Not that long ago. You were this skinny lanky kid with a smile as big as the sun. You told me you had cancer. Liver Cancer. A rare form that was inoperable and left you with a tumor the size of a small football on your liver.

Your hero was Lance Armstrong

Fast forward a few years. You have died. And I am about to race Mr. Armstrong. Right about now I would do just about anything to have it be you and him in the pool. Or at least you on deck.

I can’t tell you how often Leah and I talk about you. In fact you were the one who connected us. You were the one who inspired her and that in turn inspired me. You were the initial ripple and we’ve got a freaking tidal wave about to hit Buffalo NY. The one person who is not here to see it….. is you.

I remember you asking me to get you a voucher for Ironman Lake Placid. In those days you could get one for yourself and for a friend. We camped out the night before …. kind of  a ritual for Lake Placid…. and I got the very last voucher before it was announced that because the race was selling so quickly…… no more vouchers for friends.

The girl who was filling yours out for me just finished the R in your last name. I looked at her…… I knew in my heart that you would not be competing but you wanted the voucher and I promised you I would get it. She must have been able to read my mind because she quickly handed it to me and I got out of there. I don’t know if you ever did sign up, but you had a small part of Ironman.

It wasn’t the distance you wanted per se…. it’s the chance at living that you held onto so tightly. The sicker you became the bigger you dreamt. In fact you created that video…. and you won Mr. Armstrong’s bike. I love this video. I watch it often to remind me. I love how video captures a moment in time.

Your heart. That’s what I think of when I think about you. Your giant heart. Ten sizes too big for your body (not literally….. spiritually).

To say we miss you is the greatest understatement there is. We know how much you would be soaking this up. You died before you had the chance for that phone call with Mr. Armstrong (it was part of winning his bike). I have this feeling though, that you are sitting back and watching it with the biggest smile in the world.

We miss you kiddo, we really miss you. For once in my life I don’t even have the words to write, and the tears dripping on this keyboard don’t do our grief justice. Knowing you though…. you would tell us to stop crying and start getting ready. We dedicated the whole TLC fit program to you. And I thank you my friend. Without you Leah and I would have never met, and what’s about to happen….. may never have.

Thank you Zach. You taught me lessons that I am still absorbing. That’s how you want to live a life. So that the footprint you leave on this earth is remembered and carried forward. Or should I say…. kicked forward.

Before that gun goes off on Saturday….. it’s you I am going to be thinking about. We are here because of you. You inspired more people than you will ever know my friend.

This morning I woke up to a $5,000 (five THOUSAND) donation to our kick off. That’s you buddy, that’s YOU inspiring people. All you. Thank you Zach, thank you for your time here on this earth. Thank you for reaching out to me, and to more people than you will ever realize. Thank you for your faith, compassion and for teaching us all what it’s like to dream.

I picture you doing a cannonball into the water. That’s the splash that started this all.

This kick…. is for you.

Donate please by clicking here www.teenslivingwithcancer.org

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Taking Our Marks…..

April 24, 2012

Age 14…remember what that was like? You are about to begin high school, the world is at your feet. It’s your oyster, you can accomplish anything. Each day is your canvas, paint away.

That’s how old he was when he walked up to the nurses station, where I was. He was my new admission, coming in to be looked at, tested. His body wasn’t working so well. He had seizure… or did he? Only his Mom witnessed them. He was losing function in his hands, but no doctor had ever seen it. Just his parents. At times he had slurred speech. But typically only in front of his parents. Sometimes I thought that it was believed that they made it up.

I took care of him for over a year and watched a decline that was heart-wrenching. After 6 months they found a brain tumor. The size of an orange.

I distinctly remember looking at the doctor. “The size of an ORANGE?” Here I was IN the medical field and I couldn’t comprehend it. How did THAT get missed. All I could think of was the size of an orange and the size of a brain. How did this get missed? On a scientific level I got it, I understood structures and images and this and that.

I watched that young man die a very slow death. I felt angry. That was about the same time I began to achieve some success in my triathlon career. That season I won every local race I touched it seemed, and while the victories and records piled high there was a sense that what I was doing…. wasn’t important as the fight that was taking place in that hospital.

As athletes … it’s okay to be athletes. It’s okay to win, it’s okay to allow ourselves to be successful. With what I was accomplishing on the field I felt like I needed to somehow use that to fight the fight off the field. I can’t tell you how many races I came down that finish line thinking of him. I felt helpless and accomplished at the same time. What I accomplished however gave me a platform on which I could try to do something positive. I just didn’t know how. Now I do.

It wasn’t fair that his life got cut short. He didn’t even know how to drive yet. Could something have been different if his tumor was diagnosed earlier? I don’t know.

I don’t understand late diagnosis. Medically I do, but practically I don’t.

Leah (you MUST check out her blog) , who works at Teens Living With Cancer, spent her teenage years going from doctor to doctor. Diagnosed with chronic fatigue after feeling terrible beginning at the age of 14. I believe it was 5-6 years later when she was finally diagnosed with thyroid cancer. They believe she’d had it all these years. She crushed thyroid cancer only to develop Hodgkins.

Leah, is my hero.

For real?

For the better part of her life she’s battled cancer. Age 14 through late 20’s. Now she’s a healthy young woman in her 30’s and I watch as she embraces each day with new passion and vigor and she works so tirelessly for Teens Living With Cancer.

This is Leah at 1:49 of this video.

She works at Teens Living With Cancer…. at least until June. It’s just her and Lauren there and Leah…. she’s funded by a grant that will run out. She has no back up plan and if you ask her she says…. it will work out. Because she knows that what she’s doing right here and right now is unbelievably important. She’s making more of a difference than anyone I know in this world.

She connects with our Teens, the ones who walk through the doors of the center and the ones in the hospital. I watch as she so creatively and passionately develops programs for these kids. She’s the real unsung hero in all of this. I wish…. oh god do I wish she had been around when that boy in the hospital was alive. Man he would have been the exact kind of kid TLC could help.

Instead….. he was alone. Very alone. (I don’t count as someone being there for him. I was his nurse). No one should die alone, much less a teenager.

Leah knows that. She knows what it feels to be isolated during one of the most critical times of her life. Her high school friends didn’t know her. She was that girl who always seemed sick. No one knew she had cancer, hell she didn’t even know. She was the girl who was always sick and inevitably the girl who was always alone. She’s gone on to create the life that she’s dreamt of having. She’s an integral part of this whole organization.

People know me from the triathlon community, but Leah’s the one who does the important work.

Let me be blunt: I need to find the funding to help her keep her job. I started off hoping we could raise $1,000. Now we sit just below $30K and will that be enough? I hope so. I don’t know. We won’t stop until we hit $100K. That’s all I know.

A reporter asked me if I was nervous about racing Lance Armstrong. No. I am not. (when you come into this knowing you are the winner…). Mr. Armstrong is a person. He doesn’t make me nervous (excuse my shaking). Our race is two lengths of the pool. What we do with that novelty is the part that’s exciting.

All I have to do is race this man and we ended up with $30K? Give me a cupcake. I can do that!

The same reporter asked me what my greatest athletic accomplishment was. I thought back through the victories, records, qualifications. Truth be told races get won by others, trophies collect dust, and the show goes on. “This is my greatest athletic achievement” I told her. Not because I am racing Mr. Armstrong, but what we have done together is going to reach far and it’s going to continue to reach far.

I thought about how we sat in a circle that last night of our TLC Fit program, and how I looked around at these kids and thought…… what you have all accomplished is bigger than anything I can even imagine. I am so proud of them. For fighting their fight with grace and dignity. For never giving up. For teaching me what it means to never say no.

For allowing me to storm into their lives like a bull in a china shop. Knowing these kids is the greatest honor I have ever known in my life.

So here we go. We are just days away from the big event. We’ve got snow here in Rochester but that doesn’t stop the kick training. This is how tough we are here in Upstate New York….. can we say the same about Mr. Armstong?

For the boy who never got to experience what it was like to go to the prom, and all of the ones you represent. Like Charlie. Who ironically would have been 25 years old on the day we announced this Duel in the Pool. Look at him. He’s beautiful. His father is involved with Teens Living With Cancer, very involved. If you were his father, would you be able to do that? If you were his father….. wouldn’t you beg people to help?

I look at this picture and I get hopeful and angry all at the same time. Why God? WHY? A big part of me really believes that you, Melissa and all of those whom we have lost…… are together and you see this happening, and you are smiling about it.

I am not a hero. I have done nothing but be loud. The Teens are the heroes.

So here we go Teens. You, me and Lance Freaking Armstrong. This has never been done before. He’s never done an Ironman, I have never won the Tour, but we are going to face off …. because just by kicking two lengths of the pool together we raise money. By raising money programs like TLC Fit, the ability for Leah to connect with teens who are in and out of the hospital, and her job…. which is bringing everyone together…… can continue.

I can’t change early detection or lack thereof. But I can make some noise so that at the very least….. you don’t have to go through this alone.

You are all worth fighting for. We got this.

Kick off pre race party:

Friday April 27th 5-7pm

Lovin Cup in Henrietta NY

We will hold the raffle at 6pm ! We provide the snacks, you bring your family!

The event

Remember, the actual kick off is closed to the public.  It will be attended by special invite to the Teens Living With Cancer teens from both Buffalo and Rochester. The University of Buffalo production team is creating a fantastic video of the event which will include behind the scenes footage of everything. At the end of Mr. Armstrong’s speech Saturday night at the University of Buffalo, the video will be shown and the winner revealed!!! To purchase tickets to the speech click here.

You can get in on the action of the kick off….. via Twitter. I will not be tweeting during the event, but Charlie will be. While he will not reveal the winner (ME) he will give you a play by play of the event. It will also be available the following day.

Follow @charlesabrahams and @maryeggers on Twitter to catch the action!!!

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Kick off T Shirts are HERE!

April 23, 2012

We are less than 6 days away from the Kick off! Our T shirts are ready!!!

They are $20 + $5 shipping and handling. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ORDER

And the prizes….. they keep on coming!

One entry to the sold out Pumpkinman 1/2 Ironman!

I have to give Kat Donatello a GIANT shout out. Not just for this awesome prize but for her support throughout this endeavor. She’s shared, retweeted, donated money, a prize… and so much more. We met a few years ago when I forgot to sign my husband up for her sprint race, and she’s someone I am proud to call a friend. THANK YOU KAT!

Tune Yoga Jumps on Board!

A big thanks to Leslie Schenk Trzcinski of Tune Yoga for her donation of two great prizes!

The Eney Jones Pull buoy!!!! Eney Jones was the first woman out of the water in every Hawaii Ironman she ever competed in (1986-1991) and has many titles underneath her belt! The original queen of open water swimming she is not only donating one of her special pull buoys, but Leslie is donating a spot to Eney’s open water swim clinic this coming June!!!

We are getting close and putting the final touches on everything. Five weeks ago I issued a challenge and then life got very crazy! The best kind of crazy there is! It is VERY important to me to make sure I personally thank each and every one of you who has helped in this effort. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it has meant. I will start with a few each day and next week I will have the full list of donors in front of me and you can expect a personal thank you from me.

Your generosity in terms of donations, sharing, retweeting and messages of support have meant EVERYTHING to me.

QT2 Systems: The FIRST person who reached out to me was my coach / employer / friend Jesse Kropelnicki. And of course the rest of the QT2 coaching team, athletes, everyone. They were quick to ask…. how can we help…. and not only got behind us with a donation, matched donations from all of our athletes. Together QT2 has so far raised the most money at $5,000. THANK YOU TEAM!

Breathe Yoga: I have been teaching at Breathe since 2005, and Cyndi, Abby and Carly are family to me. So are the rest of the crew there. They also wanted to know, how can we help? Not only did they make a generous donation of their own, they have supported me for so long and through so much.

Score-This: As many of you know, Rich Clark is family. He and the rest of the crew have not only donated, but retweeted, shared, asked how they can help….. you name it.

More to come on the thank yous……. and please keep this wave flowing!