Adam & Joshua Freedman
Aidan and Elizabeth
Duncan & Joan
Elizabeth & Jack
Emily and Katie
Kylie, Sasha and Brett
Lauren & Melanie Bellefeuille
Mr. Yvon Marc Carriere
Thomas and his Youth family
Tracy Wrong & Marc Bellefeuille
November 21, 2013
It has been 18 days since race day. I really want to give the proper closure to this journey of sorts that started over 18 months ago, so this last post will be for me and anyone who happens to check back here before this page disappears into the abyss that is the cyber world. I have tried to describe my experience to anyone who asked and would listen, and each time I found myself having some difficulty figuring out where to start before blabbering on and on about it. I am there once again, but something has to be said on here before I can no longer do it. The race did not disappoint. It lived up to all the hype and then some. It felt amazing to be running through this incredible city and touch so many different neighbourhoods and finish in Central Park. I managed to interact with some runners on occasion, whether it be at the start line with a fellow Team Fox member who has Parkinson's or a woman from Koeln, Germany with whom I shared my love for their local drinking song of choice. Running through the Bronx was very short but cool and so vibrant. Finally finding the Team Fox cheering station along 5th Ave just before making that right turn into the park and feeling like I was that much closer. Finally spotting Amanda in the grand stand just before finishing, knowing how much she has to put up with during my training months as I make adjustments to our life due to my precious running schedule. Dealing with the emotions that always surface once a marathon is completed. Feeling the warmth of that fleece lined poncho that was given to me as I was walking back to our meeting point. Feeling the love and support I get from Amanda when she gives me that first embrace once I see her. Enjoying that blissful hot shower once back at the hotel, knowing that a delicious dinner and pints are a few moments away. Realizing just how much I appeciated being a part of Team Fox and their wonderful staff who made everything go so smoothly in every way. All of this confirming that while I do run for myself, there is also a bigger picture that makes me accept my race time as a statistic rather than a barometer for success. One that sees me celebrate my sister's run as she battled for over 5 hours to finish her first marathon. One that reminds me that I run and will continue to run for my mom. Thank you Team Fox, for allowing me to support such an important cause and run the race of my dreams. I am forever grateful, and hopeful that someday I can do this all over again.
October 29, 2013
I am almost there. After over 18 months of training, re-habing, training some more and almost $6700 in fundraising for the MJFF the day is just five restless sleeps away. I have done all I can to prepare physically and mentally - well I suppose I can always do more? One last visit with my mom before the race last weekend and I have all the motivation I need to make this Sunday's NYC marathon a success. I am curious to see, hear and feel how things are going to go, how I am going to handle so much stimulus while maintaining enough discipline to run a proper race and enjoy the moment. Thank you, sincerely, to all of you for contributing in some way, and thank you to Team Fox for (yet again) letting me be a part of the team. Bring it on.
October 6, 2013
And once again I have reached my fundraising goal, and then some!! I owe a big thank you to those of you who have given, and for some of you this is the second time! I hope to find the proper way to thank you.
I went out for my last long training run this morning, the marathon distance. I have been very tired of late, so I was not heading out the door with much confidence to even complete the distance. Well, thanks to the GU gels, proper hydration and some very cool temps I managed to run it in under four hours and am recovering well. Four weeks away from race day, my objective is pretty clear. I want to get as close as I can to my personal best of 3:38 or even better it. I know that there is far more meaning to this run than statistics, but I would be kidding myself and all of you if I denied this. I am well aware, though, that the bigger picture has secondary goals that are more important. To enjoy the views, the crowd. To share in my sister's personal victory and share the weekend with family and friends. To remember why I signed up with Team Fox in the first place and know that we all contributed to finding a cure for PD. To keep running for my mom, knowing she will be with me the whole way. Win win, I say.
October 1, 2013
Wow, it has been a while since I have posted on here. The summer has come and gone and I find myself immersed in another school year trying to balance everything out. Luckily, so far so good.
The plan was for me not to ask for donations this year, especially with my sister doing her own fundraising. But after seeing my mom last weekend I feel an urgency to find a cure, to be honest. I was both saddened by her level of fatigue in fighting this and reminded why I am doing this. So I asked myself this question: why not give people who are willing to give yet again a chance to, if these might be the dollars that will make a difference? And so I am deciding to share my page with others and see where this goes. I owe it to my mom to do this.
As for the training, it takes more effort to stay focused, especially with the ab workout and the yoga. They have become integral parts of the training, though, so late dinners are worth squeezing them in. The running is going well, very well. I feel strong and look forward to running a full 42.2 this weekend for my last long distance run before NYC. The biggest improvements have come in diet, especially post run with the refueling. I have given up meat for just about three months now, which has allowed me to become leaner and feel better. I re-fuel using coconut water and Vega Sport, a vegan re-fueling beverage that allows my muscles to recuperate faster with some natural anti-inflammatories among other benefits. I wake up the moring after a long run and feel like I can get out there again, even if only for a short one. This bodes well for my running plans post NYC.
My sister's training has come with some glitches, but she forges on, determined to complete this first marathon. We will not be running it together after all, as I have decided to take a different bus to the start line, and we will be starting from different places and likely have different start times. I have to admit, I want to run this race as best I can and enjoy my own experience, selfishly. Nonetheless, we are sharing our training experiences and both look forward to this event that will share nonetheless. Throw in some family and friends who will be there to cheer us on, and it will be a special weekend.
I am not going to wait so long to post again on here, especially as the event gets even closer.
June 28, 2013
So much to say, yet so little. The leg has passed all tests I have put it through so far. At the end of May and early June I ran a race on three succesive weekends, each bringing their own challenges. I ran a thoroughly enjoyable 21.1 k in Brooklyn in which I ran my fastest time ever. The leg felt strong and recovered very well. I very much recomment this race to anyone wanting a destination race. One week later I ran the 10 k race here in Ottawa for a friend of mine who could not. I felt great and ran it as fast as I could, not for a personal best but a time I am more than happy with. More importantly, once again the leg felt strong and pain free. One week later I ran my first trail run in Sutton, in the Eastern Townships in Quebec. It was such a different beast, and although it was 6.5 k, I must say the challenge was as difficult as expected. I felt some soreness in my right calf for about a week, but once again the lower leg/ankle was pain free and felt stronger. I am thrilled at my progress, and I find myself running the distances I was one year ago as I prepare for this next attempt at the NYC marathon. I continue to baby my right leg with proper exercises and icing when needed, combined with a new ab training regime that is making a big difference in how strong I feel when I run. A sprinkle of running specific yoga is also helping round out my training, keeping me limber as I continue to increase my distances. I feel great, I feel strong, I sometimes forget that I am still in the recovery stages of the leg injury. I also feel such satisfaction that all of the patience and hard work is paying off. All I have to do now is stay injury free until November 4th.
I have some exciting news to share! My younger sister will be joining Team Fox in NYC as she sets out to prepare for her first marathon. This is a very exciting time for her and for the rest of the family, to be honest. This also means more funds for the MJFF as they continue their quest to find a cure for PD. I am excited to share this experience with her!
I am on summer break now, giving me lots of time to train, rest and attempt new vegetarian recipes in the kitchen to fuel me up.
I am spoiled.
May 4, 2013
I was surprised to see the original homepage show up after I registered for this year's Team Fox NYC marathon team. It was a pleasant surprise, though, as this brings me back to last year's effort to raise over $4000 for Parkinson's research. There are many people I have thanked and feel lucky to be related to or know who were pivital in helping me far surpass my fundraising objectives. They know who they are!
And I now find myself in the same position as last year, with smaller fundraising objectives in mind but a more firm commitment to support the Michael J Fox Foundation for the long term. At this point I am still hoping that my sister will be part of the team soon, which will add to the excitement of the marathon weekend come November. I am not asking for donations this year, as I plan to achieve my fundraising goal on my own. I am hoping to help my sister reach her goals, just as soon her participation is confirmed.
As for me, I feel very much on the mend. I have been running again since early January and have a lot of thanks to give to my physiotherapist who put me on the right track to a full recovery, and to Amanda who ran with me for much of the last three months. I ran 21 kms this morning and feel great despite some soreness in my leg. I will be running the half marathon in Brooklyn in two weeks and, although bummed that Amanda will not be running with me, am excited to run in that event.
My mom continues her struggle with PD and appears tired more often of late. Nonetheless, she perseveres and takes advantage of the stretches of time when she feels good. She continues to inspire me to focus on the good and deal with the bad as best as you can, not worrying so much about things you cannot control.
That is all for now.
November 7, 2012
I am not exactly sure where to begin. These past three weeks have been strange, what with the breaking of my leg leaving me unable to run the marathon and, as we all know, hurricane Sandy wreaking her havoc forcing the mayor of New York to make the right decision to cancel the marathon. I find myself tired this week from the ups and downs from these past three weeks. Amanda and I found out about the cancellation as we walked off the plane at Laguardia on Friday evening and felt for both parties. The decision to cancel was an obvious one to make, and yet we felt for the runners who had put in so much time, training and money to come from near and far to participate in this legendary event. Team Fox worked tirelessly to appease the runners who were there, hosting a wonderful dinner celebration of the team's achievements on Saturday evening. Michael J Fox was there greeting everyone, posing for photos sharing his appreciation for the funds we raised and awareness we shared. My favourite quote of his went something like this. Having Parkinsons's has taught me that we are not always in control of things, but we move on and make the best of the situation. It is this optimism and determination that inspire my mom, that inspire me and so many others to forge on.
Thank you, Michael J Fox, for your positivity and courage. Thank you to the Foundation for giving me a chance to get to know you and share in your quest. Thank you to Amanda for your invaluable support and love. And mom, merci pour l'inspiration que tu me donnes sans même le réaliser. Ton courage et ta détermination ne cesse de m'épater.
Only 362 days until the marathon.
October 29, 2012
I have some good news! The good people at Team Fox are deferring my participation in the NYC marathon to the 2013 race. This makes me so happy and thankful that they are doing this for me. I will continue to make small donations as the next 371 days unfold, and I will do everything I can to make sure nothing gets broken or injured so I can be there to run it. My younger sister and older brother are also comitting to join the fun in 2013, so I will do everything I can to support them in their training and fundraising.
I want to thank everyone for your moral support during this set back of mine. In the grand scheme of things, this is not much of an injury and I know I will recover from this stronger than before and appreciating my mobility that much more.
Amanda and I are going to New York this weekend to cheer on the runners and enjoy the wonderful city that it is. I am sure it will sting a little to only be able to watch, but this will only serve as another motivator to get back out there as soon as I can.
That is all for now.
October 17, 2012
Heart break. Well, I suppose ankle break is more appropriate. That is correct, I broke my right fibula playing ice hockey two days ago, a mere 20 days before running the race of my life. I feel heart ache, I feel extreme disappointment, I feel guilt and sadness for all of the people who have donated so generously to Team Fox for whom I will not be able to run on November 4th. But I also feel resilient. Resilient in making sure this glitch heals quickly and properly so I can get back out there and complete this mission. I also feel inspired. My mom goes through her battle everday against PD, so I think I can manage this just fine. I promise you all this one thing right now: I will be back and in better shape than ever to complete this challenge in 2013. I am not sure which race I will complete, but I will bring closure to this fundraising campaign of mine and honour your donations. I will go to New York for marathon weekend and cheer on the runners. Surely this will make me more determined than ever.
Thank you again for all the support, both moral and financial. For those of you who are interested, I keep a blog on which I post some running updates, among other ramblings: http://ycpal.wordpress.com/ I will keep updates to that page come November.
September 27, 2012
We have done it. Thanks to all of you I have reached - and surpassed - my fundraising objective. Thank you thank you thank you! And there are still over five weeks to go before the race, so who knows how much $$$$ will be added to the total.
A quick update ... The family golf tourney did not happen. I fugured, with less than half of my family being there, that we should find another way to do this. The training is on schedule, I am due to run the marathon distance during the canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I have added yoga to my exercise life and it is making a big difference. I feel more balanced in strength and also more limber, especially in the hips. I figure I will be better prepared for this one than any of my first five. I have received my bib number, which is always what makes it official, I suppose. Anyhow, all is right on track and I cannot say enough how much I appreciate the support given, moral and financial. I am humbled, my mom is humbled.
August 19, 2012
Let me begin by thanking all of you who have donated!! I am humbled by the generosity shown so far, as my fundraising got off to a very quick start and leave me at 75% of my target with still a shade over 76 days and 22 hours left before the start of the race. Needless to say I am so very confident I will get to my objective, and maybe even surpass it. So thank you!! Merci!! And of course, those of you who continue to provide me with moral support, you make getting up for those long training runs that much easier.
My training is also going well. I am on schedule for a marathon distance during the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving, giving me plenty of time to refuel and prime myself for race day. My left knee is starting to protest a little, but all in all I feel strong. I completed my fifth marathon last May, here in Ottawa, in a personal best time of 3:38. All of this helps me feel good about New York, leaving me only to deal with the nerves/excitement of running in such a grand event.
After seeing mom yesterday at her 72nd birthday party, I am left even more motivated to make this a success. As per usual, mom is a reminder to not only enjoy my health but challenge myself physically and mentally. Pour cela maman, je te dis un gros merci.
That is all for now. I will update again after the family golf tournament in mid September.
When I started running I never thought I would end up here. Running has become a big part of my life, both for fitness reasons and for the sheer pleasure of getting outside and enjoying the process. One of the big reasons why I run is really quite simple: I can. My mom, a mother of ten and twice widowed, has been fighting her battle with Parkinon's for over 18 years now. Her everyday struggle to stay relevant, involved in her children and grandchildren's lives and to be as independent as she can is what drives me to keep running, to keep challenging myself to push through the challenges that running brings. I have always hesitated to raise funds for any charitable organization, but this year I am challenging myself beyond what a marathon brings. This year I am challenging myself to raise a minimum of $3000 for Parkinson's Research. My mother is inspired by Michael J. Fox and how he braves his fight with PD with so much optimism and a determination to find a solution. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to take on this fundraising challenge while she is still well enough to know it is happening. As a bonus, could there be a better place to run a marathon than New York City? Truly a dream race for me, with the privilege of raising money and awareness of a disease that has hit so close to home. I am truly the luckiest guy I know.
I also want to give a shout out to Carla, Erin, Lynsey, Tracy, Louise and Katie. All of them have a loved one who is battling their own fight with PD. They will be in my thoughts as I take on the NYC marathon challenge.
Thank you for your donation no matter the amount, I really cannot say enough about how much it is appreciated. If a donation is not possible, thank you for allowing yourself to be a little more aware.
Please be aware of two details: For those of you living in Canada, I do not believe you will be able to get tax receipts. Also, there is never a 100% guarantee that I will avoid injuries and run the marathon. However, I am super confident that I will be fit to run come November 4th!! I am committing to raising $3000, regardless. Thank you for your understanding.
If you are interested, please read on to discover statistics on PD and Team Fox's accomplishments and objectives.
Five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease — a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder. In the United States, 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. But through your support of Team Fox, you can help change this.
Team Fox is The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) grassroots community fundraising program. Its members include thousands of people worldwide who generate funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease research. All funds raised through Team Fox go directly to MJFF to advance its mission to accelerate the delivery of life-changing treatments, and ultimately a cure, to people with Parkinson’s disease.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is honored by your support. Since 2001, the Foundation has maintained an uncompromising pace — strategically targeting our resources to achieve maximum impact on patients’ lives, funding work on over 100 therapeutic targets to the tune of more than $289 million to date. MJFF also understands that patients are the key to a cure and is actively engaged with the PD community. To help connect patients and their loved ones with the clinical trials that urgently need their participation, the Foundation created a Web tool, Fox Trial Finder (www.foxtrialfinder.org). Whether you have PD or not, you can play a critical role in moving research forward — create your profile now!
Now through December 31, 2012, all Team Fox members new to the program or those who raised more than last year will have their funds matched dollar-for-dollar, thanks to the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge (www.michaeljfox.org/challenge).
Your timing to step up for Team Fox couldn’t be better. Be a part of the answer and help us speed a cure for Parkinson’s today!