Monday, December 31, 2007

This one's for Zack!!!

I hope everyone has had a fantastic Holiday season!!!! Besides training for this marathon, there are a lot of more important things that have happened over the past few months that I feel very grateful for. I thank God everyday for my family, friends and that I am able to be in a profession that I have passion for.
I would like to take a few moments and tell you about a little buddy of mine that is my next door neighbor. His name is Zack, and he is truly a special person to me and my family. Since we moved to our house in 2003, we have known Zack and his family, and he and my daughter Adryana, have become very good friends!!! They have literally grown up with each other. Every Christmas, it has become tradition that Adryana and Zack trade off gifts and open them in front of each other.

About 6 months ago, in the heat of late June, I remember seeing Tina (Zack's mom) in SuperTarget, and her saying to me, "Greg, you are nuts!!! I saw you running around 5 pm yesterday in the sweltering heat!!! You're nuts!" I laughed, and we chatted for a little longer, while Zack and Adryana played and talked with each other in the store, and we went on our way.

That was the last time I saw Zack, Tina and Rob before their lives changed forever. Apparently Zack came down with a chest cold over the next few days, but it wasn't getting any better. Tina took Zack to the MD, who intially said it was just a chest cold. It wouldn't go away and Tina took Zack back to the MD. They decided to do a chest X-ray, and suprisingly they found a mass in little Zack's chest. They did a CT scan to confirm that Zack had ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).

About a week later, my family was notified of all the happenings with Zack. It was a shocker!!! My wife and I knew that the most important thing we could do for them is pray and ask God to put his hand on Zack and their family during this very trying time.

Thank God, Zack is actually coming off of steroids today, but he will be starting another round of chemotherapy (which will be 4 days/week) starting January 7th.

Many people run marathons in memory of a loved one, or for some important cause. Since Tina said back in June, I was nuts for running in the sweltering heat, I figured that I should use my insaneness (is that a word?) for good, and tell you all about his story. Please click here to learn more about Zack (in the area where it says "visit a caring bridge website" put in zackaryrozmeski [all in lower case letters]), and to follow his course of battling this condition. There is also a place on this website where you can make a donation in honor of Zack for families that are dealing with very ill children, and are having financial difficulties for continuing to get appropriate treatment for their loved ones. (Tina told me that their copays for medication were over $800 for one week!!!)

For those that are able to donate any amount to caringbridge, please put your name on Zack's website and notify me by e-mail (Use the comments section at the end of this journal entry or e-mail I will extend out a complimentary video running analysis at Renewal Rehab (1 hour) for anyone that is able to donate to this wonderful cause. For the non-runners, I will give out a 30 minute consultation for Therafit Services to assist those who are trying to get fit for the New Year.