Thursday, June 12, 2008

Current Mileage

Of course you know that I am training right now for my 31.5 mile hike in September. As such, I cover a fair amount of miles weekly. About 3 weeks ago when I was standing in line waiting to check out at Safeway, a family circle magazine caught my attention.

In all honestly the reason I picked it up was the front cover heading "Swimsuits to flatter every shape." While I am smaller now (yet lately need to lose about 5 pounds), finding a swimsuit that fit right and looked right on me has always been a challenge. I have always had to consult such articles to get advice on what the latest and best styles fatter my figure.

While I was standing there thumbing through the magazine, a partticular page caught my attention. It was a small photo of a pair of Keen trail shoes and one of the styles I totally love! The shoes are light weight, have good tread, and were one of the few I could wear when I lost my balance. Also pictured was athletic wear by moving comfort which is another of my favorites. I am the proud owner of a couple of moving comfort thermal shirts which have served me well.

There was additional gear listed too but the Keen shoes and moving comfort brand clothes are what captured my eye. I was even more enthralled to see that there was a claim that the items pictured could be mine by entering a contest. Keen shoes ($120 a pair retails) and a moving comfort outfit (retailing $40-$60)? Woohoo! I am there! :o)

My excitement was further heightened once I read that the contest was a walking challenge! I walk nearly everyday and am putting on many miles training for my distance walk/hike in September. Surely I have somewhat of a shot in the contest. Entering the contest would also provide me incentive to get on the ball and keep up with my training which must be done anyway. It seemed like a great motivator.

The contest is a walking challenge to see who in the country will walk the most miles over 3 months. It began on May 12th and from the site I was able to log in the miles I had accumulated during the days I had not registered yet because I was not aware of the Challenge.

Today is June 12th, exactly 1 month completed since the start. Last night I figured out my mileage and not including the hike I have yet to do today I have traveled 114 miles!

I emailed Jodi Harrington and encouraged her to enter as I believe she will win. I seriously doubt anyone is putting on the mileage she has been over the past 4 and a half months and will over the remaining 4 months it will take to reach Point Reyes National Seashore in San Francisco.

Currently Jodi is taking a "Hike4NF" and it is a major hike at that! In February she began on the Atlantic coast in Delaware and set out on the American Discovery Trail across America. She and 2 other hikers have averaged 25 miles a day! So for the past 4 and a half months they have been continuously hiking that distance daily with sometime a day off and sometimes none! Their weekly mileage exceeds what my total is in a month!

Why is she doing this you may wonder? It is all part of the fundraising and awareness campaign to raise funds needed for medical research to find a cure for NF which I have. Athough it is turning out to be a more common disorder (1 in 4000 births are afflicted with NF1 and 1 in 25,000 births for my type which is NF2) still very few people have heard about it or know what it is.

Jodi and I are doing our extraordinary hikes because we want YOUR attention. We want you to know that NF exists, what it is, and how it affects people. We also want you to tell everyone you know about us and why we are doing it to encourage people to sponsor us and support the needed research to find a cure.

NF (Neurofibromatosis) causes tumors to grow in the brain, spinal chord, and on any nerves in the body. Living with NF can be frustrating as well as emotionally and physically painful. NF causes deafness, blindness, cataracts, visual impairment, loss of balance function, muscle weakness, paralysis, stroke, eating and swallowing difficulties, loss of tear and saliva production, disfigurement, bone deformalities, mental cognition challenges, learning disabilities, and even death in extreme cases from complications of the tumors or surgery.

Traditional cancer treatments are not effective at treating NF tumors because they are benign and usually slow growing. Thus, surgery is the only method of removing these tumors or parts of them which are not attached to critical structures such as the brainstem. Repetitive surgeries are often needed as the tumors can and do grow back.

Please help support the necessary research needed to find a cure and lessen these devastating side effects by generously making a donation to our efforts. Thanks!

My fundraising page

Jodi's fundraising page

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