2017 Finale Video

Monday, December 30, 2013

Follow Me in 2014

In January 2013, a small group of about 50  people began running together to raise awareness for one purpose and with one goal in mind. What happened next would become an Olympic sized, virtual event across our great nation known as the "Follow Me" movement. This 7 month virtual running event with 3500 active members, reached places as far as Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and 20 other nations, in a worldwide effort to increase and magnify awareness for children with cancer, the #1 killer by disease in all children.

On September 1st, many of those who ran would meet together in Washington DC, on the steps of our governments front door, the White House, to finish what had been started . The end of this race would not be completed for glory and honor, but for a chance to let our elected leaders know that our kids are still dying at the rate of 50 children in all 50 states and something needed to be done now.


The Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness event (Follow Me 2014) began at midnight, January 1st and will go through September 30th, and this is how it will work for those who want to join:

Join the live event on facebook here now:
https://www.facebook.com/events/514823015291839/
Begin by posting your miles on the event page. Post as often as possible because people will notice your activity and want to know how they can run for the White House too. Invite all your friends using the Invite feature in the event to invite someone you run with, a relative or anyone you meet and are excited to share this idea with.
Talk about it at the gyms you visit or with the high school track and cross country teams. We will look at adapting other sports and activities too in the near future like golf or cheerleading.


Next go to the official facebook page and click LIKE here:
https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWhiteHouseForChildhoodCancerAwareness You can share the page and invite friends and there is a link that will lead them to the live event in the "about" section.

Here are some ways you can be active in this event:

Start by clicking on the map (on the event page) and comment with your city and state or country.

Run, walk, bike, swim, exercise and post your miles, km or time on the event page and they will be counted toward the total goal of 1,000,000 miles. Be sure to post your state each time until we know that all 50 states are participating.



We will count every mile and turn minutes in to miles for workouts (one mile every 10-15 minutes, and 1 bonus mile at each hour.) If you are not a runner, you can contribute with yoga, P90X, Zumba or other activities. Give us anything that is an activity and we will convert it to miles!

Create or join any team to dedicate miles to real kids, then shout out your team name as you post "26.2 miles for Running for Lincoln!" Let these kids know your are running for them: Like their facebook page and leave them with a message of support.

One of the high lights of the 2013 event were the Follow Me tech shirt made for running in during your 2014 5k's and marathons. You can order an awareness running shirt by emailing your request with your sizes to FollowMe2014@hotmail.com (details to follow via email)

Creating awareness along the way:

Talk about how you are running to the White House, everywhere you go, to everyone you meet. People will be interested and want to know why they should "follow you."

Run and exercise like you have never done before, people will notice your activity and want to know how you are doing. Tell them why you're doing it and for who, if you are dedicating to a certain child.

Become aware of all advocates everywhere especially on social media and share your pages, organization and public events that promote awareness in our event. Many run races different times of the year, and you can join and donate to those causes, and still donate to this event too, especially you marathon runners.

Talk to those who have the power and responsibility to make changes for our kids. Email is a quick and easy way to write to your elected officials to let them know our kids need a voice.

There is unlimited potential for creating awareness, just give something a try and if it doesn't work, just keep running with us.

The Run for the White House is an awareness campaign to promote awareness to the unaware, activity in the community of families with pediatric cancer diagnosis, and most of all to take action that will amplify the voice of kids who's only hope is in everyday people like you.

When matters of life and death are concerned for our kids, all it takes is a single step to make a difference. Are you willing to JOIN the movement today?
Click here to join right now.
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Handful of Change

Fifty cents is not worth very much these days. Its nearly impossible to find a candy bar that cheap at a 7/11 and it wouldn't even get most people to buy a $10 item if it was only 50 cents off. This month was my sons 5th birthday, and he really wanted some coins, so I gave him two quarters. You wouldn't have guessed the first place he wanted to spend his money was the "Dollar Store". Unfortunately he would have been very disappointed if I told him he would have to wait until his 6th birthday to get two more quarters to be able to buy the $1 treasure he had been waiting for all year.
 
Don't you think he would feel a little "short changed?" Literally?
 
To a 5 year old, two quarters are worth their weight in gold, but to an average adult who's annual wages are more than 10x that amount for every single hour they are still breathing, its hardly a handful of change worth holding onto.
 
Like most parents, we want to give our kids everything good in life, but who would actually want to switch roles with our kids and put them out there in the work force, commuting everyday in traffic jams, and taking heat from the boss for not pulling in the sales needed for the corporation to fatten their wallets and their waist lines. No one would want to put their kids through the torture we adults endure everyday. So why would we want to let our kids suffer from things that only people over 50 are supposed to suffer, as they prepare to meet their maker? There is no need to rush them into adult living that often feels that it is worth less than a pocket full of change.
 
Now imagine your child had a life threatening disease such as cancer and ask yourself, what is the world doing today to help over 13,500 kids that are diagnosed each year.
 
Here is a challenge for you: using the number 50, choose which one of these statements about the current state of pediatric cancer is true? (I'll give you 3 choices, and if you guess wrong you will have to change your profile picture to a Giraffe...ok I'm joking, but seriously...)
 
1 - Every year, only 50% of the funds raised by the American Cancer Society go to childhood cancer research.
 
2 - Every year the National Cancer Institute budget of $50 billion dollars, only gives 10% for childhood cancer research ($500 million)
 
3 - Every year there are 50% as many children's who die from cancer as there are with AIDS, diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined.
 
If you believe that any one of these are true, I challenge you to become more aware of the half truth's, or should I say, those that are less than 50% true at all, listed here.
 
Currently the ACS (American Cancer Society) gives less than 50%, more accurately an astounding 1% to pediatric cancer research. That doesn't make the NCI look any better because their budget is approximately only $5 billion, not $50 billion. Less than 10% of that goes to pediatric cancer research, again less than 50% which is only 3-4% of that $5,000,000,000! Finally, the mortality rate due to pediatric cancers, far outweigh the deaths of those in the combined categories of AIDS, diabetes AND cystic fibrosis!
 
To give you another perspective, I heard on the world news tonight that over 2000 American soldiers have been killed in the last 11 years of war, but the war on childhood cancer on American soil still claims the lives of over 2500, every single year! That is an average of 50 kids in ALL 50 states!
 
If you don't think 50 cents will matter, you better believe what really matters is that families can tuck their children in bed in their own rooms each night, rather then laying them in a miniature coffin 6 feet under the earth.
 
The next time you pull a handful of change out of your pocket, remember that in order to make change, you yourself will need to be the change for what matters most, our future generations.
 
If you are ready to make change, now that you are aware of the state of pediatric cancer, share a link to this blog or post a picture of a handful of change and include this link. Then watch this short film by the Truth 365 and take action before you hear about another child diagnosed with cancer, or worse.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLnNyZclkDQ&feature=youtu.be

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In a Matter of Minutes

I promise this will only take a few minutes of your time...

FACT
The National Cancer Institue’s budget for FY 2013 was $4.8* billion.
Most of it went to 10 major types of adult cancers (lung, breast, prostate, colon, etc.)
 
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding

FACT
Approximately 4% covered 12 major types of children's cancer

FACT
The US Government spends $435,841,200 per hour (that is $7,264,020 per minute)  http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_deficit/us_deficit.html

FACT
4% is about $192 million dollars, so in 26 1/2 minutes of an entire Year (525,600) the money needed to find a cure for kids like yours and mine is spent. When that money is gone, the world depends on parents of children who are on the front lines, who are spending their life savings and more to sell lemonade and shave their heads and run to the White House, to raise even more money for research that has yet to scratch the surface in finding a cure.

Until our government gives us just a few more $minutes$ our kids will continue to suffer and die at the rate of 50 children in all 50 states.

... I hope this doesn't take a lifetime to decide something needs to be done to cure children's cancer, will you give a few minutes to write to congress to make change for our kids in 2014, before all we have with our kids are the last few minutes of their lives?

 

 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Icing on the Cake

Friday the 13th has never been more exciting than it has on National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day 2013! All day I have seen the golden glow of children's faces, as people everywhere come together to create awareness for our kids. Today may have been just another freaky Friday to some, but for kids all around the world who's lives have been terrorized by cancer, there has been celebration and an outpouring of support for children who deserve to see their next birthday.


Speaking of birthday's there are 2 coming up in October that you won't want to miss out on. Last year was a big celebration as my son Lincoln went on his Make-A-Wish trip and met Buzz Light Year on his 4th birthday! I won't say it made me feel old, but less than 2 weeks later that was a different story as I turned 36. I know many people who say they don't need birthday's anymore because they have had so many of them, but after thinking about it for half my life I have finally discovered that the secret to staying young is by giving back twice as much as you received, with each year that you have left.

This year I'm not going to have a surprise birthday party, but I am going to blow out the traditional party ideas by celebrating kids with cancer, who are hoping to blow out their own candles just one more time. To celebrate all of Our Kids in a special event, I want to create awareness by running 13 consecutive days, beginning on my son Lincoln's birthday and ending on mine. To help me in my pursuit for a cure and for the care of all, I will ask for 1300 people to join anywhere and anytime in this 13 day running challenge. You can do this one of many ways by running all 13 days, running a half marathon (13.1 miles) running as many 3.1 (5k's) as possible or walking with 13 friends to help raise awareness. Finally I will be looking to inspire 13 sponsors who will be willing to donate $1000 each to the childhood cancer research "Dream Team" through the efforts of The Truth 365 film and social media campaign.

Now that's what I call Icing on the Cake for #OurKids!

I have created a special facebook event page where you can donate your miles, celebrate kids who are still in the fight, and inspire action in the pursuit for a cure. You can join and invite all of your friends here @  https://www.facebook.com/events/566091380104579/

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Plan of Action

September is in full swing for #OurKids fighting cancer and awareness is on the rise, but "what" we ask is awareness really doing for childhood cancer in 2013? Back in January a petition was signed that was going to turn the White House Gold, or so we thought, but  now we feel the government has turned their backs on our kids and the fire is burning now more than ever. Awareness is something that can take place at anytime of the year, but in the Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness this year, people were doing more than raising awareness, they were literally taking ACTION that would bring a virtual idea into reality. Now that the event is over (for this year) people won't stop running because they know our kids need us now more than ever.

What is awareness and what is action?

Awareness is defined as "knowledge or perception of a situation or fact"

Fact: children get cancer
Fact: people know that children get cancer
Fact: people are aware that children have cancer
Fact: If we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and watch kids die day after day but don't take action, we fail to invest in our own future.

Action is defined as "the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim"

Do you have a plan of action? If you fail to plan, inevitably your plan will always be failure

Do you want to fail our kids like our government has? Do you think they ever had a Plan to help them overcome cancer?

Here is my plan: DON'T FAIL OUR KIDS!

Time is short and there is so much more on the line, comment here or on my facebook or twitter posts about how you will take Action this September for #OurKids.



Follow Me in a real life action event @ https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWhiteHouseForChildhoodCancerAwareness 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Run for the White House Finale


Where do I begin to tell you about all of the amazing things that have happened this last week? So many stories of people who have taken a stone of hope from a mountain of despair and created monumental awareness for our cancer kids. With the events happening in our nations capital and the gold rush happening in every state and many countries, childhood cancer awareness is gaining the attention of thousands, soon to be millions of people. So begins the September 2013 edition of Brian's Phirst Blog, dedicated to children like mine fighting for their lives!

Very early this year, only about a month after the Truth 365 film and social media campaign had gone viral, I wanted to do something I have never been able to do for Our Kids, so I went for a jog one chilly January day and let my mind wander as my feet took me down the country back road. I have never really been a runner like my friends Julie, Jerry and Tonya who have helped support our family since my son Lincoln's diagnosis, but I wanted to see if I could run a 5k race, longer than I had ever run since 5th grade. I started dreaming about crossing the country but after a 595 mile drive to Idaho, I could see the challenge would be impossible for me. I asked my running friends if they would contribute miles to the 2844 mile trek in a virtual tour to reach the White House. It didn't take too long for the word to get out and only 7 months later we have over 3500 people who have participated in running a quarter of a million miles for one purpose, to save our kids lives from cancer.

I have been a fan of a just a few reality TV show since they really became big over the last few years and one of my favorites is Survivor, but as the Host of this year long virtual event, I wasn't looking forward to eliminating any of the contestants, but continuing to invite participants to join in running  with me. During the last day of my 50 day challenge to virtually run through all 50 states, I asked people to join me in a run around the DC/VA area. I had three routes planned so people could join in at different times of the day and in an attempt to shorten the final run through the mall Saturday night, those running with me, inspired by our kids, actually increased the miles in an unforgettable evening that lead me to run the total of a full marathon that day. It was the perfecting ending to the 2013 season with the Live Finale of this virtual event right around the corner, following an awareness event of epic proportions.

On Sunday, September 1st, 2013 One event hosted by The Truth 365 and Journey 4 a Cure, brought together 50 organizations, foundations and parents of children who have faced the frontlines of battle at CureFest in Washington DC, to kick off national childhood cancer awareness month near the Washington Monument. This one event called for a unification of many to speak in One Voice to our nations leaders to raise the federal funding levels for pediatric cancers. We heard testimonies from children themselves who were suffering from inoperable and deadly cancers. The event inspired us all to join together and keep our spirits high as we raise awareness in September. Regardless of what we hoped for in a White House lit with golden light bulbs, we committed to keeping the flame within our hearts burning not only through September but 365 days of the year.

Following CureFest we were ready to run to reach our goal. With the vision of our kids in mind we began our run towards the Lincoln Memorial where another visionary once stood with a dream to eliminate inequality for all people seeking freedom. As we climbed the steps I realized that my dream to end the nightmare of childhood cancers was just beginning, but there were bigger and better dreams to be revealed as we faced the darkness time and time again. We turned back to run toward the White House and more people joined along the way. 

The final run gave us all a chance to feel like we had come a long way, and after nearly 7 months we realize we have many more years to go, but until we can all stand together and let the voices of our children be heard, our words will be silenced by those speaking over us. Creating awareness can be something that any of us can do from anywhere at any time, and it is critical to the process that leads to funding, research and ultimately a cure. 

Over the next few months we will plan for the future of the Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness. Knowing we will face long nights ahead, our visions will be lit from a flame that still burns within each one of us. As the sunsets over Washington we have hope in a new day, and when darkness falls we won't let slumber over take us, but from this nightmare we will rise again in 2014. Will you Rise with Us?

Join the movement and check out our White House pictures @ https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWhiteHouseForChildhoodCancerAwareness

Friday, August 30, 2013

Run for Gold

This morning as I sit at the airport, one I have been to many times for many reasons, its almost hard to believe I am going to get on a plane to Washington DC.

Back when I was in high school in Washington state, I had no vision for my life and any day was a good day as long as I could pull myself out of bed. When I met my wife to be Jenny, I envisioned a family with two kids and a dog (still waiting on the dog babe;) and when we had our daughter Emma and our son Lincoln we knew life would be lived to the fullest.

On July 1st, 2011 the day after our 10th wedding anniversary, the dreams that we watched unfold throughout our lives we interrupted by the nightmare of childhood cancer when our son Lincoln was diagnosed with Leukemia at 2 years old, this in the wake of the loss of my nephew just a year ago to cystic fibrosis. Once again our lives turned from daydreaming about what could be to hoping day by day that our son would survive. We didn't know where to start again but we soon found out that the would would be praying for a miracle for ours and thousands of other children that were also diagnosed in 2011. This became more than just about my son, it became my mission to bring a cure for all children whose lives were threatened.

During the next year as we rearranged our lives for Lincoln's chemotherapy, I discovered many people who were already veterans in the army of One against childhood cancers. The first thing I noticed was all of the support these kids were getting through organizations and foundation. I began to wonder if I should start a foundation but it was too soon as we cared for our son. A few months later I became aware of a film that was being produced about our kids and when the asked for volunteers at jumped at the chance. I used my blog to raise awareness and share about the film and then in December 2012 The Truth 365 was released, gaining 50,000 views before the years end.

After our campaign had released the film, there was still more to do, and with many organizations shaving heads, selling lemonade and bring Joy to kids throughout the year, I wanted to keep up with the race to September, national childhood cancer awareness month. In the middle of winter with the kids in our country in mind, I started running to reach out to those who have the power to eliminate the threat, our government. The Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer awareness began, not as something to spectate but to draw participation from all over the country all year long. Now on September 1st, 2013 a movement will sweep over Washington DC as it has already around the world, to bring a golden glow to Our White House in an organized effort that created #EpicAwareness that will continue on stronger than ever before.

With One Voice we declare September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to our nation to save our kids by allocating more of our countries $5 billion dollar cancer research to save their lives. As the most powerful nation on the planet, we will lead the way for the children of the world to be free from the monster within. Please join me and all of my friends with links all over this blog to end childhood cancer once and for all!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Another Ordinary Day

The place where I work has a motto that says: "Have an Ordinary day" Why? Because that is what usually happens anyways right? Today was relatively ordinary I suppose, for a Wednesday. Since I started my new position as an estimator in the sales department, it was actually my scheduled day off, and the first thing I did was go to the dentist to have a filling (or two) which was very ordinary. Next I went to the office (on my day off) to work on some simple little things for just a few minutes. As soon as I walked in the door (on my day off) I sold $1000 in materials. Completely...ordinary. As I sat down at my desk I wanted to look at facebook since it was technically my day off, but then the phone rang and it was for me. It was the lady I talked to the day before and she was ready to buy, which nearly made my day a little extra, but it was ONLY an $11,000 sale...still slightly ordinary.
In sales we often look at our numbers, but I didn't have time to get caught up in anything because I had scheduled more appointments for sales, since I had the whole day to do anything other than work. Ordinarily the case. I had to rush to get to the next job and after I made the sale and was about to collect a check, the customer asked what time they would install the fence. I said 3 weeks from now. That was the end of the appointment, but that was no less than ordinary. I got back to the office and the phone rang, this time he was ready to buy, so my ordinary day continued. I finally broke away to do something else I needed to do, which has become the norm recently as I delivery packages to the post office that go all over the world so people can have a new running shirt to run in. Equally  ordinary. Time was getting short as I had another 3 appointments scheduled (on my day off) and I made my way south for the first. I took out my tape measure to see how much fence would be installed (and this time I didn't hurt myself with the tape, like I did the day before, which seems to be ordinary even for estimators) and I felt the customer asking for the "best price" I told him I was new at this, but didn't budge until I suggested that his fence would get a lot of attention on his busy road, so I gave him a "high traffic discount" and he handed me a check for the install. I thanked him and moved onto the next two short appointments and then back to the office where I worked until 7pm, before I went on a 2.8 mile run and a 9.31 mile bike ride...still ordinary? Yes, I think so.

So what do I ever do that is, might you say, extra-ordinary? I don't think I could tell you. I just do what needs to be done, and if that means creating a virtual event where over 3000 people have donated nearly a quarter of a million miles for the cause of our kids fighting cancer in a virtual event that will lead us to the White House...that's what I do and its not to difficult, you just have to do it...the result? A cure for childhood cancer...someday, but inevitably the beginning of something that should be very ordinary, children living to see their own children born someday, because the threat of cancer has been eliminated. So as you plan your existence for tomorrow: Have an ordinary day.

https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Goal to Get Going

For the last 12 years of my life I have been working in construction, building RV's and then moving on to decks and fences. Right after I got married to Jenny in 2001 I was in the middle of an internship that ended suddenly and I needed a job. I took the first opportunity I could find as a non ambulatory on call, taxi driver until I realize this was not the direction I wanted to go in life. After talking with some friends I got a job in McMinnville, OR which was a short commute, and I finally got a taste of the real world. Even then I was not ready to face the challenge working in a factory, but after failing to keep up the pace in the trimming department, I was moved to something even more risky, framing the walls of the RV's. For the first time in my life I needed a plan, because my plan had always been failure.

"Failing to plan is certainly a plan for failure."

For the next three years I went from miss-cutting little pieces of trim to learning how to frame from floor to ceiling because I had a plan. This would be my career and I would no longer fail with a plan to succeed in everything I touched. With this new vision for my life, my capacity for knowledge increase so much that I was instruction other departments on how to make all of our lives easier. I even bet my supervisor one day that I could cut every piece of wood and frame our largest wall in 3 hours, which was typically a 4 hour job, and I did it in 2 1/2 because I had a plan. Things were going well, but something started to frustrate me when our department's lead man would not make a decision to become the next supervisor. It became so unbearable that someone who had the vision to be a lead man would not move up and give me the opportunity to follow so I resigned and left McMinnville to go work 2 blocks away from my apartment in Dallas at another RV factory.
One day about 7 months later our compressor went out and we were sent home and with nothing to do I went back to Mac to visit my old friends. When I showed up they told me the lead man in my department just quit and offered me the job. I showed up the next day and returned to my original plan for success. It wasn't two months later and a supervisor position opened up and I put in my request to turn my working hands into a vision for my company.

I only spent 11 months as a supervisor overseeing 2 departments at a time and learning 2 additional departments as well. When I moved to Salem, the drive was even farther, but my wife noticed a help wanted sign just half a mile down the road from our new house. I applied and interviewed and was hired shortly after I jumped ship from the factory that ended up closing its doors only 7 months later.
My plans had changed but my vision for my career had not. I was going to have to start over, but I went from helper to leader in 6 weeks, and from leader to manager in 2 1/2 years, and now 6 years later I will be moving to sales on Monday.

Early this year, after 1 1/2 years of my son's cancer diagnosis, I needed to make a new plan for raising awareness. I tried a few things that worked out alright, but this time I needed a vision just like I had for my career. I didn't really know how this vision would expand into what it is today, and now I am doing all I can to keep up with it and keep it going. At first the idea of running to the White House was more of a daydream that kept me from become overwhelmed with my work in the field, but when I started to participate, it lead the way for over 3000 people to run nearly 200,000 miles for our kids fighting cancer. Now I am at a point where something is in my way and I need to push it as hard and as far as I can. I have run "virtually" in over half of the states in the US, but now I have a vision to take it to level 2. This time I'm not just wishful thinking because the pressure is on to make it through every state and have every state participate for the thousands of kids that will be diagnosed in the next 12 months. Now with only 20 days until I reach the White House I will start my daily doubles and run twice a day for 2 states in the next 10 days, and 3 times a day for 3 states in the final 10 days. I hope every state will join the #FollowMein2013 movement and cross the finish line in the finale for #EpicAwarenss on September 1st. I will need all of my friends to help me in a virtual way to make sure you are "Going" to the event instead of wishing you had done something sooner for some of the greatest kids on earth.

Remember...

Click here to get "Going" even if it only means witnessing this years event in the grand finale on September 1st. https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Week to Remember

This week will be one to remember in the world of childhood cancer awareness. There have been joys and heart break in this battle, but we are still here are we will keep moving forward. Today as I reflect on the events of this week I can't help but think of the progress that has been made by so many people speaking with one voice and how awareness is becoming something of an Epic Charge in this great battle.

 

Last week was the beginning of my 50 day challenge to run 50 consecutive days in virtually every state in this nation with at least on person representing these states and children smiling for our miles to keep us inspired. I started the first day with a 10k race here in Oregon with a local children's foundation that has been supporting our family. See http://www.4him2day.org/ I chose the longer run because I had never been on the trails in the park we ran and I wanted to see what my race time would be in a 10k. I finished 8th overall just ahead of the 1st place woman with a time of 46:06.

Day 2 of my run was just as exciting as day 1. I found out about a 5k race that just so happened to be right across the street from my brother's house where I was going to for my niece's birthday party. The "Run like a Rockstar" race hosted by http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/
was just the race I needed to keep motivated in the first few days of my virtual run for the White House. The race around Lake Sacajawea was what I had been training for and after taking off early I finished 4th over all and 2nd in men's. I didn't really think about prizes, but they gave me a t-shirt for 2nd place and as I went to get it, they saw my "Follow Me" shirt and asked if I would like to talk about the Run for the White House in front of everyone there! Later I asked Maya Thompson how many people were there and we donated over 500 miles to the Run for the White House.
 

After two days of back to back races I took a 1 mile run but with the added challenge of waking up at 5am to beat the heat. My plan for the rest of the week would be the same each morning and I picked up a few more miles the next day before work. A few hours into Tuesday I got the message that another child passed away from cancer. Normally I feel the pain as most of the community does, but this time it was different. When any child dies from anything, there is great sorrow, even when it is expected, but when Talia Joy Castellano earned her wings, we all knew a Great Champion had fallen in battle. As one of the most recognized faces in the world of childhood cancer, at an age where she could express herself to the world through her You Tube blogs, Talia brought us together to cheer her on as she fought for over six year. We will never forget and we will never surrender in this fight as we continue to honor the fallen warriors who now stand on heavens golden streets where cancer will never prevail.

The rest of the week was a struggle, but I still got my miles in Wednesday which was the first 5 days of running. I have been creating maps of the states where people are running with me and Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Arizona were the first 5. Thursday was also a quick 1 mile at about 6:30, and Friday I took the last of my energy for the week and made a new personal record of my 5k with a time of 21:21, the first time my pace was under 7!





The first 7 days of the first of 7 weeks ended with a bang and this morning I waited for just the right time to do a virtual run in Maryland with some friends I have been following since February. Today at noon eastern time Landon Cooper, Ryan Priest and John McKay finished their run across the country with 3187 miles and $100,000 donated to sarcoma cancer research. These guys have truly fulfilled my dream that began early this year, but then our dreams collided as my running event took a virtual tour and they began to donate their miles to our kids fighting cancer too. I want to give these guys the Epic Awareness/Extra Mile award for this year in running and hope to see what happens next with Miles2Give in 2014.

Finally I have opened up "Follow Me" running shirts to the general public to help me to continue to raise a few extra dollars that will go a long way in this awareness event this year and in years to come. For $25 I will send you a shirt like the one in this picture, in hopes that I can reach every state and have as many people as possible with me when I arrive at the White House on September 1st. All I will need you to do is send me a friend request on facebook and a private message or email me at ricksson33@yahoo.com with your sizes in men's or women's and your shipping address. I can take checks or use Pay pal. I am open to take donations of any size, and if you have officially JOINED the event, I will take donations for the shirts starting at $18. Join here https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/
 
 Follow me and my miles on my blog page @ https://www.facebook.com/briansphirstblog

Sunday, July 7, 2013

#EpicAwareness

Two years ago as my family prepared to return home from Doernbecher's children's hospital in Portland, Oregon, I never thought that our son Lincoln's cancer diagnosis would take us to where we are at in our lives today.



The words "Your child has cancer," are far more devastating than anything  I have heard or seen on the news in the last 30 years, and the efforts to restore our lives to normal have failed time after time as the threat of cancers wrath remains like an aftershock from an earthquake.
 
In the wake of destruction there has been a light of hope through the online community of advocates who never ever give up, and after two years with the a normal life remaining uncertain, I am preparing to bring the challenge back to the lifestyle that I once knew. 

When I started raising awareness last January, I wanted to raise the bar in a personal way, so I started running again. It felt good and long story short, the virtual Facebook event "Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness" was born. After the first week with 25 people running over 100 miles I knew we had some work to do. Now with nearly 2500 people and over 100,000 miles I feel I have something left to offer for Our Kids. 

As a personal challenge I will attempt to run the final 50 days of this event, in a virtual race through all 50 states leading me to the White House on September 1st. This is a much greater challenge than I can do alone, so I will be asking people from each state to run with me on one of the 50 final days. I will be running alone for many of these days on the back roads outside of my house, but as Our Kids have motivated us to run over 100,000 miles, I will look for kids in treatment, who will give me their biggest smiles as I run my miles. With the help of everyone else participating in the event, I will challenge them to another 50,000 miles in just 8 weeks!
 
I will be posting this final challenge on several Facebook pages as well as in the main event so you will want to subscribe to all of them (click LIKE)
 
I will post my miles on my page Brian G. Jones https://www.facebook.com/briansphirstblog
We will post which state will be running on our Maps Page "A Golden Journey" https://www.facebook.com/AGoldenJourney
I will be asking for smiles on our page Smiles4Miles2013
https://www.facebook.com/Smiles4Miles2013
and we will post our overall progress on our official page.
https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWhiteHouseForChildhoodCancerAwareness
 
You can also follow this event on Twitter and Tweet me @FollowMeIn2013

I am looking forward to the beginning of this challenge that will one day help end the threat of childhood cancer. Thank you for your support in the childhood cancer and running communities as we finish this race in 2013, and remember it as a year of #EpicAwareness!

Join the Event https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Heat is On!

If you watch the NBA you probably heard that the Miami Heat won the championship this year after playing all 7 games in the series. I know as an athlete that it takes a lot of dedicated training, determination and even inspiration to go all the way and become a true Champion. During the last 6 months I started to run again, since the last time I ran was 5th grade, and I knew right away that I had it in me to go far. As the story goes, I thought I would just take off and run across the country, nearly 3000 miles, but then I remembered I don't have the energy of a 5th grader at the age of 36. So I started slow and finally ran 3 miles at a little over 9 minutes per mile. Now 6 months later something has changed and a movement has begun with over 2100 people now running right along side of me as we run for our destination, the White House. Now that summer is here, its time to turn up the heat and melt the soles off of our running shoes to create as much awareness as possible with every mile for Our Kids with cancer. https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

In the coming days we will be faced with many new challenges bigger than any we have seen before  to keep racking up the miles in this event. I think by the end of June we will be on the road to 100,000 miles and as we prepare for the 7/7/7 challenge we should see more people joining through the next two months. I have a personal goal that I am preparing for this week, that will take me farther than I have ever been before, but with the opportunity to take our most dedicated runners with me as captains of their own states. This will be the biggest 50/50 challenge yet and will lead us right up to the White House on September 1st. I will reveal more details soon as this challenge will begin on July 13th.

This weekend I will be taking my 4 year old son Lincoln, who was diagnosed with A.L.L. leukemia nearly two years ago, to the Nike Campus to join a special event with The Jessie Rees Foundation.  https://www.facebook.com/JessieReesFoundation Lincoln is very excited to meet a real football player and get an autograph. I will be very happy to meet Erik Rees (daddy) and his NEGU crew and tell them about our Run to the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

This weekend is going to be very, very hot around the country and could reach 100 in the valley here in Oregon. Let keep hydrated and keep those miles coming for the Smiles of the hero's that we Celebrate. https://www.facebook.com/Smiles4Miles2013
https://www.facebook.com/redcarpetkidsforthecure

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Movement of Hope

Tonight as I think about all that has been going on in the world that I know, the one thing that comes to mind is Hope.

Its not just something that I can pick up in the dollar section every time I go to Target, but lately it feels like there is enough for all of us who are willing to spend the last dollar in our wallet. Its not easy to live on the edge all the time holding onto hope, but when there are enough of us with the tools we need to keep climbing this never ending mountain, we find the strength we need in the hearts of others surrounding us. There is hope.

The songs that I listen to when I go for a long run all seem to express the human struggle that we all face everyday, but with just enough hope to remind us to keep pushing through until one day the wind will be at our backs again filling our hearts again with joy. There is Hope.

When I think about the dark clouds that fill the skies and I can see the rain start to fall in the distance, I know that its a matter of time until I either have to run for cover or just take it as it comes because I don't have a choice and I have a job to do, but when the clouds finally break and rainbows suddenly fill the sky, its hard to be disappointed. There is HOPE.

When its late at night or even early in the morning and the news channels are lacking in delivering any sort of substance, I find more assurance in the lives of people who have to say goodbye to the ones they love the most. In the lives of those most devastated, THERE IS HOPE.

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Its probably harder to wait for the things we desperately need and hope for when there just isn't any time left, so where do we Find Hope?

In the stories of those who's last hope has failed is usually where we find Hope...

Against all hope, you must Believe in hope, not wavering through unbelief, but being strengthened in your faith, being fully persuaded that God has power to do what He had promised. We have this hope in Him. My Hope is in You..........


Its time to Start a Movement of Hope, join us as we Run for the HOPE of one day finding a cure for Our Kids @ https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to Brian's Phirst Blog, if you are new to my blog take some time to read the latest blog entries and explore my links to learn as much as you can about how we can fight for Our Kids against childhood cancers. Currently we are running as a nation and around the world to bring attention to our US government that pediatric cancers are NOT Rare! Join us in a virtual effort https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/ to bring real Awareness to these kids who are still losing to cancer at the rate of 7 per day 365 days of a year.

My own son Lincoln was diagnosed with leukemia after we noticed something when he was out in the sun one summer day in 2011. He is doing very well against the most common form of leukemia, but he has been fortunate as many children suffer in hospitals and their playground are the hallways where nurses monitor them day and night. You can follow his journey and support him on his links on the right side of my blog.

I am one of the social media manager of the Truth 365 film and social media campaign. If you have not seen the film released late last year, take 51 minutes of your life and watch with a purpose in your heart that you CAN make a difference. Click the picture to the right.

I have some friends running across the country and giving their miles to fight sarcoma cancers, especially for young people. Check out their journey and join them with a big LIKE on their facebook page @ Miles2Give.


I want to support anyone who wants to Be a Voice to the little ones who deserve to be heard in a world that is to busy for kids. If you would like to share something with me, share it with me on my blog page (link on the right again) Check out my friend Tony Stoddard's page @ https://www.facebook.com/yellowandgoldforcole

September is National childhood cancer awareness month and 2013 is going to not only bring awareness for Our Kids but a celebration of their lives as they continue to journey the Unknown Trail of pediatric cancer. Please stand with me and those who want to Eliminate the Threat of Childhood Cancers once and for all. Take a look at my blog over the last 2 years to find out how to fight for Our Kids!

I had some shirts made for our Run to the White House and have sent over 100 so far! You can preorder one with your sized, color (light or dark blues) men's women's or children's and your mailing address. Once I confirm this I will let you know how to get one by making a donation to support our event in 2013. Email me @ ricksson33@yahoo.com
 https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/


Don't forget to Tweet Brian's Phirst Blog in 2013 and follow me @FollowMeIn2013. Thanks!
https://twitter.com/FollowMeIn2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Great Day!

What an amazing day it has been already! Let me just go right into it today.
After running this week and setting a few new personal records I decided today would be my long run. We went to church in West Salem after taking some time away since my father in law Pastor Bob past away. It was wonderful with the new pastor Nathan and his great message about the power of God's Word. I planned on running right out of church, but I never really planned how far I would go. I ran down the hill and across the old railroad bridge that is now a pedestrian bridge and started heading north through Salem toward Keizer. My wife left church but didn't see me because I was running on the other one way street. She finally caught me in Keizer and said she was going to lunch, so at that point I had to run all the way home. I ran half way through Keizer and turned east on Chemawa to head toward Keizer Station. On the way I saw a few runners and people on bikes, but then I saw this one runner and handed him my Run for the White House business card. I could hear him thanking me as I ran away, I wonder if he will join our virtual event @ https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

I ran through KS where the Iris Festival was going on, but I didn't see anymore runners from the races this morning. I continued on the back road where the race was held and reached the point where I ran two days ago in the Iris fields. It was a beautiful sight with hundreds of different colors these flowers produce in these very large fields.
 
I was on the home stretch with some great running music in my iPod and when I got to my neighborhood I started to wonder how far I had run. Previously my longest distance was 9.75 miles and as I walked a lap to cool down I saw that someone had just arrived at my house. It was our friends from 4Him2Day who have sponsored Lincoln in their fundraising efforts to help families who have children with cancer.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/4Him2Day-Childrens-Cancer-Resource-Foundation/110755938957530
 
They had received more donations from their last event and wanted to share with us. I started talking to Craig about the fundraiser coming up where people will run to help our kids. I was wearing my "Follow Me" shirt from the run I just finished and I thought about forming a team with all of my friends in Salem for their event in June.
 
After talking with him for awhile I came inside to rest and have some water. I opened up facebook and I could hardly believe my eyes as my new friends from Miles2Give (Landon Cooper) https://www.facebook.com/www.miles2give.org
 who are running against cancer across the USA, were standing there wearing the same shirt I was. I sent them these shirts when they were in Colorado and now they have reached Nebraska and will continue to raise awareness for this horrible disease. Please click on their link and LIKE their page for me.
 
I almost forgot, I check my route on Daily Mile.com and I had run 11.86 miles http://www.dailymile.com/people/brian_jones_bri/entries/22820573
 
Now its time to eat, have a great day! Keep fighting for our kids!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Smiles 4 Miles 2013

In early January I was thinking about how great the weather had been outside this winter and I decided to talk a quick 1 mile walk about the block. After about an hour of letting my mind wander outside of the stress of everyday life, I was determined to run across the country to raise awareness for children with cancer who desperately need a cure. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was older than I am at heart, and no where near being able to run 3 miles without walking. I asked a couple of people that I knew who were avid runners, if they would help me in taking a virtual trip across the country by sharing their daily miles with me, hoping we could add up 2800 miles by September. I guess the word got out about our virtual journey and now over 1000 people have run over 10,000 miles in all directions raising awareness and sharing hope with kids fighting cancer.

Since January I have continued to be inspired by all of the people running in our virtual event, and by those who are currently running for cancer awareness like my friend Landon Cooper and his team @ Miles2Give https://www.facebook.com/www.miles2give.org who are running for my son Lincoln TODAY! I never thought this event would grow to this size so I am adding a new element to celebrate more kids as they continue to hope for a cure.

Starting today, any of our kids diagnosed with childhood cancer, who send us a picture with a big Smile on their face, will be rewarded with a commitment to run 100 miles from those who have joined our event.

We will have a facebook page that we will post all of our smiles on where anyone can come to celebrate with our kids and comment on their pictures with a message of hope. With 1000 people its not too hard to run 100 miles, so every child will also receive Bonus miles for their pictures. I have also asked for pictures of kids smiling with celebrities that will be worth up to 3000 miles, and the ultimate prize will be given to one child who can get a smiling picture taken with our President (10,000 miles)

We want to ask everyone to spread the word about Smiles 4 Miles 2013 as we keep running through to September and hope that our kids will challenge us with hundreds of miles with their precious smiles. Please read the "about" section of our facebook page for instructions on how to Smile for Miles during our virtual run to the White House @ https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Check out the Smiles that have already inspired many miles on our page Smile4Miles2013
 
 
Click here to LIKE and SHARE "Smiles 4 Miles 2013"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An Army of One

Back in the early 90's when I was a youth, who's eyes were just being opened to the world around me, I started to wonder if I should join the armed forces and fight as an American Soldier. It didn't take long to change my mind, as the pleasures of life as a teenager continued to grow and serving anyone but myself was usually the last thing on my mind.

As I entered my college years I joined a youth leader in the small coastal town of Ilwaco, WA and the universe that I thought was centered on me was interrupted as I took my first trip out of our country to serve others in Mexico, Brazil and Jamaica. Each time I was faced with opportunities to either step out in faith and open my heart to a life changing experience, or shrivel up and indulge in my personal safety zone. At this point in my life I still find things I "like" to do, but even those simple pleasures are beginning to fade in the light of my new life, as a parent with a child diagnosed with cancer.

These days I talk a lot about "the battle" that we are in and how my son Lincoln soldiers on through his chemotherapy as a 4 year old. Only a few days after beginning this journey I took a new step of faith and enlisted in the army of childhood cancer warriors, mostly made up of children and their parents. As we took on grueling missions through uncharted waters like hospital visits, scans and steroids, the one thing I put my hope into was that these soldiers never, ever gave up. Sometimes when the journey through these foreign battlegrounds feels like the enemy is watching every step and trying to abduct our children, we begin to feel afraid and alone. Starting a foundation or a fundraiser or even a facebook page can feel intimidating when no one feels the same way we do about it, but we keep going because we are on a mission for our kids. When we complete our objectives like signing a petition to turn the White House GOLD in September or running 10,000 miles in honor and support of kids who are stuck in a hospital bed, we celebrate for a moment, before we look for the next opportunity to raise our Golden flags and stake our claim in enemy territory. Thankfully, we will never be truly alone, as those who have traveled down these roads before us, experiencing loss and pain, have not left the fight for those who have been recently drafted into this army.

In the world that I once knew, where wars in other countries cost billions of dollars and American soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice, I was hiding under a rock hoping to make a few bucks to buy some fast food. Now that I have been drafted into a war that has been going on for decades, my only hope is that our army is strong enough, big enough and loud enough to make One critical mission a complete success in 2013 (and 2014). We need to come together and let our many voices resound as an Army with One Voice because we will Never give up, never give in, NEVER! (please listen to the message in this song for the 2013 Childhood Cancer Community)

 
Please join us as One Voice in 2013 @ http://www.thetruth365.org/
Join us in Running to raise Awareness @ https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Extra Smile

Lincoln was invited to be a special guest today at the high school in Dallas, OR to raise awareness for those affected by cancer. He has some friends who are supporting him with their facebook page "Running for Lincoln" https://www.facebook.com/RunningForLincoln He wore his Batman suit and attached his Superman cape and needless to say, all eyes were on him. Even high school kids for a moment remember who they used to be when they were little kids, who thought they were always going to be superheros and princesses. They couldn't keep from looking away because they knew that their own dreams were somewhat faded. As he left the building, they were left wondering if Lincoln would even get the chance to grow up like a normal child and it must have been hard for them to keep the smiles and joy they were receiving from a little boy with a superhero cape and cancer.


 
Lincoln has been through so much, but there are many others, thousands of other children who have seen far worse that you could ever imagine, but they all have one thing in common: they never EVER give up. Children do have super powers, they have faith, courage and love for people who never even return the favor. They always find a way to play another day and even when they are pouring out the tears they can instantly return to that happy place that they reside in as children. There is very little that can truly take a child's frown and keep it upside down. Children love to smile and it makes me smile, sometimes revealing the hidden hopelessness that too often weighs on my heart, but helps me find a reason to overcome it.

 
A few weeks ago I was running with my friends all over the country who are raising awareness for childhood cancer in a virtual run to the White House https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902 
I had only run as far as 3 miles at that point and I wanted to push myself further because I was not satisfied with going a distance that I could easily walk. After 5 miles I still felt like I had something left in me, and then when I was getting closer to 7 I felt like there was no limit to where my legs would carry me. Yesterday I topped it off at 9.75 miles, farther than I had ever run in high school, and every time I reached for more was because our group had the chance to make a child with cancer smile by sending them messages that we were dedicating our running and walking for them each day. These kids may have been in a hospital room playing at their "window" to the world for the last six months of their treatment, hoping to see a superhero fly by to save the day, and then all of a sudden mommy looks on the phone or iPad and tells them that they have nearly 1000 people running for them to raise awareness for children who desperately need a cure from this disease.
 
I have realized that when you have a reason, you rediscover the will to go where many fear to tread, and as long as I am running for these kids, the extra miles are always worth the extra smiles.
 
 
Join us each day in our virtual run to the White House and experience what its like turning our miles in to Smiles. Many more Smiles coming March 17th @  https://www.facebook.com/events/129786293855902/

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wasted

What comes to mind when you think of the word...Wasted? Time, money, energy?

When I was quite young, I realized that time was something I didn't want to waste.
I had unlimited energy to spend and if I couldn't go outside and play in the dirt, I was BORED! Now that I have two kids of my own I am starting to see this in them too.
"Please give me something to do!"

As I became a teenager it was even worse. I wasn't bored, but I wasted so much energy on doing absolutely nothing at all that I felt like I was in a coma most of the time. No wonder its hard to get teenagers out of bed in the morning, when they waste all of their energy just being idle.
Can you just leave me alone, I'm really, really........whatever!

Fortunately I jumped ship on high school and started college early where I discovered COFFEE! The late night activities that were born because of this super-power-enabling drink, like bon fires on the beach and going to Denny's at 2am to eat with friends, only led me to waste more time, money and energy.



These days I don't have time, money OR energy, but its not because I'm wasting it like I used to.

Recently I started running again and I realized right away that it takes every breath, every step and even every thought to be able to achieve the goals that I set for myself. Today as I was running my 4th mile, I saw someone I knew and shouted out to them, nearly taking the wind out of me like a punch in the stomach. I wasn't focusing on the bigger picture of completing my laps on time and as I let my voice ring out with one big shout I put myself at risk of failing my mission.





As I was running I heard this song:

I don't want to spend my life wasted...

I don't want to spend my life jaded, waiting
To wake up one day and find
That I let all these years go by wasted...

I ain't spending no more time wasted...






In order for those of us who passionatly want to see the threat of childhood cancer eliminated, in 2013 we must not let our voices be wasted for another moment. We have 100 different areas that we find ourselves working on and at least 3 we each focus deeply on, but now is not the time to stand alone trying to raise our voices, missing the whole reason we exist. (WE WANT A CURE)

 
 
The childhood cancer community has been given incredible gifts. 
Don't waste them.
Its time to find our "One Voice"
 
"A thousand prayer, a million words...but ONE VOICE was heard"
 
Run to the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness
A Day of Yellow and Gold
 
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