Monday, August 25, 2014
100 Miles and 23000 Feet for Fundación Prótesis Para la Vida
A little over a month from now, I'll be joining 300 souls at the start line of the "Grindstone 100." Doing it once back in 2012 was slightly daring, well out of my comfort zone. A second time is merely daft.
Two years ago, many of you helped to redeem this ill-advised undertaking by generously pledging a donation to Fundación Prótesis Para la Vida.
I am asking for your help again this year.
Online pledge form here
The Cause for which I'm running
I consider mobility as more than a human need--it is, or ought to be, a right. Yet poverty prevents many people from obtaining the prosthetics they need. One of the organizations founded to help those who could not otherwise afford mobility is Fundación Prótesis Para la Vida (Prosthetics for Life), based in Ecuador. Some of their patients (not the very young ones pictured here, obviously) have waited decades for a prosthetic limb.
Prótesis para la Vida is a very small organization, with bare-bones administration and facilities.
Your pledge of support will therefore go an astonishingly long way. It will go directly to those who need the help. As they explain on their website, for the same budget as a single below-knee prosthesis in the United States, their clinic is able to provide something like thirty equivalent prostheses to patients in Ecuador.
Prótesis para la Vida also provides low-cost adaptive designs: aids such as standing desks and other equipment, ingeniously constructed out of cardboard and other affordable materials, to improve everyday life for patients.
In honor of Jennifer Lee Knowles (1965-2012)
In the long night of a hundred miler, I often feel myself running with those who are gone. My good friend since college, JenLee was a remarkable person in so many ways. Smart, compassionate, and tireless, she served as the U.S. Coordinator for Prótesis para la Vida. There's a moving tribute to JenLee and her work in Ecuador provided on the website.
There's also an inspiring report on the first JenLee 5K, held in the shadow of the Imbabura Volcano. The photos of participants, including prosthetic patients among the runners, gives you a good sense of what the work of Prótesis para la Vida means to the community. I think this race is an appropriate legacy for JenLee. An avid climber and mountain biker for many years, she could be scarily tough and resilient. Those qualities certainly shone brightly throughout her struggle with the serous carcinoma that ultimately took her life.
The Grindstone 100 Mile Race
I am duly humble about my chances. Having done this once is no guarantee I'll do it again (it was a close matter the first time). Plus you can't trust mountains. They call the shots. They make their own weather. What is passable terrain one day, is a slough of mud and rocks the next.
Please pledge your support
Here's the deal. You fill out the online pledge form now, promising X amount per mile actually completed. After the race, once I recover consciousness and stop eating pizza, I will send you documented proof of my finish (or portion thereof), a copy of the most wretched selfie you will ever see, and instructions on how to send in your donation.
Online pledge form here. It's fast, it's easy, you can pledge what you like (a penny a mile, ten bucks a mile) and I won't sell your info to marketers!