The LiveSTRONG event got off to a literal bang when Amy and I scrambled after work on Friday, 8/19 to get over to eastern PA and the LiveSTRONG village for packet pick-up and registration. No sooner did Amy and I check-in at our hotel, meet Anne Chen in person for the first time, and then arrive at the event venue when the skies turned black and prompted the LiveSTRONG staff to frantically shutdown for the night. Things continued to get interesting when we returned to the hotel following a team sushi dinner. The heavy rains had caused the hotel parking lot to flood and I needed to park the car at another hotel up the road where there was no threat of the car becoming a boat.
Aside from the muddy grounds on Saturday all went well for Mintz’s Mentschen participation in the walking/running events. The weather was terrific and this was capped by our own private pasta party on Saturday night where most of our team was able to attend. Sunday was an entirely different story. Many thanks to Kathy Lynch for bringing us two new Mentschen teammates for our walk team. Theresa Lizzio and Cindy Takacs are wonderful people and they both seemed to have had a great time. Ditto for Jordan Adler who was recruited by Dan Nies. Jordan did a combo walk/ride weekend and I think he’s been bitten by the LiveSTRONG bug. I look forward to having all 3 as ongoing Mentschen teammates.
Dan Nies, our only 100-mile rider, and Jim Nuccio who rode the 70-mile route weren’t quite as lucky. The skies once again turned black at around 2:30pm and opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and lightening while Dan and Jim were still on the course. Long story short is that they both finished despite the VERY scary scenario that unfolded.
Mega thanks to all that have donated so generously to our Mintz’s Mentschen LiveSTRONG efforts this year. My final fundraising total was $5,654 and our team total was $28.071. Incredible.
The event weekend was somewhat bittersweet.
- I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with my LiveSTRONG email penpal Anne Chen who came all the way from Denmark to be with us.
- An old Rider College friend, MaryAnn Bellesi Faraci, came to visit me on Saturday afternoon. I hadn’t seen MaryAnn since Rider 30 years ago. Incredible fun.
- LiveSTRONG weekend is always a real lovefest that both humbles me and fills me with a year’s worth of good karma.
- Long time cycling friend and Mintz’s Mentschen teammate Stephanie Tobler relocated to Switzerland a couple of days after LiveSTRONG. Stephanie will be spending time with her grandmother and other family in Switzerland. While she’ll be missed I’m also very proud that she’s truly living life to its fullest. Way to LiveSTRONG Steph!!
One final note on the topic of LiveSTRONG. I can't thank my good friend Dan Nies enough for what he does on behalf of Mintz's Mentschen. Dan brings the energy, coordination, coaching, custom jerseys and t-shirts, and all-around positive vibe to our team. Our team absolutely would NOT exist in its current form without Dan. Dan, I hope you know how truly grateful I am for who you are and what you do. There's a reason we're called "mentschen" and Dan is our fearless leader (not to mentschen that he's the one who coined our name and motto). Time for a definition for those that need it. Mensch: a person of integrity and honor, a particularly good person, like "a stand-up guy", a person with the qualities one would hope for in a dear friend or trusted colleague.
Tomorrow is 2011 treatment #15. Not too much to say about it other then that it’s the last that will be on a 2-week cycle. Given that it’s been taking me a little longer to fully recover from each treatment an extra week in each cycle is something that I look forward to.