(EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not really comfortable with the label, but Jeff asked me to publish this as is.)
At least once a week we see a news story featuring someone who has pulled a stranger from a wrecked car or helped a neighbor escape his smoldering house. In other stories we see first responders saving citizens in their chosen line of duty. The reporters are eager to use the “hero” tag, and sometimes it is deserved. However, sometimes our heroes are family or friends who are right in front of us. In my world, what makes a true hero is someone willing to act selflessly without really knowing the outcome. Someone whose focus and commitment is so genuine that they frequently will admit afterward that they really can’t believe their actions. Some heroes are motivated purely by love and a determination to beat the odds. My brother Dave is a true hero!
He has undoubtedly touched many of you in various ways with his blog stories, and perhaps inspired you to overcome an obstacle in your life. Just days after I told him of my cancer diagnosis, he signed up for a marathon to raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. His act inspired me and helped me to recover more quickly by launching my own marathon campaign. Dave’s perpetual motivation and timely calls kept my spirits up during dark periods of rehab and training. He always said yes to requests for help and put his sizable positive energy force to work in every imaginable facet I could think of. He verbally tugged and nudged and encouraged me to exceed my own expectations about what life could be surviving and thriving with cancer. We have run side by side in the Chicago and New York City marathons and raised meaningful money for the MMRF. Many of you have been a big part of helping us reach those goals.
However, things really launched into an Everest-like realm when Dave decided to register for the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon. An Ironman? To me, that was running into the burning building. “What were you thinking?” I asked him. “This is not a marathon. Do you realize how much training and time it will take to do this?”
He wasn’t thinking about that, he was thinking about what he could do to save me, his big brother. Dave is a true hero. His sacrifices are quite substantial in this pursuit of the most demanding multi-sport individual challenge in the world. His friends are his running shoes, his bike and his wet suit. I will be with him in Lake Placid at the end of July as his crew chief, to make sure his equipment is ready and in the right place. I will also be at the finish line waiting with open arms to congratulate him on this truly amazing feat.
Please help Dave achieve his fundraising goal while he pursues the greatest athletic challenge of his life. You can donate here.
My brother Dave is “my” true hero!
- Jeffery M. Goad
P.S. For those who have asked how I’m doing now, I am considered in “maintenance remission,” not that there really is a true remission. My last blood test had my KFL at 5.03, a new low number for me! (Normal is .3 to 1.7.) When I was diagnosed, it was 1400. So I am 99.64%, almost 100%! I am grateful for the new drugs and treatments developed by MMRF. Your donations make a difference!