I've just completed my second half marathon of the year--I ran the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham the day before I left for my Jakarta trip and then I ran the Tom King Half Marathon in Nashville this past weekend. In both races I was able to crank out personal record times, thank the Lord. I am due to run a couple of 5K races in the next couple of weeks--along with lots of hours of training day in and day out--and then comes the "big one," the Country Music Marathon here in Nashville. Once again, I will be raising funds for the vital cancer research at St. Jude Children's Hospital. If you'd like to make a pledge, you can do so online at my St. Jude sponsor site. With the diagnosis of a dear friend with cancer just a few weeks ago and the continuing battle against the dread disease by one of my students here in Franklin and two of my correspondence students in New York, I am more committed to this cause and this work than ever before. My goal is to raise $5000 during 2005--running in six big races: the two that I've already done plus the Country Music Marathon, the RC Cola/Moon Pie 10 Miler, the Chicago Marathon, and the St. Jude Marathon. The reason I picked St. Jude as the focus of my fundraising efforts is simple to explain: this children's charity hospital in Memphis is one of the most remarkable and effective medical research institutions anywhere in the world. St. Jude has treated children from across the United States and from more than 70 foreign countries. And yet ability to pay is never an issue because St. Jude is the only pediatric research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. Not one penny! Not ever! Zip! Zilch! Nada!
The treatment of children and the onging research at St. Jude includes work in bone marrow transplantation, chemotherapy, the biochemistry of normal and cancerous cells, radiation treatment, blood diseases, resistance to therapy, viruses, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, and psychological effects of catastrophic illnesses. Vital work, indeed. And again, always made available to families regardless of their financial means.
Obviously, this kind of care is very expensive. Won't you help me support the remarkable ministry of St. Jude to children and families battling cancer? Donate now and come back to visit my St. Jude sponsor site often. Learn how my effort to help find cures and save lives is going. Oh yes, and do pray for my weary old knees to hold up!