I had so many plans about what I was going to write after the walk. I was really going to bring it with all kinds of metaphors connecting the marathon to the struggles we’ve faced over the past year, and a full recap of all of the tear-jerking moments of the day. I write in my head before I ever put anything down on paper so, as I nursed my swollen feet and my aching calves I had plenty of time to assemble the piece in my mind. It was good, really good. At least I think it was. I honestly don’t remember any of it now.
Just a week after finishing the walk, while still coming down from the high of accomplishing a feat (albeit a very slow version of that feat) that elite athletes work and train so hard for, and while still watching our fundraising total creep up past $22,000, the wind was suddenly knocked from our sails. It was just a subtle change in one of Travis’ eyes, he was having trouble looking to the left, but we knew what it probably meant, and just like that our focus shifted back to crisis mode. In all of the chaos of scans and tests and added appointments, the joy that we felt just a week prior just disappeared (along with all of the words I had planned to say).
The past 8 weeks have been a bit of a blur, much like the first 8 weeks of the original diagnosis. A small problem with one of Travis’ eyes became a major problem with both eyes. His speech became slurred and his arm and leg muscles became weak. The man who finished walking a marathon nearly a full hour ahead of the rest of his team, was suddenly asking to turn around just a mile into our daily dog walks. It all happened so quickly that we both started questioning whether one of us accidently made a deal with big guy (or worse, the other guy).
We’ve caught our breath. He’s still fighting. And here are some amazing numbers we meant to share with you after crossing the finish line in September.
- 4 – The number of miles walked with our Delaware supporters at White Clay Creek State Park.
- 2 – The number of miles walked with our Ohio supporters in the Cleveland Metroparks.
- 5 – The number of days between Travis’ most recent chemo infusion and the date he tackled the marathon.
- 6 – The number of Team Wolverine walkers at the Warrior Walk in Rochester.
- 6.2 – Miles walked by Team Wolverine at the Warrior Walk in Rochester.
- 8 – The number of states represented by Team Wolverine team members in Boston.
- 13 – The number of Team Wolverine walkers who walked all or part of the course in Boston.
- 26.2 – The number of miles walked on September 24th by a man who was told less than a year prior that he likely wouldn’t live to see that day.
- 31 – The number of states where our donors reside.
- 38 – The place Travis finished among all fundraisers for the Jimmy Fund Marathon (38/10,000+)
- 60 – The age of the oldest Team Wolverine team member to walk the 26.2 mile course.
- 241 – The number of handwritten thank you notes we are sending to donors who made contributions to our team.
- $2,612 – The number of dollars raised by Team Wolverine for the Wilmot Cancer Institute.
- 6,091 – The number of roundtrip miles traveled by our farthest traveling teammate to come to Boston.
- $12,878 – The number of dollars raised beyond our original fundraising goal.
- $22,266 – The number of dollars raised by Team Wolverine for the neuro research team at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
- $24,878 – The total dollars raised by Team Wolverine, which will be used to advance research for patients just like Travis.
Thank you to everyone who walked with us, who held a fundraiser, made a donation, bought a t-shirt, and shared our stories. Thank you to everyone who kept us going personally so that we could focus on doing things for others. Those words hardly seem like enough, but please know that they are spoken sincerely. Thank you.