I am a 37 year old teacher, researcher, and endurance athlete. Last year I was diagnosed with MS and my world was turned upside down. I'm raising money to fund research for treatments and a cure. It's my mission to bring awareness to the disease and treatments so that newly diagnosed patients know they aren't alone. It's a battle we fight everyday, but with your support we can break free from the prison that is MS.
TriCalifornia’s SF Triathlon at Alcatraz is only one week away, I wish the finish line was the actual finish line for my disease. I wish the challenge were that if I could make it to that finish then that would be it. I would be finished with MS and I could put that chapter of my life to rest. But it isn't. It's the rest of my life. MS or multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the nervous system. Nerves are like electrical cords sending impulses to and from the brain and muscles all over the body. When the immune system attacks these electrical cords the rubber coating around the wires (myelin sheath) is distorted. When the attack is over the myelin sheath can be repaired but if the wire (nerve) underneath is damaged, that damage is permanent. When the immune system will attack, where, and for how long are all unknowns until it's happening.
At merely twenty four-years-old, a young man by the name of Frank Andrews Junior was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Over the next year, Frankie Jr. and his parents would endure chemotherapy and a battery of treatments that would fortunately wipe out the cancer. To celebrate his 10-year remission, Frankie Jr. looked to conquer more mountains; in 2007 he decided to join Team in Training and enter his first-ever triathlon, the notoriously grueling Wildflower Triathlon.
As he trained, Frank Jr.’s parents were back to support their son again by providing water stops for the team. It wasn’t long before they earned the moniker, "Team Frankie". Frank Jr.’s mother, Frances, even nourished the athletes with fresh grapes, strawberries, watermelon and other goodies and was endearingly known as the " Water Stop Queen". It would be an understatement to say that Frank Jr.’s parents were proud of their son but what his father, Frank Senior, didn’t expect was the feeling of deep inspiration he experienced by watching his son take on such a great challenge.
I am 77 years old and I feel fortunate to be still swimming, biking, and running. I started out as a runner in my early 40s. I noticed from a photograph taken of me with my small children that I had become overweight. It worked and my weight loss rewarded me. I made some runner friends who introduced me to racing. My children wanted to run with me when they were middle school, and when they were in high school they ran races with me. I always managed to finish a little ahead of them.
Later my middle son, Scott, was on the San Marin High School swim team and talked me into doing the Rolling Hills exercise club in Novato sprint triathlon. I was not a strong swimmer, and I wasn’t sure that I could swim the 500 yard pool course without stopping. Looking back, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I complete a 1.25 mile swim.
I had difficulty maintaining a daily triathlon training schedule. Then I met some people who also competed in triathlons or swam, biked, or ran, and I trained with them. This kept my focus on my daily training schedule. I found a friend who would go to races with me. My longest drive was to race the Wildflower long course, and it helped to have someone to travel the 3-1/2 hour drive and share experiences.
Did you know that prostate cancer will take the lives of nearly 30,000
men this year alone? To help end the second leading cause of cancer
death in men, we at Tri-California Events have partnered with ZERO – The
End of Prostate Cancer for the renowned Wildflower Triathlon in April
and for the return of the iconic San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz in
August. ZERO will be featured as a charity partner for both of these
events as a part of their ZERO Endurance program.
Since it began with one team at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2008, the
ZERO Endurance program has raised more than $1.1M to end prostate
cancer, and will see more than 300 athletes and more than $500,000
raised in 2016. ZERO Endurance allows athletes to make their miles count
by supporting the one in seven American men affected by prostate
cancer. Each dollar raised helps fund research, encourages action in
communities across the nation, and provides support for those men and
Did you know that prostate cancer will take the lives of nearly 30,000 men this year alone? To help end the second leading cause of cancer death in men, we at Tri-California Events have partnered with ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer for the renowned Wildflower Triathlon in April and for the return of the iconic San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz in August. ZERO will be featured as a charity partner for both of these events as a part of their ZERO Endurance program.