ALS Warrior PoetALS WARRIOR POET
-blazeman

BLAZEMAN'S DIARY
DAILY WAR ON ALS
October 5th - December 25th, 2006

Today's Date is

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Hello Jon

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family.

God bless and happy new year
Joanmarie

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

I don't really know what else to say exept...Your THE man.

Corey
California

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Jon-

I am an Ironman CDA finisher in 2005. I am on a business trip in Baltimore and I can’t shake your words “life is not a dress rehearsal”. So before I hopped in the shower, I wanted to write this email. There is much more I could share, but with tears in my eyes I thank you.

Brother, you are the real deal and as a man, a father, a husband, and a friend, I am better because of the finger prints of your life on this world.

May God Bless you as each day comes and goes- Aaron McHugh
Colorado

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Jon,

Thank you for your inspiration, thank you for teaching us what life is all about.The finer details. My appreciation for life has changed forever because of you. Keep fighting the good fight Jon and inspiring the world to LIVE every second of every minute of every hour of every year we are blessed to be on this earth.

God Bless Jon.

Kinga
Victoria, Australia

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

saw this years hawaii ironman on NBC. I appreciate your motivation.

Jimmy
Orlando, Florida

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Jon,

You are a great man. Thousands draw strength from you!! You make people want to be better human beings. You are more alive now than most people will ever hope to be. Best of luck and continued success!!!!!

Dan
North Carolina

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Saw you on NBC this weekend and want to thank you for being such a great role model. Our prayers will be with you as you continue your fight for the ALS cause.

Patrick M.

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I saw it and had the whole of Froggy’s bar in Birdrock cheering for you Blazeman.

We all proposed a toast – like 50 of us!

SWEET.

Kristina H.

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Hi Team:

Since Jon and I have been fighting the War on ALS one of things he repeatedly has said is; "Cliff, we're on the verge of greatness." We always joke about it, laugh and move on.

Last night, I was talking with Jon and told him it was time for him to take a moment or two and reflect on what has been accomplished.

Jon, you are an Ironman. Jon, PALS are and will be better off due to your efforts. Jon, you are an inspiration to everyone you come in contact with. Jon, you have achieved greatness and the world is a better place for you having been a part of it.

Another thing I was reflecting upon last night; The coming together 7-8 months ago of Brian and Jon. Is there anyone who is not a believer???!!! And the world is a better place for Brian having been a part of it.

Yes, we all know how much more there is to do and we will not stop and we are as Brian says gaining momentum every day.

Jon's e-mail last night said it all: Dear ALS: BOOM!!!

Thanks for all you do to fight the War On ALS,
Cliff

* * * * * * *

Brian and Blazeman you touched the world!!

It was AWESOME!!

Congrats to all the Warriors,
Cherryl Rose
Hermosa Beach, CA

* * * * * * *

Remember that song -- BOOM BOOM -- OUT GO THE LIGHTS

I say as of today we change the words to -- BOOM BOOM -- ON COME THE LIGHTS (AFTER 70 YEARS OF DARKNESS)

Mike Duffy

* * * * * * *

We watched your story on this year and last years Ironman coverage. You are a hero and inspiration. God Bless you and your family

Mickey Bush & Maria Varela
Brighton,MA

* * * * * * *

Way to go Johnny Boy!

Love,
Jan

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought NBC did a good job. Brian, I just left you an email, and I’ll say it again -- Great job, you represented Team Blazeman VERY WELL, I am sure I can speak for everyone – YOU MADE US PROUD!!

Jon – you started it – we won’t drop that baton!!!!!!!!!

* * * * * * *

Wow....Brian, what can I say--perfect. You did it---you let the world know about our war; our team; why we log roll; and our never ending battle to end ALS. YOu also conveyed our deep love of Jon and why we will never stop.

Jon, great job. You've put a face with ALS. You came into all our lives a year ago and things have not been the same since. It's up to us to take over now. You have taught us much more than ALS and Ironman.

I love you both....
Karen

* * * * * * *

Jon...

As i sit and watch the 2006 ironman on tv i am brought to tears yet again because of als. My mom died on March 30th this year from als.. Your stroy is great, my brother raced that dad with you in that ironman. I hope you are going on. My moms creedo was "with much faith and love in God" She never gave up! And i hope you do not ever give up and continue to tell your story to all those who listen because the als story needs to get out there.

Best Wishes
Rob Tondini

* * * * * * *

I was sitting here in South Carolina about to study for a nursing exam and had the TV on. I then heard a familiar name, Jon Blais. I stopped what I was doing and just watched. I was so happy to see this segment on Ironman and be able to see Jon. I haven't seen him since senior year in high school and I heard about his story through high school friends. Jon, my prayers are with you. I shared your story in my nursing class when we studied ALS. God bless you!

Stella "Lucy" Azevedo Neely
Massachusetts originally, now South Carolina

* * * * * * *

Watched you race last year...you're a Legend! Have a Happy Holiday Season. God Bless You.

Aloha,
Curt Oishi
Hilo, Hawaii


Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Hi all....go out and buy some juice!

Karen Duffy



Monday, December 4th, 2006

Hi all,

I've had two quite incredible days to share with you. On Saturday, Brian and I visited with Jack Parker, a 70 year old man who lives in Dunwoody, GA (not far from here). Found out that he has three sons and one of them lives in the Aberdeen neighborhood...five minutes from us! We had such a great visit with Jack and his wife, Nancy. He is a former long distance runner and connected with the Atlanta Track Club so we had a lot in common. He also has very strong faith and a positive attitude. He was diagnosed in Sept. of 2002; currently in a wheelchair after losing the use of his legs....hands are beginning to curl but he can type on the computer by holding a pencil in his hand and using the eraser. We spent the afternoon there and Brian and I will definitely stay in touch and visit often. One of his sons is signed up to do Ironman Wisconsin next year and I'm hoping to get him into Team Blazeman gear for the race.

Today I drove in to Birmingham, AL to see Jamie Lee. I have a picture of her attached here.....you can see that her smile is still bright and shiny. I spent a little over two hours with her and Bridget, one of the nurses who cares for Jamie Lee. We really got to know each other; told stories and shared so much in just a short time. She didn't think that I would be able to understand her but I did. Only a couple of times did I have to have her repeat herself. She showed me her telephone, which is voice activated and also how she "types" her emails with her voice activated computer. The patience this takes is amazing. Jamie Lee gave me two very special gifts to take home with me: one was a cute snowman that is about two feet tall and stands up...she said that we had to give him a name and when I got home Special K named him "James Lee." (cool, huh) The other gift is a little more personal and I'll cry again if I explain...suffice to say that my heart was touched. My time with Jamie Lee was a bit different than with Jack in that she is much further in the disease. Just like when we had to leave Jon that night on the beach, I found myself just not wanting to go. But I had to make the drive home...she had to get some rest....and the next time I go the boys will go with me.

Both of these days drives it deeper inside me how unfair and unforgiving ALS is. It strikes these strong and amazing people....and we've just got to find a way to stop it.

Enjoy looking at Jamie Lee's smile.....

Love to all, Karen


Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With Bo Sox's Curt Schilling
And The ALS Association Of Rhode Island

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Warwick, Rhode Island


Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Jon,

My name is Wayne Foret and we share a friend in Bob and Ann Lee. A few months ago while attending the wedding of a mutual friend, Bob and I somehow shared a discussion on the people in our lives that we will always remember. When Bob told me of your accomplishments, under such difficult conditions, I couldn't help but find the interest to investigate further. I loved the story of you rolling over the finish line in the Ironman. A few weeks later while addressing a large group of associates, I shared your accomplishment as a motivation for others to follow.

We to often take for granted the things in life that we have that have been taken away from so many others. I personally don't believe we have the right to complain when others are given obstacles to overcome and yet find the strength to continue on and in your case to lead.

Last week my daughter was asked to give a speech to her class. The theme was to motivate others to follow… a suggestion, one could, stop smoking or eat right or go to church, just anything to act differently in a positive way. When I shared your story with Lauren, she decided that asking others to step out and give back to the community would be her theme. The idea was to pass-on something each of us could do for another. At the end of the class she gave everyone a small stone and asked that they do something, that day, for someone else and then to pass on the stone.

She called me that afternoon and shared how moved everyone was with your story and how committed the class appeared to start making positive things happen. I want to thank you for being my stone. For being the person that started this ripple and making a difference in our world. I just wanted you to know you are an inspiration to many.

Thanks,
Wayne Foret


Sunday, November 27th, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – ALS Therapy Development Foundation CEO and d’Arbeloff Founding Director, James Allen Heywood, announces the sudden, accidental death of his brother, Stephen Heywood, 37.


Saturday, November 25, 12:49 PM

Dear Friends,

Friday morning at 5:30 I received the call from Wendy that I have gone to bed each night hoping would never happen. I could tell from the sound of her voice that this one was different. When I arrived, their small street was lit up with the flashing lights of two fire trucks, an ambulance, and a police car. Going inside past Wendy holding Alex in her arms and into his bedroom I found Stephen. His vent had disconnected, his lips were blue and despite aggressive CPR he looked peaceful perhaps with even a slight trace of a smile. I rode to Newton Wellesley with the ambulance driver who also grew up in Newton and remembered Stephen from other visits.

Between Wendy, his caregiver and the EMT's, Stephen had CPR for over 40 min. I don't know if it is because he forgot that he was sick or because his heart is larger and stronger than any I have ever known but it restarted. You could actually see the disbelief on the ER team's faces. You also knew that they were not sure this was a good thing because Stephen's eyes were not responding at all. They wanted to make sure we understood how bad it was but they missed Stephen's point as people often do.

Stephen would tell a joke about wanting to die a heroic death. It went something like this. There would be a fire and he would save someone but it would have be a slow fire with ramps because he would be in a wheelchair. I think he found a way to do that.

There is no blood flow to either hemisphere of his brain and he has no EEG signals. Stephen is gone, left in our hearts and in the relationships and structures he built. Stephen was in command of his world and his body at all times and never lived life on anything other than his own terms. Thursday night before bed he sent an email to Ben saying how wonderful our Thanksgiving was; it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Stephen has kept his body alive so that his family and friends could gather and say goodbye. As Stephen indicated he wanted to he will donate his organs to others to give them a chance at the amazing years of life that he gave us. Sometime over the next few days if it is possible some very lucky person will get his heart.

So he found his slow fire and it has ramps.

-jamie


Saturday, November 25th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With Mike Casey & Family

Trot Off Your Turkey 5K
Barrington, Rhode Island


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Blazeman,

I am a 27 year old Visually Impaired Triathlete who has completed three Ironman's in the last three years; fighting my own destiny which is total blindness in the next 5-10 years. You would think that would be a one and only reason to attack a dream, show others that anything is possible, and that you need to chase down what people say is impossible. However, that is not so, those were my reasons for doing Ironman the past few years, but last year at this time my father was diagnosed with ALS. This is now my goal, to race in his honor, to show the world that a man who was/is strong, how did all the important things a father and husband and great man would do, can be an Ironman even if he doesn't swim/bike/or run. My goal was to get to Hawaii to show people that blind/visually impaired athletes can race as hard, with as much mental toughness as anybody else. "To be tougher then the rest" was my goal, but now my goal is to show the world that even with my disease which has no cure, I am still racing for my Dad, who will die, but when I am blind I can still race for my Dad. He was walking, and now he is in a wheelchair barely able to use his arms. He taught me to be tough, to not complain, to be a good person and to chase my dreams. My dream is Hawaii before I lose my ability to ride my bike (probably next year), but now my goal is to get there before my sight fades, and before he loses his battle. I pray he doesn't lose the battle, but unfortunately I feel it is only a matter of time. I want to honor him the best I know how, and I would love to join the Team Blazeman. My Dad had just been diagnosed with ALS when we watched Jon battle in Hawaii... it was an eye opener for him to not give up... and for that we are appreciative. I just want to help honor him the best I can, and I would be honored to wear the Blazeman Logo, to show the world that I'm not racing for me, I'm racing for Dad.

All the best,
Ryan Van Praet
"Three time Ironman finisher; going blind, but fighting hard all the way."


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Que Pasa Jacko?

It's Chloe, I wore my Got Lou? T-Shirt to school the other day and everyone asked about you. I told them as much as I could. My Steroid She-Man P.E. Teacher said she heard of you a while ago. I just wanted to E-Mail you to make sure you stayed gnarly. I don't want your gnarliness going away on me! Here are some pictures of Aerial, my horse.

We have to come see you sometime soon, or maybe you can come out here!? Our spare room is always open to you Jon.

Love you loads man,

Chloe


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Dear Johnny,

When I first met you, I thought, "who is this derelict showing up for an interview wearing running shorts, a dingy t-shirt, and a bandana and mirrored sunglasses on your head?" By the end of the interview I could tell that there was something special about you.

You have a spirit, energy, strength, and compassion that is inspirational. You demonstrate generosity Steve E Speliotes AKA Otiseveryday, by sharing your passion for life with those around you. You give freely and ask for nothing in return.

I was especially touched by the relationship you had with your students. You really made a difference in the lives of kids that many had given up on. It was a privilege to see you work with those kids. I really enjoyed when we took them out rock climbing at Mission Gorge. I remember you bringing students into REI to buy them hiking shoes with your own money, and then taking them hiking Steve E Speliotes AKA Otisup Cowle's Mountain.

You taught them discipline, respect, and gave them a sense of self esteem they never had.

I also want to thank you for reaching out to me when I was struggling. I still have the notebook you gave me, filled with inspirational messages and quotes. I read it just the other day and wept; sobbed actually. It was the day I heard you had ALS, more than a year an a half after your diagnosis. I'm so grateful I was able to speak to you the next day on the phone. Your voice held that same love of life and passion for helping others. You always believed in the underdog; and fought for them as well. You told me as a child you were the underdog; made clear by a teacher and a system that couldn't see what you would become.

Your father and mother believed, and so you fought your way up. You became a Special Ed teacher who saw the best in kids and believed in them, so they could believe in themselves. You broke the cycle and created something new.

Once again you are the underdog; and once again you have broken the cycle to create something new. Johnny Blais, my real life hero, you have made a difference and impacted the lives of so many people. You have said, "Think big and start small." What an amazing job you have done my friend.

You always did enjoy ending with a quote, so here it is:

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new great wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."

Sending You Love & Gratitude,
Steve "E" Speliotes AKA "Otis"
REI San Diego, CA / Seattle, WA



Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Jon,

I hope you had a good, easy trip home.

It was incredible seeing you at the race this weekend and over the top special to be wearing your Blazeman Warrior gear in the race. I never thought I could have so much energy or enthusiasm as I did while thinking of you during the race.

You spoke so beautifully at the awards dinner. Since the day I saw your story, you have had an impact on my life and each time we see each other the impact becomes greater.

I have been up by 5a.m. each morning since the race, my mind running a million mph with thoughts of what I want to do next and why I want to do it. I would love to talk with you about my future plans with this sport, Your words, ALS, and seeing how quickly this horrible disease is attacking you is a very big part of my thoughts.

Let me know a good time for you to talk. I would like to make a serious commitment to you, to Team Blazeman, and I want you to be here to share it with me.

Debbie Ragals


Saturday, November 11th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Assembles At The 2006 Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Clearwater, Florida


Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Jon,

I have to admit that I haven't been out to your website in quite a while. I should have. I was sorry to have missed your appearance at the Ford 70.3 in Clearwater. Had I known that was a race you would be at, I might have done that rather than The Florida Challenge several weeks earlier. I'm excited to see that you have truly waged war and are going all out to raise public awareness. I have thought of you often since you did Kona. I guess that Kona is your main focus, but I won't get there, can't qualify for it, as I am only an average triathlete but one with great determination, but I am doing Coeur d'Alene in Idaho 2007. What Tri's are on your list to attend next year? I'd love to do one as a member of the Blazeman's Team!

I have pulled the ALS Spin-A-Thon Info. and will see what I can do with that. I'd love it if my health club would get in on this or the Y that I belong to. One of my dear friend's husbands also has ALS and I am grateful that you are helping to provide opportunities to those like me who wish they could do more to help out.

Carry on Blazeman!

Celeste Hutchings Burr

Atlanta, GA


Saturday, November 4th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With ALS Warrior Mike Conway

Ironman Florida Janus Charity Challenge Fund For ALS-TDF
"Let’s Cure This Thing Now!"

Mike Conway
(Click Here)


Wednesday, November 3rd, 2006

Dear Blazeman,

I am one of the many strangers who watched you heroically finish last year in Kona. I live in Miami, Fl and trained for the 2003 Florida Ironman. The LCL in my left knee had other ideas for my Ironman debut and I still have not had the corrective surgery. Anyway…

My reason for contacting you is that I am a musician currently recording my solo album in Miami and I have written a song about your story. It is called “Warrior Poet” I am currently still putting the lyrics together and I am hoping you might want to help collaborate. The music is recorded and I have been working on the lyrics for the past couple weeks. The music for the song is my best one and I hope you like it too. Despite my producers strict orders are not to send any sort of demo out. I will send you a copy of what the guitar, bass, and drums sound like.

I want to fight with you blazeman, and should this album go big your story will be heard. In exchange I am willing to donate % of the album sales to your team’s fight against this horrible disease. You have my word.

I hope this e-mail reaches you soon. We will be finishing up the recordings over the next couple or weeks.

Keep fighting, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Paul Maxwell


Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Blazeman,

My name is Sean Dutra and we met briefly at the Westchester Triathlon this past September. I'm at a loss for words because I sometimes loose the ability to speak our friggin language, maybe due to exhaustion from the race or maybe from fear of planting my size 12 foot right down my throat but, I managed to tell you and your dad that I wanted to race for a cause and that's when your father told me about Team Blazeman. So I went to your site and found this link for training and racing as a Blazeman Warrior.

I would like to race my next race and my first ever attempt at Ironman (Lake Placid 2007) as a Blazeman Soldier. I don't know the proper channels for registration, so if you could pass me on to the proper personnel, I'd be more than happy to do my small part to help out. My wife's uncle recently has been diagnosed with ALS and I want to race for him "Dicky" and everyone else affected by ALS as well and obviously a cure...

Best Regards,
Sean


Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Blazeman,

Found this on my brother’s signature, see below:

Johnny Boy Trask

"Understand this is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, your life."
- Jon Blais


Monday Ocotber 30th, 2006

Blazeman,

I'd just like to say that I've been following you for more than a year now. I can't remember how I stumbled upon your site. I think it was an article on Active.com that I read. I want to know if it is possible to race for you. I will purchase the tri outfit soon and would be honored to wear it to my tri's next season. Has anyone talked you about forming an ALS team to raise money similar to the Team in Training and Arthritis and Diabetes Foundations? It's an idea I'm sure you've thought of. I would love to be part of something like that.

As a nurse, triathlete and someone in your age group, this disease breaks my heart. But, the fact that you were able to defeat your demons and unlikely odds in Kona last year was amazing and truely heroic as the Wooman has already stated. You are truly inspirational as you have heard many times. You have touched many hearts and your mark will forever remain in mine.

Sincerely,
Toni Burkeholder, RN, BSN



Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Hi Jon,

I received the package that you left with Brian for me on Thursday last week. All I can say to you is thanks for thinking of me. I think I have watched it at least 5 times and can't help but tell anyone I see about your courageous fight. I don't know how anyone could be anything but inspired after seeing what you accomplished in the Ironman last year but more importantly the depth of insight and wisdom that you possess. While you were unable to compete this year, I hope you found your trip to still be fulfilling, even if in a different way.

I'm sure you here from others about how you inspire them, but I'll tell you your example is nothing short of amazing. Even though we don't really know one another, you have touched my life, inspired me, and driven me to want to make the most of my life too. Clearly, I live a different sort of life than you. I have 2 children and tend to get wrapped up in the "routine of life". It's so easy to get complacent and let life pass you by. You have taught me to make the most of even the seemingly smallest moments and to go out and seize the day. I hope I can muster even a fraction of the courage that you have in my own life.

In short, know that you have made a difference in my life as I'm sure you have countless others as well. Maybe somehow that is part of God's plan for you; to be that shining light for all to follow and emulate. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Thanks, Jon.

God Bless,
Bob Charron



Sunday, October 29th, 2006


BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With ALS Warrior Team Grimshaw

Read About It In The Providence Journal...

Donation Form
Print A Form

November, 2006

Dear Friends,

It was a clear, crisp, bright Autumn day on marathon Sunday. The wind gusts were up to 50 mph with a steady 25-35 mph head wind the entire way. As we were awaiting the cannon to fire our anxiety was high. We both knew 26.2 miles would be challenging but we both had Jon Blais on our mind. We were honored to run for Jon, to fight the war on ALS, with amazing support from you. We were able to raise $4,000 for ALS research and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We both were able to finish the race strong because of your thoughts, prayers and support. The view was gorgeous, the waves were crashing the shore, the fog horn was blowing at the Falmouth lighthouse, and we even saw a rainbow over the sea. In the midst of the windy storm we had a great peace.

We thank God for your goodness and kindness in reaching out to those hit with a horrific disease, ALS.

Godspeed,
Team Grimshaw


Saturday, October 26th, 2006

Muscular Dystrophy Association Presents
"Evening Among Stars"
To Benefit MDA-ALS Division
Aldrich Mansion
Warwick, Rhode Island

     
     

"That's all I got to say about that..."
-Forrest Gump


Saturday, October 21st, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
ALS Warrior Poet & Co. Join Forces With Team Breen

Come The Last Full Moon In October, 2006
Team Blazeman Returns To KONA, HI
The ALS Warrior Poet & Team Breen
&
"KONA LOG-ROLLS FOR ALS RESEARCH"


Monday, October 9th, 2006

Hi Jon,

I have been following your story all year, from the time that I saw you roll across the finish line in person last year as a spectator. Your strength, courage, inspiration and incredible work to raise awareness for ALS, has touched me beyond words.

This year, I was fortunate enough to qualify for Kona at IMAZ. As I continued to train all summer for my 2nd Ironman in a year, there were a few down times... being tired, not being motivated, getting sick... but *nothing* compared to your battle... your strength and continued perserverance to fight your "race" inspired me on many many occassions.

For each mile I swim, bike and run in Kona, I am truly honored to be able to contribute to your fund... and that is what is so great about triathlons - it's more than just "the race"... You are truly a hero Jon. Have a great trip to Kona!

Aloha,

Cherryl Rose


Sunday, October 8th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS


Team Blazeman & ALS Warrior Mike Casey Join Forces On The War on ALS

Newport Federal Savings Bank Half Marathon
Middletown, RI


Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Hi Steve,

Team Blazeman I will be partcipating in the 70.3 Clearwater race in November. I was wondering if it would be possible if I could get race number 179 for that event. My good friend Jon Blais (A.K.A. Blazeman) completed Kona last year as competitor 179, and that number has special meaning to him and his supporters. Blazeman has the terminal disease ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) but is planning on being in Clearwater for the race. I am doing this race in his honor and would love to be able to race under the same number he finished Kona with.

Anything you could do to help out with this would be greatly appreciated. See you in November!

John Wolski

Team Blazeman

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Blazeman,

I am a 27 year old Visually Impaired Triathlete who has completed three Ironman's in the last three years; fighting my own destiny which is total blindness in the next 5-10 years. You would think that would be a one and only reason to attack a dream, show others that anything is possible, and that you need to chase down what people say is impossible. However, that is not so, those were my reasons for doing Ironman the past few years, but last year at this time my father was diagnosed with ALS. This is now my goal, to race in his honor, to show the world that a man who was/is strong, how did all the important things a father and husband and great man would do, can be an Ironman even if he doesn't swim/bike/or run. My goal was to get to Hawaii to show people that blind/visually impaired athletes can race as hard, with as much mental toughness as anybody else. "To be tougher then the rest" was my goal, but now my goal is to show the world that even with my disease which has no cure, I am still racing for my Dad, who will die, but when I am blind I can still race for my Dad. He was walking, and now he is in a wheelchair barely able to use his arms. He taught me to be tough, to not complain, to be a good person and to chase my dreams. My dream is Hawaii before I lose my ability to ride my bike (probably next year), but now my goal is to get there before my sight fades, and before he loses his battle. I pray he doesn't lose the battle, but unfortunately I feel it is only a matter of time. I want to honor him the best I know how, and I would love to join the Team Blazeman. My Dad had just been diagnosed with ALS when we watched Jon battle in Hawaii... it was an eye opener for him to not give up... and for that we are appreciative. I just want to help honor him the best I can, and I would be honored to wear the Blazeman Logo, to show the world that I'm not racing for me, I'm racing for Dad.

All the best,
Ryan Van Praet
"Three time Ironman finisher; going blind, but fighting hard all the way."


Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Hello Jon-

I am writing to let you know your extraordinary story has impacted my life, and my unborn baby boys, in a most significant way. Back in August I watched your ironman footage on a sports documentary on TV. The narrated poetry was captivating! I thought your name, Jon Blais, was nice.

I did not know that I would be having a baby boy at the time, but strongly suspected so. I was simply open to not- so-common names. I thought, hmmm... Ive heard of Blair and Blain, but never Blais. I asked my friend what she thought of Blais as a name. She didnt care for it...

The following week, low and behold, I discovered my precious baby would be of a male gen der! Someone suggested getting onto a baby name finder website (happyhealthypregnancy.com) and typing something of significance to find a name association. I typed "seven", because so many things about this little guy points to this number. Guess what? Blais was the first boy name listed! Its even spelled the same way....

Blais(e) Pascal was a seventeenth century child prodigy. He died at 39 after being bed ridden for the last few years of his life. He was a mathemetician but wrote about spirituality and the purposefulness surrounding our lives during his latter years. I invite you to read some of his works.

I wanted to let you know that your poetry has made its way into little Jonathan Blais Conroy's scrapbook. I speak of you often and feel that there is no coincidence that you and Blaise Pascal have converged to create my special baby's name.

I will call him Blais... Everyone (besides the above friend) who hears his name LOVES IT and I am very quick to tell them your story. Please know your tenacious spirit is noticed and followed and will be remembered, for the rest of my days anyway.

I wrote because I thought I would want to know if someone named t-h-e-i-r baby after m-e. Know that your spirit will reign as I raise my little trailblazer. Your message is powerful. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Love,
Dana
Indianapolis, IN

You have certainly created an impressive legacy with the ALS movement. Keep blazing on!!

Ive attached a photo, of him and me.... It was taken in early November. He is expected to arrive the first week of 07. Ill be sure to send photos. Take care!


Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Dear Jon:

Thank you for all you are doing for people with ALS- throughout the world- Bob Lee who serves on our Board of Directors has introduced you to me and certainly everyone at the Les Turner ALS Foundation in Chicago is very impressed and very moved by what you have accomplished.

Please tell me how we can join and be a part of the phenomenal effort that you, your family, friends and colleagues have started.

I look forward to hearing from someone in your organization.

Wendy Abrams
Executive Director
Les Turner ALS Foundation
5550 W. Touhy Avenue, Suite 302
Skokie, IL. 60077 (note new address)
847-754-6011 Direct (NEW)
847-679-3311 General
847-679-9109 Fax
888-ALS-1107 Toll Free
www.lesturnerals.org

United in the Worldwide Fight Against ALS/MND
International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations
www.alsmndalliance.org

2007 Join Us:
Chicago Wolves- Saturday, Jan. 20th
"Hope Through Caring" Award Dinner, Sat., March 10
ALS Tag Days, entire month of May
ALS Walk4Life, Saturday, September 8

Monday, January 1st, 2007

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Anne Frank

Ginger

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Hello Jon

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family.

God bless and happy new year
Joanmarie

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

I don't really know what else to say exept...Your THE man.

Corey
California

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Jon-

I am an Ironman CDA finisher in 2005. I am on a business trip in Baltimore and I can’t shake your words “life is not a dress rehearsal”. So before I hopped in the shower, I wanted to write this email. There is much more I could share, but with tears in my eyes I thank you.

Brother, you are the real deal and as a man, a father, a husband, and a friend, I am better because of the finger prints of your life on this world.

May God Bless you as each day comes and goes- Aaron McHugh
Colorado

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Jon,

Thank you for your inspiration, thank you for teaching us what life is all about.The finer details. My appreciation for life has changed forever because of you. Keep fighting the good fight Jon and inspiring the world to LIVE every second of every minute of every hour of every year we are blessed to be on this earth.

God Bless Jon.

Kinga
Victoria, Australia

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

saw this years hawaii ironman on NBC. I appreciate your motivation.

Jimmy
Orlando, Florida

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Jon,

You are a great man. Thousands draw strength from you!! You make people want to be better human beings. You are more alive now than most people will ever hope to be. Best of luck and continued success!!!!!

Dan
North Carolina

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Saw you on NBC this weekend and want to thank you for being such a great role model. Our prayers will be with you as you continue your fight for the ALS cause.

Patrick M.

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I saw it and had the whole of Froggy’s bar in Birdrock cheering for you Blazeman.

We all proposed a toast – like 50 of us!

SWEET.

Kristina H.

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Hi Team:

Since Jon and I have been fighting the War on ALS one of things he repeatedly has said is; "Cliff, we're on the verge of greatness." We always joke about it, laugh and move on.

Last night, I was talking with Jon and told him it was time for him to take a moment or two and reflect on what has been accomplished.

Jon, you are an Ironman. Jon, PALS are and will be better off due to your efforts. Jon, you are an inspiration to everyone you come in contact with. Jon, you have achieved greatness and the world is a better place for you having been a part of it.

Another thing I was reflecting upon last night; The coming together 7-8 months ago of Brian and Jon. Is there anyone who is not a believer???!!! And the world is a better place for Brian having been a part of it.

Yes, we all know how much more there is to do and we will not stop and we are as Brian says gaining momentum every day.

Jon's e-mail last night said it all: Dear ALS: BOOM!!!

Thanks for all you do to fight the War On ALS,
Cliff

* * * * * * *

Brian and Blazeman you touched the world!!

It was AWESOME!!

Congrats to all the Warriors,
Cherryl Rose
Hermosa Beach, CA

* * * * * * *

Remember that song -- BOOM BOOM -- OUT GO THE LIGHTS

I say as of today we change the words to -- BOOM BOOM -- ON COME THE LIGHTS (AFTER 70 YEARS OF DARKNESS)

Mike Duffy

* * * * * * *

We watched your story on this year and last years Ironman coverage. You are a hero and inspiration. God Bless you and your family

Mickey Bush & Maria Varela
Brighton,MA

* * * * * * *

Way to go Johnny Boy!

Love,
Jan

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought NBC did a good job. Brian, I just left you an email, and I’ll say it again -- Great job, you represented Team Blazeman VERY WELL, I am sure I can speak for everyone – YOU MADE US PROUD!!

Jon – you started it – we won’t drop that baton!!!!!!!!!

* * * * * * *

Wow....Brian, what can I say--perfect. You did it---you let the world know about our war; our team; why we log roll; and our never ending battle to end ALS. YOu also conveyed our deep love of Jon and why we will never stop.

Jon, great job. You've put a face with ALS. You came into all our lives a year ago and things have not been the same since. It's up to us to take over now. You have taught us much more than ALS and Ironman.

I love you both....
Karen

* * * * * * *

Jon...

As i sit and watch the 2006 ironman on tv i am brought to tears yet again because of als. My mom died on March 30th this year from als.. Your stroy is great, my brother raced that dad with you in that ironman. I hope you are going on. My moms creedo was "with much faith and love in God" She never gave up! And i hope you do not ever give up and continue to tell your story to all those who listen because the als story needs to get out there.

Best Wishes
Rob Tondini

* * * * * * *

I was sitting here in South Carolina about to study for a nursing exam and had the TV on. I then heard a familiar name, Jon Blais. I stopped what I was doing and just watched. I was so happy to see this segment on Ironman and be able to see Jon. I haven't seen him since senior year in high school and I heard about his story through high school friends. Jon, my prayers are with you. I shared your story in my nursing class when we studied ALS. God bless you!

Stella "Lucy" Azevedo Neely
Massachusetts originally, now South Carolina

* * * * * * *

Watched you race last year...you're a Legend! Have a Happy Holiday Season. God Bless You.

Aloha,
Curt Oishi
Hilo, Hawaii


Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Hi all....go out and buy some juice!

Karen Duffy



Monday, December 4th, 2006

Hi all,

I've had two quite incredible days to share with you. On Saturday, Brian and I visited with Jack Parker, a 70 year old man who lives in Dunwoody, GA (not far from here). Found out that he has three sons and one of them lives in the Aberdeen neighborhood...five minutes from us! We had such a great visit with Jack and his wife, Nancy. He is a former long distance runner and connected with the Atlanta Track Club so we had a lot in common. He also has very strong faith and a positive attitude. He was diagnosed in Sept. of 2002; currently in a wheelchair after losing the use of his legs....hands are beginning to curl but he can type on the computer by holding a pencil in his hand and using the eraser. We spent the afternoon there and Brian and I will definitely stay in touch and visit often. One of his sons is signed up to do Ironman Wisconsin next year and I'm hoping to get him into Team Blazeman gear for the race.

Today I drove in to Birmingham, AL to see Jamie Lee. I have a picture of her attached here.....you can see that her smile is still bright and shiny. I spent a little over two hours with her and Bridget, one of the nurses who cares for Jamie Lee. We really got to know each other; told stories and shared so much in just a short time. She didn't think that I would be able to understand her but I did. Only a couple of times did I have to have her repeat herself. She showed me her telephone, which is voice activated and also how she "types" her emails with her voice activated computer. The patience this takes is amazing. Jamie Lee gave me two very special gifts to take home with me: one was a cute snowman that is about two feet tall and stands up...she said that we had to give him a name and when I got home Special K named him "James Lee." (cool, huh) The other gift is a little more personal and I'll cry again if I explain...suffice to say that my heart was touched. My time with Jamie Lee was a bit different than with Jack in that she is much further in the disease. Just like when we had to leave Jon that night on the beach, I found myself just not wanting to go. But I had to make the drive home...she had to get some rest....and the next time I go the boys will go with me.

Both of these days drives it deeper inside me how unfair and unforgiving ALS is. It strikes these strong and amazing people....and we've just got to find a way to stop it.

Enjoy looking at Jamie Lee's smile.....

Love to all, Karen


Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With Bo Sox's Curt Schilling
And The ALS Association Of Rhode Island

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Warwick, Rhode Island


Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Jon,

My name is Wayne Foret and we share a friend in Bob and Ann Lee. A few months ago while attending the wedding of a mutual friend, Bob and I somehow shared a discussion on the people in our lives that we will always remember. When Bob told me of your accomplishments, under such difficult conditions, I couldn't help but find the interest to investigate further. I loved the story of you rolling over the finish line in the Ironman. A few weeks later while addressing a large group of associates, I shared your accomplishment as a motivation for others to follow.

We to often take for granted the things in life that we have that have been taken away from so many others. I personally don't believe we have the right to complain when others are given obstacles to overcome and yet find the strength to continue on and in your case to lead.

Last week my daughter was asked to give a speech to her class. The theme was to motivate others to follow… a suggestion, one could, stop smoking or eat right or go to church, just anything to act differently in a positive way. When I shared your story with Lauren, she decided that asking others to step out and give back to the community would be her theme. The idea was to pass-on something each of us could do for another. At the end of the class she gave everyone a small stone and asked that they do something, that day, for someone else and then to pass on the stone.

She called me that afternoon and shared how moved everyone was with your story and how committed the class appeared to start making positive things happen. I want to thank you for being my stone. For being the person that started this ripple and making a difference in our world. I just wanted you to know you are an inspiration to many.

Thanks,
Wayne Foret


Sunday, November 27th, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – ALS Therapy Development Foundation CEO and d’Arbeloff Founding Director, James Allen Heywood, announces the sudden, accidental death of his brother, Stephen Heywood, 37.


Saturday, November 25, 12:49 PM

Dear Friends,

Friday morning at 5:30 I received the call from Wendy that I have gone to bed each night hoping would never happen. I could tell from the sound of her voice that this one was different. When I arrived, their small street was lit up with the flashing lights of two fire trucks, an ambulance, and a police car. Going inside past Wendy holding Alex in her arms and into his bedroom I found Stephen. His vent had disconnected, his lips were blue and despite aggressive CPR he looked peaceful perhaps with even a slight trace of a smile. I rode to Newton Wellesley with the ambulance driver who also grew up in Newton and remembered Stephen from other visits.

Between Wendy, his caregiver and the EMT's, Stephen had CPR for over 40 min. I don't know if it is because he forgot that he was sick or because his heart is larger and stronger than any I have ever known but it restarted. You could actually see the disbelief on the ER team's faces. You also knew that they were not sure this was a good thing because Stephen's eyes were not responding at all. They wanted to make sure we understood how bad it was but they missed Stephen's point as people often do.

Stephen would tell a joke about wanting to die a heroic death. It went something like this. There would be a fire and he would save someone but it would have be a slow fire with ramps because he would be in a wheelchair. I think he found a way to do that.

There is no blood flow to either hemisphere of his brain and he has no EEG signals. Stephen is gone, left in our hearts and in the relationships and structures he built. Stephen was in command of his world and his body at all times and never lived life on anything other than his own terms. Thursday night before bed he sent an email to Ben saying how wonderful our Thanksgiving was; it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Stephen has kept his body alive so that his family and friends could gather and say goodbye. As Stephen indicated he wanted to he will donate his organs to others to give them a chance at the amazing years of life that he gave us. Sometime over the next few days if it is possible some very lucky person will get his heart.

So he found his slow fire and it has ramps.

-jamie


Saturday, November 25th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With Mike Casey & Family

Trot Off Your Turkey 5K
Barrington, Rhode Island


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Blazeman,

I am a 27 year old Visually Impaired Triathlete who has completed three Ironman's in the last three years; fighting my own destiny which is total blindness in the next 5-10 years. You would think that would be a one and only reason to attack a dream, show others that anything is possible, and that you need to chase down what people say is impossible. However, that is not so, those were my reasons for doing Ironman the past few years, but last year at this time my father was diagnosed with ALS. This is now my goal, to race in his honor, to show the world that a man who was/is strong, how did all the important things a father and husband and great man would do, can be an Ironman even if he doesn't swim/bike/or run. My goal was to get to Hawaii to show people that blind/visually impaired athletes can race as hard, with as much mental toughness as anybody else. "To be tougher then the rest" was my goal, but now my goal is to show the world that even with my disease which has no cure, I am still racing for my Dad, who will die, but when I am blind I can still race for my Dad. He was walking, and now he is in a wheelchair barely able to use his arms. He taught me to be tough, to not complain, to be a good person and to chase my dreams. My dream is Hawaii before I lose my ability to ride my bike (probably next year), but now my goal is to get there before my sight fades, and before he loses his battle. I pray he doesn't lose the battle, but unfortunately I feel it is only a matter of time. I want to honor him the best I know how, and I would love to join the Team Blazeman. My Dad had just been diagnosed with ALS when we watched Jon battle in Hawaii... it was an eye opener for him to not give up... and for that we are appreciative. I just want to help honor him the best I can, and I would be honored to wear the Blazeman Logo, to show the world that I'm not racing for me, I'm racing for Dad.

All the best,
Ryan Van Praet
"Three time Ironman finisher; going blind, but fighting hard all the way."


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Que Pasa Jacko?

It's Chloe, I wore my Got Lou? T-Shirt to school the other day and everyone asked about you. I told them as much as I could. My Steroid She-Man P.E. Teacher said she heard of you a while ago. I just wanted to E-Mail you to make sure you stayed gnarly. I don't want your gnarliness going away on me! Here are some pictures of Aerial, my horse.

We have to come see you sometime soon, or maybe you can come out here!? Our spare room is always open to you Jon.

Love you loads man,

Chloe


Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Dear Johnny,

When I first met you, I thought, "who is this derelict showing up for an interview wearing running shorts, a dingy t-shirt, and a bandana and mirrored sunglasses on your head?" By the end of the interview I could tell that there was something special about you.

You have a spirit, energy, strength, and compassion that is inspirational. You demonstrate generosity Steve E Speliotes AKA Otiseveryday, by sharing your passion for life with those around you. You give freely and ask for nothing in return.

I was especially touched by the relationship you had with your students. You really made a difference in the lives of kids that many had given up on. It was a privilege to see you work with those kids. I really enjoyed when we took them out rock climbing at Mission Gorge. I remember you bringing students into REI to buy them hiking shoes with your own money, and then taking them hiking Steve E Speliotes AKA Otisup Cowle's Mountain.

You taught them discipline, respect, and gave them a sense of self esteem they never had.

I also want to thank you for reaching out to me when I was struggling. I still have the notebook you gave me, filled with inspirational messages and quotes. I read it just the other day and wept; sobbed actually. It was the day I heard you had ALS, more than a year an a half after your diagnosis. I'm so grateful I was able to speak to you the next day on the phone. Your voice held that same love of life and passion for helping others. You always believed in the underdog; and fought for them as well. You told me as a child you were the underdog; made clear by a teacher and a system that couldn't see what you would become.

Your father and mother believed, and so you fought your way up. You became a Special Ed teacher who saw the best in kids and believed in them, so they could believe in themselves. You broke the cycle and created something new.

Once again you are the underdog; and once again you have broken the cycle to create something new. Johnny Blais, my real life hero, you have made a difference and impacted the lives of so many people. You have said, "Think big and start small." What an amazing job you have done my friend.

You always did enjoy ending with a quote, so here it is:

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new great wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."

Sending You Love & Gratitude,
Steve "E" Speliotes AKA "Otis"
REI San Diego, CA / Seattle, WA



Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Jon,

I hope you had a good, easy trip home.

It was incredible seeing you at the race this weekend and over the top special to be wearing your Blazeman Warrior gear in the race. I never thought I could have so much energy or enthusiasm as I did while thinking of you during the race.

You spoke so beautifully at the awards dinner. Since the day I saw your story, you have had an impact on my life and each time we see each other the impact becomes greater.

I have been up by 5a.m. each morning since the race, my mind running a million mph with thoughts of what I want to do next and why I want to do it. I would love to talk with you about my future plans with this sport, Your words, ALS, and seeing how quickly this horrible disease is attacking you is a very big part of my thoughts.

Let me know a good time for you to talk. I would like to make a serious commitment to you, to Team Blazeman, and I want you to be here to share it with me.

Debbie Ragals


Saturday, November 11th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Assembles At The 2006 Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Clearwater, Florida


Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Jon,

I have to admit that I haven't been out to your website in quite a while. I should have. I was sorry to have missed your appearance at the Ford 70.3 in Clearwater. Had I known that was a race you would be at, I might have done that rather than The Florida Challenge several weeks earlier. I'm excited to see that you have truly waged war and are going all out to raise public awareness. I have thought of you often since you did Kona. I guess that Kona is your main focus, but I won't get there, can't qualify for it, as I am only an average triathlete but one with great determination, but I am doing Coeur d'Alene in Idaho 2007. What Tri's are on your list to attend next year? I'd love to do one as a member of the Blazeman's Team!

I have pulled the ALS Spin-A-Thon Info. and will see what I can do with that. I'd love it if my health club would get in on this or the Y that I belong to. One of my dear friend's husbands also has ALS and I am grateful that you are helping to provide opportunities to those like me who wish they could do more to help out.

Carry on Blazeman!

Celeste Hutchings Burr

Atlanta, GA


Saturday, November 4th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With ALS Warrior Mike Conway

Ironman Florida Janus Charity Challenge Fund For ALS-TDF
"Let’s Cure This Thing Now!"

Mike Conway
(Click Here)


Wednesday, November 3rd, 2006

Dear Blazeman,

I am one of the many strangers who watched you heroically finish last year in Kona. I live in Miami, Fl and trained for the 2003 Florida Ironman. The LCL in my left knee had other ideas for my Ironman debut and I still have not had the corrective surgery. Anyway…

My reason for contacting you is that I am a musician currently recording my solo album in Miami and I have written a song about your story. It is called “Warrior Poet” I am currently still putting the lyrics together and I am hoping you might want to help collaborate. The music is recorded and I have been working on the lyrics for the past couple weeks. The music for the song is my best one and I hope you like it too. Despite my producers strict orders are not to send any sort of demo out. I will send you a copy of what the guitar, bass, and drums sound like.

I want to fight with you blazeman, and should this album go big your story will be heard. In exchange I am willing to donate % of the album sales to your team’s fight against this horrible disease. You have my word.

I hope this e-mail reaches you soon. We will be finishing up the recordings over the next couple or weeks.

Keep fighting, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Paul Maxwell


Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Blazeman,

My name is Sean Dutra and we met briefly at the Westchester Triathlon this past September. I'm at a loss for words because I sometimes loose the ability to speak our friggin language, maybe due to exhaustion from the race or maybe from fear of planting my size 12 foot right down my throat but, I managed to tell you and your dad that I wanted to race for a cause and that's when your father told me about Team Blazeman. So I went to your site and found this link for training and racing as a Blazeman Warrior.

I would like to race my next race and my first ever attempt at Ironman (Lake Placid 2007) as a Blazeman Soldier. I don't know the proper channels for registration, so if you could pass me on to the proper personnel, I'd be more than happy to do my small part to help out. My wife's uncle recently has been diagnosed with ALS and I want to race for him "Dicky" and everyone else affected by ALS as well and obviously a cure...

Best Regards,
Sean


Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Blazeman,

Found this on my brother’s signature, see below:

Johnny Boy Trask

"Understand this is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, your life."
- Jon Blais


Monday Ocotber 30th, 2006

Blazeman,

I'd just like to say that I've been following you for more than a year now. I can't remember how I stumbled upon your site. I think it was an article on Active.com that I read. I want to know if it is possible to race for you. I will purchase the tri outfit soon and would be honored to wear it to my tri's next season. Has anyone talked you about forming an ALS team to raise money similar to the Team in Training and Arthritis and Diabetes Foundations? It's an idea I'm sure you've thought of. I would love to be part of something like that.

As a nurse, triathlete and someone in your age group, this disease breaks my heart. But, the fact that you were able to defeat your demons and unlikely odds in Kona last year was amazing and truely heroic as the Wooman has already stated. You are truly inspirational as you have heard many times. You have touched many hearts and your mark will forever remain in mine.

Sincerely,
Toni Burkeholder, RN, BSN



Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Hi Jon,

I received the package that you left with Brian for me on Thursday last week. All I can say to you is thanks for thinking of me. I think I have watched it at least 5 times and can't help but tell anyone I see about your courageous fight. I don't know how anyone could be anything but inspired after seeing what you accomplished in the Ironman last year but more importantly the depth of insight and wisdom that you possess. While you were unable to compete this year, I hope you found your trip to still be fulfilling, even if in a different way.

I'm sure you here from others about how you inspire them, but I'll tell you your example is nothing short of amazing. Even though we don't really know one another, you have touched my life, inspired me, and driven me to want to make the most of my life too. Clearly, I live a different sort of life than you. I have 2 children and tend to get wrapped up in the "routine of life". It's so easy to get complacent and let life pass you by. You have taught me to make the most of even the seemingly smallest moments and to go out and seize the day. I hope I can muster even a fraction of the courage that you have in my own life.

In short, know that you have made a difference in my life as I'm sure you have countless others as well. Maybe somehow that is part of God's plan for you; to be that shining light for all to follow and emulate. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Thanks, Jon.

God Bless,
Bob Charron



Sunday, October 29th, 2006


BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
Team Blazeman Joins Forces With ALS Warrior Team Grimshaw

Read About It In The Providence Journal...

Donation Form
Print A Form

November, 2006

Dear Friends,

It was a clear, crisp, bright Autumn day on marathon Sunday. The wind gusts were up to 50 mph with a steady 25-35 mph head wind the entire way. As we were awaiting the cannon to fire our anxiety was high. We both knew 26.2 miles would be challenging but we both had Jon Blais on our mind. We were honored to run for Jon, to fight the war on ALS, with amazing support from you. We were able to raise $4,000 for ALS research and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We both were able to finish the race strong because of your thoughts, prayers and support. The view was gorgeous, the waves were crashing the shore, the fog horn was blowing at the Falmouth lighthouse, and we even saw a rainbow over the sea. In the midst of the windy storm we had a great peace.

We thank God for your goodness and kindness in reaching out to those hit with a horrific disease, ALS.

Godspeed,
Team Grimshaw


Saturday, October 26th, 2006

Muscular Dystrophy Association Presents
"Evening Among Stars"
To Benefit MDA-ALS Division
Aldrich Mansion
Warwick, Rhode Island

     
     

"That's all I got to say about that..."
-Forrest Gump


Saturday, October 21st, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS
ALS Warrior Poet & Co. Join Forces With Team Breen

Come The Last Full Moon In October, 2006
Team Blazeman Returns To KONA, HI
The ALS Warrior Poet & Team Breen
&
"KONA LOG-ROLLS FOR ALS RESEARCH"


Monday, October 9th, 2006

Hi Jon,

I have been following your story all year, from the time that I saw you roll across the finish line in person last year as a spectator. Your strength, courage, inspiration and incredible work to raise awareness for ALS, has touched me beyond words.

This year, I was fortunate enough to qualify for Kona at IMAZ. As I continued to train all summer for my 2nd Ironman in a year, there were a few down times... being tired, not being motivated, getting sick... but *nothing* compared to your battle... your strength and continued perserverance to fight your "race" inspired me on many many occassions.

For each mile I swim, bike and run in Kona, I am truly honored to be able to contribute to your fund... and that is what is so great about triathlons - it's more than just "the race"... You are truly a hero Jon. Have a great trip to Kona!

Aloha,

Cherryl Rose


Sunday, October 8th, 2006

BLAZEMAN'S WAR ON ALS


Team Blazeman & ALS Warrior Mike Casey Join Forces On The War on ALS

Newport Federal Savings Bank Half Marathon
Middletown, RI


Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Hi Steve,

Team Blazeman I will be partcipating in the 70.3 Clearwater race in November. I was wondering if it would be possible if I could get race number 179 for that event. My good friend Jon Blais (A.K.A. Blazeman) completed Kona last year as competitor 179, and that number has special meaning to him and his supporters. Blazeman has the terminal disease ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) but is planning on being in Clearwater for the race. I am doing this race in his honor and would love to be able to race under the same number he finished Kona with.

Anything you could do to help out with this would be greatly appreciated. See you in November!

John Wolski

Team Blazeman


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