2017 Finale Video

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.


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.


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/