ALS Warrior PoetALS WARRIOR POET
-blazeman

BLAZEMAN'S DIARY
DAILY WAR ON ALS
March 1st, 2006 - April 29th, 2006

Today's Date is
and the Current Time is

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

The Annual Scott Carlson Memorial East Greenwich Rotary Adversity Leads to Success 5K Run/Walk

Blazeman's 5K Team Visits…
The 6th Annual Scott Carlson Memorial East Greenwich Rotary
Adversity Leads to Success 5K Run/Walk

(Click Here)


Friday, April 28th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

Ride for Life

ALS "Rides For Life" In New York, NY
(Click Here)


Thursday, April 27th, 2006

HI JONATHAN,

THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTE. I'VE VISITED YOUR WEBSITE AND MUST SAY IT'S QUITE BEAUTIFUL... WHAT A TRIBUTE TO SO MANY!!! I HOPE YOUR HEALTH IS GOOD... UNFORTUNATELY, I CAME DOWN WITH A PNEUMONIA IN FEBURARY AND NOW AM TRACHED AND ON A VENT. I AM DOING BETTER AND I'M MUCH STRONGER. IT WAS UNTIMELY AND HAPPENED WAY TOO EARLY.

ANY CHANCE OF YOUR MAKING IT TO THE WESTCHESTER TRIATHALON IN SEPTEMBER?

BE WELL AND GOD BLESS,

CLAIRE

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Blazeman,

I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and I am big fan of yours. I recently completely my 1st. Triathlon this weekend. I watched your Kona highlights on my I-Pod before the race for inspiration.

I am very excited about your 5k although for obvious reasons I won't be making it. I would however love to get a T-Shirt from the race to sport down here in South Louisiana. What can I do to get one? Let me know.

Hope all is well.

Eric Waechter


Tuesday, April 25th, 2006


BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS


Blazeman & Life Long Friend Heather Kinniburgh

Blazeman Re-Visits His Alma-mater… Seekonk High School, Seekonk, MA
The ALS Warrior Poet Meets Up With His Past…Seekonk Warriors!!!
He Shares His Thoughts & Experiences On Life, Death & The Ironman…

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Hey Jon,

Alex and I just wanted to touch base with you. It was great seeing you last Saturday at the walk and we would love to get together and get your thoughts about us helping you spread the word any way we can.

Thanks again for all you do... you are a true inspiration!

Jenn & Alex


Sunday, April 23rd, 2006


BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

Team Blazeman Visits...
La Jolla, CA

La Jolla Half Marathon         La Jolla Half Marathon

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

Blazeman Visits... "A Cure is Coming!"

A 14-Mile Walk And Wheelchair Ride To Benefit ALS-TDF Research.

(Click Here)



Sunday, April 9th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

Ironman Arizona Janus Charity Challenge Fund For ALS-TDF
"Let’s Find A Cure For Lew!!!"

Reina Probert & Lew Vogal
(Click Here)

Dear Multi-Sport World,

I just wanted to take a moment and share with you the events of yesterday.

When we arrived at the site it was early in the morning... 5:30 or so. As we walked toward the transition area, people were staring. I assumed it was because Jon was having a very hard time walking. His foot was dragging and I was steadying him as we went. He was already not feeling very good as I think being there just reminded him of the fact that he is no longer a triathlete, so the stares were making me not very happy! But, something amazing happened. When we reached the transition area, which was huge, a young man, who was inside the area, (we were on the outside 5 or 10 feet away) yelled Jon's name. Jon lifted his head and the guy ran to the fence. Jon went forward and the guy had Jon's name written on his wrist... he was very emotional and was telling Jon that he was the reason he was doing this race and how much Jon meant to him. He shook Jon's hand and then had to walk away as tears were welling up in his eyes! It was incredible. Jon and I both looked at each other in disbelief. But it didn't stop there... spectators, athletes, volunteers just started coming up to him. They came running up... "are you Jon Blais?" "are you the Blazeman?" "Can I talk to you?" "Can my wife take my picture with you?" Each shook his hand and went on and on about how much Jon means to them and the Ironman itself. One 20 year old kid had his Dad videotaping his conversation and when he walked away he was screaming, "I just met Jon Blais! I can't believe I just met Jon Blais!" A girl, barely 15, was like, "Oh my gosh, I just wanted to say hi to you, Mr. Blais." This happened the whole day. Walking back to my truck a guy pushing a baby in a stroller going the opposite direction yells, "Are you the Blazeman?" Jon's answers yes and the guy yells, "COOL!".

During the race at the aid station I was working... mind you, we were mile 4, 12 and 20, so the racers were pretty much toast and they could barely see me trying to hand them water. Jon is sitting in a chair off to the side and they see him. They stop their race and go over to talk to him. They stop their race! One guy runs past, is almost out of the 50' area and turns around and goes back. On the second and third laps they would point and yell at him... "you're why I'm here, man!" "Thank you!" We heard "thank you" a lot. And "How are you?" And they meant... how are you doing with ALS. As we walked out of the aid station to come home, the guy announcing at the station, says, "the Blazeman is leaving the station folks. He has inspired us all with his war on ALS, there he goes the ALS Warrior Poet. Thank you, Jon Blais for your inspiration, keep fighting". To add to this moment... we are walking up a hill on one side as the runners are coming down the other... smiling at him.

It was an incredible day. I was glad for Jon, it helped his spirits and lit a fire under him. Now I understand why he wants Team Blazeman so badly. We could have signed up about 10 to 15 athletes to join Team Blazeman without a problem. After the initial surprise of what was happening, all I could think was if we only had jerseys, posters, banners, T-shirts... oh-my-goodness we could have raised some major awareness for the war on ALS. We had no idea people were going to recognize or respond to him. We just wanted to look for the girl that was running for ALSTDF and hand out some water. Heck, even in a restaurant a guy recognized him! But, now that we do know what he means to the Ironman, we should set our eyes on Hawaii. I can only imagine what a week in Kona would do for the War On ALS.

Fighting the War on ALS!!!

Susie Degan

Team Blazeman


Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Jon,

Thanks for taking the energy and time you have left to come to my house for a simple dinner.

When I made the invitation, I thought nothing of it. When I saw your challenge, I felt inspired and blessed.

You may not know this but your spirit and self are intact. The Blazeman is still the Blazeman.

Maybe I haven’t been around on any of the ‘bad’ days. But, I can see that you are you.

And, I think that this is an important lesson for friends and family of ALS patients to learn.

Physical deterioration is nothing. The person in front of you is the person in front of you.

And, this extends to all the people you know…even those who bodies aren’t failing them in the most ungodly manner.

People in your family, school, office… They are always the essence of themselves – not what you see.

We are the essence of ourselves. You are, I am.

So, compassion and seeing beyond the skin, the muscle (what’s left of it), and the bone is what’s important.

And feeling that way for and about your selves, Warrior Poets, is too. No matter what happens on the outside, don’t let the inside fade.

Love you, Jon and am very proud of you. One year in and you are still strong. You are stronger. You are stronger now Blazeman.

You can have more life…for sure. But, you could have had less.

Thanks for the meal, the time and the education, roomie.

Love and Respect,

Kristina Louise


Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Blazeman, this may be my last e-mail...

This week, I have endured torture worse than anything you can imagine. The ALS started producing massive quantities of thick, rubber cement consistency mucous in my throat. Every time I tried to eat solid food, within a few minutes I would start to choke.

Because of my weakened diaphragm, I can't cough well. Coughing anything all the way out is virtually impossible. Moving air in or out is difficult. Combine that with a plug of mucous that is totally blocking the throat, and you have the recipe for suffering.

Several times during the past several days, I thought I was gonna choke to death, but I managed to fight through the event.

That is not the way I want to go...

The Hospice team has been trying mightily to manage these symptoms. They've had me on several types of nebulizers with medications to thin secretions, I've been taking oral medicine also designed for the same purpose. Every attempt ended up in failure.

The goal of Hospice is to help their patients to be comfortable and at peace, and to die with dignity and without suffering. Yesterday, they called and made a statement: "We've tried everything we can come up with, collaborated with numerous physicians, and we feel like we've attempted every option for you to remain at home. We have a Hospice inpatient facility named Solice, and we recommend that you go there."

Meanwhile, I had a plan... Friday, I quit eating solid food. Yesterday (Saturday), after enduring another of the endless choking and gagging events after taking 3 sips of Ensure, I decided to quit trying to consume anything other than tea. I quit taking several nebulizer drugs that were causing bronchospasms which resulted in an inability to sleep at night. I continue to take the oral medicine, which does thin the secretions, but I changed the schedule to every 4 hours (rather than every 6) to get a more steady dose level.

The plan has resulted in my being much more comfortable. I still cough, but I rarely choke. Because I'm consuming a pretty high amount of clear fluid, the mucous has thinned significantly - making it easier to swallow. Last night (Saturday), I took a very small dose of morphine, and slept better than I had in a week - no waking up in sudden suffocation because the ALS had snuck in and placed concrete in my airway.

Hopefully, today and tonight will be the same.

My sister Jodie, arrived here yesterday to help Brid deal with the insurmountable challenges that face us.

Tomorrow, the Hospice nurse will be here early. My intention is to go to the Solice Center. I'll have a very detailed conversation (by talking keyboard) with their clinicians about a plan to help me get more relief from the constant coughing and attempting to clear my airways. This may entail giving me more morphine by a more direct route than oral (subcutaneous or IV).

The time has come for me to be comfortable. I've fought this disease with every ounce of energy I can find. I've spent my life treating my body like God instructs us: Like a temple. I continue to do so. From day one, I've chosen to forego many invasive procedures that are purported to bring relief from the relentless onslaught of ALS. My reasoning for this is that I have an intuitive mind that tells me that for all the "miracles" of science, there has been no relief found with this disease.

Having a tracheostomy doesn't stop the choking. Having a feeding tube placed in your stomach doesn't stop mucous from developing in your throat. Being on a ventilator is more like being in prison, in my mind. None of these things do anything more than prolong the agony.

I've found a great deal of peace with my decision to die naturally and without the immense suffering I've endured. My hope is that the Solice clinicians can keep me comfortable. Really, it has been about 6 months since I've been that way.

I know God is within me. I can feel His presence, and he answered a very important prayer for me to get some relief from suffering yesterday. And I know Heaven is getting very close. About 2 weeks ago, I had a dream: A man who I didn't recognize told me, "look for the light". I searched for a star or some other form of light, but I couldn't see anything. The man then said to me, "It's just beyond the horizon.” I then understood it was Jesus talking to me. He looked similar to art depictions of Him, but not exactly. I realized then, that my time was not yet done on Earth.

But it's getting closer... over the days or weeks, I'm going to gradually weaken. My neck has been attacked so relentlessly by the ALS that I can hardly hold my head up. I can still walk, but barely. Hopefully, I'll rest comfortably, sleep well, and make the journey to Heaven in a very peaceful way.

I'm ready to be free of suffering, anguish, weakness, and the discomfort of living here. I'm ready to go to a place of beauty beyond description in human terms. I envision that place as much like Earth, only perfect. There, I'll be able to commune with family, friends, God, and Jesus. There will be perfect peace.

I'm going to miss my greatest blessing here, though - my friends. You have all been a blessing to me.

I'm going to miss my wife who has been an angel on earth to me. I'm going to miss my sister Jodie for her faithfulness in caring for Brid and I. I'm going to miss Brid's family because they've all accepted me and loved me as one of their own. I'm going to miss my sister, Julie, for her turning to God and helping to show me His way. I'm going to miss my Dad because he's been a good one.

I'm going to miss my coworkers at the Macon County Public Health Center for their being more like family. I'm going to miss my adopted Momma, Fannie, because over the years she has done many things to buoy my spirit and show me the beauty of living simply.

But time will pass in "the blink of an eye" and we'll all be together again.

I love you all beyond my ability to explain…

Jerry


Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Jon,

Thanks for letting me use your poem at Mom's funeral. I was surprised that I was able to talk about my Mom and Dad so soon after their deaths without crying my way through the whole eulogy. I had to stop about six or seven times, but it came off well. Some people said it was the best eulogy they'd heard. I finished it with your poem. My uncle said there wasn't a dry eye in the church.

Without a doubt, I'll think of you many times during the upcoming tri season. By the way, my mom sort of collected poems and sayings throughout the years, and could recall almost all of them. She shared this one with me a few days before she died:

Sometime you may have to watch the things you gave your life to be broken and stoop to build them up again with worn-out tools. Never give up.

It's apparent that you, Jon, will never give up.

Dave



Friday, March 24th, 2006

Jonathan,

Let me first say that your website is amazing! My name is Judy Pratt and I am the race director for the EG Rotary's 6th annual Scott Carlson Memorial 5K for ALS. All of our proceeds benefit RI families battling ALS through the RIALS association. Our 5K this year is April 29th at Goddard State Park in Warwick. Last year we had over 400 runners and raised over $26,000 for our families. My friend Scott Carlson was a triathlete like yourself and lost his battle with ALS at the age of 39. Scott started this 5K as a way of raising money to support patients and families in our area. He also was very involved with the Angel Fund out of Boston which you may be familiar with which supports ALS research. Scott like yourself lectured to Schools while still able and had a passion for life that reminds me so much of you. He would be so happy to see another keeping up the fight and making a positive impact on such an awful disease.

I wish you the best with your fight against ALS and hopefully huge success in the upcoming 5K - I'll be there for sure!

Best Wishes

Judy Pratt


Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Hi,

My name is Josette and I'm from the Freedom Team at Flat River Middle School and Areeg , Erik and I have been showing the 6th and 7th graders the 15 minute video about you and the IronMan. We are asking them to make donations or come join the race. I wanted to tell you that you must be a hero to many people with ALS because you came in before 250 HEALTHY ATHLETES! I just think that it is incredible what you are doing and your parents must be proud of you. Even though I don't have ALS you are my hero because you did something that many people didn't think you could do... you "spit in the face of ALS." You have moved many people in our school and that's why we want to help you and all the other unfortunate people with ALS. I hope that you live the rest of your life to the fullest (not like you haven't done that already) and i can't wait to see you again at the 5K race! I'm not really a member of the ALS group of my school because I don't have rides home but I wish I could be because I want to help you out very much! Don't worry I'll find rides home though! Well I just wanted to let you know that you are both a hero and inspiration to many people! You should be proud of youself because I know that I'm proud of you!

One of your many friends from FRMS,
Josette


Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Blazeman,

Kinda hard to put into words my reaction to you and your story -- lets just say I find you Remarkable and Brave!

A couple of things have kind of come together in the past few days...I am cycling in a event next weekend here in Charlotte NC in support of a guy Brent Lewis who is battling ALS. http://www.springtoliferide.com Then I read about the Team USA Senior women the Red Helmet Riders: Celeste, Paula, Rita and Sharon who will be riding (enduring) RAAM in your name -- WOW!

I have started a project "buttons of hope" which will provide photo buttons (of you) for people doing events like the RAAM the website is not live yet but info is at http://www.squidoo.com/photobuttons As my contribution, I would like to offer the Red Helmet Riders buttons to wear during the ride -- I know they will have FOR LOU on their jerseys but I think they should see your smiling face too!

And for that matter let me know if there are others who are supporting the "warrior poet" -- I would like them to have one too!

Blazeman, godspeed and makehope....

Michael Gibbons
buttons of hope

4835 Sentinel Post Road
Charlotte NC 28226

704-341-7396
704-517-5417 (cell)


Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Las Vegas, NV

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS

Laura Frechette Runs In Ribbons...
The New Bedford Half Marathon For ALS-TDF
Hi Jill,

I received your e-mail address from Jon Blais. I am planning on running the New Bedford Half Marathon in honor of the ALS-TDF. I wanted to know who people should make checks out to. Also, do you have any specific colors or any gear you want me to wear during the race?

I am planning on selling ribbons, which I will pin to my running gear. I want to raise $1310.00 since the race is 13.1 miles - so I am trying to get 100 people to donate $13.10 and in exchange the donor will have a ribbon with his or her name on it. I am planning on pinning the ribbons to my Shirt/Jacket and Pants. Anything to draw attention to ALS!

Anyway, I just wanted to know what colors do you use and also where to send the money and the checks. I also got my office to contribute the month of March. We donate every Friday to a charity and the whole month of March is ALS-TDF! I was so happy when the list of charities came out for the year.

Thanks for your time and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Laura Frechette

Laura Wore Her Ribbons & Log Rolled In The New Bedford Half Marathon...
See Her Finish

(Click Here)
 

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Tucson, AZ
Blazeman In The Desert...

Blazeman Visits Tucson's Tri-Girls & Co.

Nichole Mathias, Jeremy & Jennifer Werner, Daniel & Melissa Windholz, Susan Degan, Rex Stuessy, John & Rosa Marie Zimmerman, Lisa Totz, Shari Howard, Kathy Cunningham, Elaine Seasley, Josh Franklin, Michael Henry Degan, Sarah Baxla, Bizzy Orr, Elizabeth & Enrique Machado, Obi Dorsey, Mary Bohlman, Frances Valencia, Dea Jones, Fank Solis, Michael Stofko, Amanda Richard, Capt. Jeremy Smith U.S.A.F. & Fellow Squadron Officers, Paul & Sylvia Anderson, Scott & Holly Lonergan, Delivery Doctors Movers, LLC, George & Mina Goldberg, Folks @ Tri Sports.com, Wendy Goldberg, Katrina Wertheim, Seaton & Debbie Claggett, Raymond & Maureen Noeth ...

Tucson Tri Girls             Tri Sports.com


Friday, March 17th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Tucson, AZ
Agenda:
Blazeman Visits With Captain Jeremy Smith &
Tucson's 41st. Air Force Electronic Warfare Communication Squadron

 

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Tucson, AZ
Agenda:
Blazeman Visits...
Tucson's 92.9 The Mountain… with… "Jennie In The Morning"
Interviews Blazeman - The ALS Warrior Poet

Monday, March 13th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Tucson, AZ
Agenda:
Blazeman Visits The Four Points Sheraton...
The Warrior Poet's Long Awaited Visit With Tucson's TRI Girls
They Tell Me I'm The Keynote Speaker…

Tucson Tri Girls   Tucson Tri Girls

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

Hi Jon,

As I'm sure many, many people have told you, your story on the re-cap of the '05 Ironman was without question the highlight of the entire event. I had recorded the show, and I replayed your poem ("It doesn't interest me...") many times, each time with an equal amount of tears in my eyes. I wrote down the words, sent them to a friend, and I still can't read them without being deeply touched. I too am a triathlete, and I too was reminded of my mortality when I developed about a dozen blood clots in my lungs shortly after the last event of the season. My doctor said that I really shouldn't be around any longer, but here I am. I see my situation as trivial compared to yours, and when I read your poem, I realize that people such as yourself have dug much more deeply than myself when exploring what really matters in life on this earth. I applaud your determination and strength.

Yesterday, my mother died. I was very close to her. And this after my father died only two weeks ago. I'm feeling very lost at the moment, but a day will come when I will be able to smile at warm memories of both. The reason I'm writing you is that I will be doing my mother's eulogy on Wednesday, and I'd like permission to read your poem to those gathered. If you're not comfortable with requests like this, I certainly understand.

I wish you ever-increasing fortitude in your battle, Jon. People like me need people like you.

David

Dallas, Texas

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Hi Bubba,

Just checking out your site and thinking of you...

Love,

Mom

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Bob,

How have you been – long time no hear? I hope you and your family are healthy.

A friend of mine, Jon Blaze, you may have seen him on the IM Hawaii broadcast – has ALS and is looking for folks to help him raise money for ALS-TDF: http://www.als.net/ffc/familyPage.asp?familyId=220

Jon’s site is here: http://alswarriorpoet.com

I am not sure if you are racing IM this year, but if you are, maybe you could consider raising some money for ALS – it’s a vicious disease with no known cure.

I hope you are doing well Bob. Talk to you soon.

Best regards,
Mike Ricci
www.D3Multisport.com
USAT Elite Level Coach
USAT National Coaching Commission

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Hi Jon,

My name is Debbie and we met at the Heroes' reception the weekend of the Carlsbad marathon. My friend Susan, is a hero and was being honored that evening.

I am writing to you for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, you are so inspirational, so moving and so informative. Since I met you, I have opened my eyes and paid so much more attention to ALS, it's victims and the lack of a cure at this time.

I don't know if you remember, but I mentioned that I have been involved with the Westchester Triathlon that takes place each fall in Rye, NY. One of the organizers is Phil Gormley and his sister, Claire, is very ill from ALS. A very large part of fundraising from the race goes towards ALS on her behalf. I think Phil has been in touch with you but I am not sure how recently.

If there is any chance the Westchester triathlon could be honored by your presence this year, everyone would benefit. We draw a sold out field and host a weekend of events. Please, when you have a moment take a look at the the site.

I hope to hear from you…

On a personal note, I am currently training for my first 1/2 IM (Tinman in June), honestly, there isn't a day that goes by when you don't enter my thoughts. I am only training for a 1/2 and I have full range of motion. I can't give you enough credit for your mental and physical strength.

I wish you strength, success and enough time to spread your thoughts and knowledge.

Debbie Ragals
Ps. In the picture that is attached, I am number 6534 and Susan Scharr is 2624 (Susan was honored as a hero at the Carlsbad Marathon)

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Dear Multi-Sport World,

On behalf of 5430 Sports, John Stermer, Jon Blais, and all of the those affected by ALS, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and generosity in making our “Guest Griller” event such a success last evening. We raised $841.00 dollars, which will all go directly to ALS-TDF, the research organization working toward and committed to finding a cure for ALS. We want to particularly thank John Stermer and his family for joining us and blessing us with his presence. John’s strength and perseverance during these challenging days should all inspire us in a positive way.

We would also like to thank BD's Mongolian Barbeque for hosting this wonderful evening…please continue to frequent this home of healthy and fun dining… as well as our friends at Clif Bar, Fleet Feet Sports, and Headsweats for donating raffle prizes which were given out during the evening.

Have a terrific day!!!

Barry & Jodee Siff

5430 Sports.com

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Blazeman Speaks With The Parents & Supporters At The FRMS
The Inaugural BLAZEMAN 5K Run/Walk
Is Getting Underway…

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Blazeman,

My ALS has kicked into high gear. I'm still walking… but barely. I'm beginning to have a hard time breathing, and I get a little weaker each day now.

We're back in North Carolina now, but the drive back took a huge toll on me. Last Sunday, I tried to go for a bike ride on a nice 60 degree day. I could only make it about 2 miles before I had to turn back. On an easy uphill section that I used to sprint up, I hyperventilated while riding 6 mph.

So my bike riding days are over… Brid has become an incredible rider. I think to honor me. I'm amazed to see her ride, and I'm proud of her beyond words.

Today, I'm being admitted into Hospice. I don't want to wait until my last few days, because being a former Hospice nurse… I know they can provide wonderful support to both Brid and I.

I've definitely squeezed a lot of joy out this temporary existence here on Earth, and I'm still doing so with my remaining abilities.

I'm so proud to have you all as my friends, and I love you all. Thank you for your kind thoughts and gifts of friendship.

Jerry Beckwith

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

Blazeman,

RE: 5430 Sports… more proud warriors!!! Team Blazeman is growing and just wait until this spring and summer when we are all out battling for ALS-TDF with our ALS Warrior Poet colors and rolling across finish lines.

"Their gonna know its a movement."
Arlo Guthrie

Talk to ya soon,

John Wolski

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

Blazeman,

Thanks for your inspiration!!!! Unlike you, I have a disease that is killing me slowly and I see it as an opportunity. I am a Type I diabetic. I have also been working with "Battlership" Bob Mitera as my coach for the past year. The ALS Spin-A-Thon was a great idea and I hope it lives on. Finally, you inspired me to do something to aid my research of my disease. I am working on a concept of Team 140.6 to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Keep up the fight!!! The world is a better place because of you and the legacy you started... both as a Special Educator and as the ALS Warrior Poet.

Steve Chop

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Hey Blazeman,

Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know what’s going on around here in support of you and ALS-TDF. This week, on Wednesday night, Jodee (My Wife) and I will be Guest Grillers at a local Mongolian barbeque restaurant, and all tips will go toward ALS-TDF. Our goal for the evening is $500 - $800. We will certainly fly your ALS Warrior Poet banner proudly, as well as have your ALS Warrior Poet cards out. John Stermer, one of your fellow ALS Warriors, will be joining us at the restaurant… it should be a powerful evening.

In addition, if you check out our website, you will see that all of our races this year will raise money for ALS-TDF. We fully expect that total to be $10,000/$15,000. We are in touch with Jill at ALS-TDF and, in fact, she is sending us some Fact Sheets for our dinner deal on Wednesday. We are spreading the message, man!!!

I also know that Celeste Callahan, from Denver, is working hard to support you and ALS-TDF, as she and a team of other women will be participating in RAAM in your honor and in your support. She is extremely supportive of all we do as well. I hope this finds you on a good day with positive spirits. We do think of you frequently, Jon, and wish you continued strength. Our commitment to you and the battle for fighting ALS is solid.

Take care,

Barry Siff

5430 Sports.com

Monday, March 6th, 2006


BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS


Blazeman & Life Long Friend Heather Kinniburgh

Blazeman Visits His Alma-mater… Seekonk High School, Seekonk, MA
The ALS Warrior Poet Meets Up With His Past…Seekonk Warriors!!!
He Shares His Thoughts & Experiences On Life, Death & The Ironman…

* * * * * * *

Hey,

I was amazed with you today. I kept thinking… how on earth could he have a smile on his face when his death is near. Oh wow and Mrs. Kinniburgh was on the verge of tears during the Ironman movie you showed us, but I am guessing that you knew that and she stopped. So anyways… I just wanted to say I meant it when I said it was nice meeting you. You really have a lot to say and seemed like your good friends with Mrs. Kinniburgh.

Write back soon,

Jr. Warrior Poet…

Beth

* * * * * * *
Hi Jon,

My name is Lauren Chu…. a senior at the Seekonk High School. I was in Ms. Brayer's period E class when you came to visit on Monday. I just want you to know that I was truly touched by your story and me and a couple of other classmates are trying everything we can to help you raise money. I just want you to know that I think about you and I think about different ways to help you. I'll talk to you later… just wanted to say hi and let you know that a lot of students at Seekonk High School are thinking about you.

Lauren

* * * * * * *
Dear Jon,

Thank you for coming to talk to our class on Monday. Talking with you was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about ALS. Actually before talking to you, I knew nothing about ALS… just that Lou Gehrig died from it. You seem like a really cool guy who generally enjoys life and makes the most of it. To be told you have only 2-5 years to live and be that happy I think is amazing. Thank you so much for coming to our class to talk with us.

Sincerely,

Ryan

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Dear Jon,

Your presentation the other day was very inspiring to me. You have such a positive outlook on life. I have never seen anyone in such a situation with as good of spirits as you. Competing in the Ironman is such a remarkable achievement. You are reaching out to many people, and I’m sure that your presentations are giving eople a better outlook on life. I hope that you are feeling well!

Emma

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Dear Jon,

Thank you for coming in our class on Monday. I was really moved. I now have a better appreciation for life after I have heard your story. It is scary to think that your life can be changed forever within a second. I just wanted to say that you are an inspiration for me and I hope to reach one of my goals in my life. Your story has proven to me that anything is possible if you work hard for it. I just appreciate you taking your time and coming in. My prayers are with you, God bless.

Sincerely,

Alex

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Dear Juice,

Your opening page is just amazing. It's raw emotion. I sobbed for a long time just thinking about you, your mom, dad, sister, and life. I think about how the line between life's beauty and tragedy is so fine; one moment we are celebrating an accomplished life with a promising, prosperous future and in an instant... it's gone... vanished... swallowed up by a relentless predator. If wishes had true power, mine would cure you, fly you back to San Diego and place you in the middle of an Aseltine teaching moment, or the 20th mile of a warm afternoon's ride, or a late evening out with friends and good cheer.

It just isn't right...

The other day you mentioned how you sometimes felt like you've done more with ALS in one year's time than most others will do in their lifetime. Well you're right, but you've done more than that Jon. I know you think the whole legacy thing is bull and maybe you're right, but the impressions you have made are countless and lifelong. People will always know Jon Blais; the man who wouldn't give in; the man who refused to accept the norm; the man who always raised the bar; the Warrior Poet who fought for freedom.

I am so honored and proud to call you my friend.

Love you Jon,

I'll talk to you soon.

Hester

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Hello Blazeman,

My name is Eric Bascombe. I'm 28 yrs. old. I work for a small company called Lawrence Air Systems in Barrington, RI. Yes, Aaron, Jason, and Brian are doing great! We had followed you through your IM in Kona, HI and we are all concerned of your wellbeing. You might be asking yourself, ok, but what do have to do with all of this. I teach spin at a gym called WHR fitness in Woonsocket, RI and I'd like to do a fundraiser for ALS-TDF. I just recently got into Multi-Sport after 10 years of MTB racing, the last 2 years being at the Semi-Pro level. Last September I raced a little event called the greenway challenge. Obviously I trained hard but around that time you had sent the company that letter which I read aloud in my Spin and Pilates classes I teach. Extremely inspirational from someone I've never met. I ended up winning the Ironman division by quite a bit, and I'm ramped up to do many more "real" triathlons in the near future. But enough about me, I'd really like to do a Spin-A-Thon, or something for ALS-TDF. I've taught 4-hour Spin classes before basing them on 24 hour racing. I've just never done a fundraiser before and with a little help, I'm sure I can get it going. So there is a piece of my little world, hope things are as good as they can be in yours Jon… hope to hear from you soon!

Eric


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