ALS Warrior PoetALS WARRIOR POET
-blazeman

TEAM BLAZEMAN'S ALS WAR ROOM
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August 9th, 2007

My Father-in-law passed away last March from ALS. It came at a bad time for my wife, I was hospitalized at the time with multiple problems, when I was finally out of the woods, she received the call about her father.

When wathcing the Ironman video last sunday we were both in tears.

She is currently participating in triathlons and I know she would be honored to be included as a blazeman warrior. How she handled my illness and her father's death proves to me that she IS already a warrior.

I am recovering from paraplegia caused transverse myelitis, it is my goal to join her next summer, I need to get better and do as much as I can...... for those that can't.

Let me know what we can do to help.......

John Daley, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Academy Park High School (near Philadelphia, PA)


August 7th, 2007

Hello,

My name is Gabe Fiscus and I am a junior at the University of Illinois. I am 20 years old from Springfield, Illinois. I just finished my first Half-Ironman in St. Joseph, Michigan and it was an excellent experience. I recently saw the 2006 Ironman Hawaii DVD and was in tears after the Brian Breen and Jon Blais story. I was truly inspired and really want to help raise money towards the fight against ALS. I do not know anyone with the disease but upon doing some research, I feel like much more can be done to research and help fight this deadly disease.

After finishing the race, I have decided to compete in Ironman Wisconsin next year. I'm already visualizing myself log rolling across the finish line. I do not want to do it just for me. I want to do it for Team Blazeman, Jon Blais and the fight on ALS. I have been brainstorming some great ideas to raise money for Team Blazeman. I feel like if done properly, I could help raise a good amount of money for Team Blazeman and ALS.

I was wondering how I can come on board Team Blazeman to help fight ALS? Planning is still in the preliminary stage but I want to put on a couple fundraisers at the University of Illinois as well as contacting the State Journal Register here in Springfield to somehow do a cover story on ALS and my Ironman quest to raise money for this excellent cause. I feel like this could be a great way to spread the word outside the triathlon scene. Jon Blias was an incredible man and I truly want to do everything I can to help spread his dreams.

Sorry for the length of this email but I want to let you know I'm serious about raising money for this foundation. If you have time, please let me know what I can do for Team Blazeman. I would love to hear from Team Blazeman with any ideas for me and my plan to raise money for ALS.

Thank you for your time!
Gabe Fiscus


August 7th, 2007

Hello,

My name is Tiwana Parker and I am writing from Ft. Hood, Texas. Recently out the army I still live and work on Ft. Hood as I do love being in a soldier care environment. I saw the ALS/Jon Blais/Brian Breen story on TV and I was very touched. I am an intense runner and newly in love with the sport. I run almost every day and I do put in lots of miles weekly. I am wondering how I can get involved with this movement. I can't do much financially but I sure can race for the cause. Please if you can advise me on how to go about being triathlete and a Blazeman Warrior I would greatly appreciate that. I live everyday for all of my soldier friends over there in the war. I do all I can to help. I would love to a part of this also. Hope you are having a great day!

Tiwana Parker


July 18th, 2007

from Leanda Cave, our newest Pro...thanks to Debbie Ragals!

Im really excited about helping. I have loads of ideas. I am in the process of updating my website where I will announce that I will be working with Blazeman foundation to help raise money and awareness for War On ALS.

Recently I remembered that I had met him and his parents at the 70.3 World Champs in Clearwater last year. They showed footage of him racing his parents struggle to come to terms with his condition. I have to say, it touched my heart big time, and I cried my eyes out. It was however, very inspirational. So I feel honoured to be able to help.

I will be in touch again soon to see how we can get the ball rolling.

Thanks,
Leanda


July 14th, 2007

Im sure I was one of many who was greatly touched by the broadcast on t.v. about the ironman and ALS. As an occupational therapist and former triathalon competitor this touched my heart and my soul very heavily. I have done a bit of soul searching and would love to support you in an event if possible. I truly would push myself to the limit to help.

CJ Caiazza


July 9th, 2007

Karen,

Here’s the update from IM Lk. Stevens 70.3.

I requested by email #179 about a week before but never got a response. So I went to the Registration and found the HelpDesk where Ashley from Premier Event Management immediately said YES and took me over to where they were giving out the packets, fortunately the person who had 179 had not picked up their packet yet nor had requested that number in particular. So… she gave it to me and re-assigned a new number for that person. It took only a few minutes!

I raced with my new ‘WaronALS’ DeSoto shirt and loved it. A dozen or so athletes noticed and commented during the race. After I wore my ‘Blazeman Warrior’ white shirt and a few people came up to say ‘thanks, great cause’. So I got some publicity.

Oh Yeah, I log-rolled the finish! I will send pictures once they are available.

Freedom!
Ed

PS: I did a 5:36 which was a PR for a Half-Iron that was my 5th Half IM, (I’m a 49 yo AG) so that wasn’t too bad, I had a great bike but went too hard (once again) and my run was slow for what I know I’m capable of someday soon.

PPS: My next race is TROIKA HalfIron Aug. 5th… where I plan to repeat wearing #179 and wearing my Blazeman Warrior gear!

I will also be at IM Canada although not racing but cheering on my friends. If there is anything I can do to support the Blazeman Foundation there let me know. How about we get IMNA to let us make a plug at the pre-race Pasta dinner? Remind people of our cause and the website etc.? Keep the multi-sport community active towards this goal…

Ashley, I want to thank you and everyone at PEM for the great race this weekend at Lk. Stevens. That was fun and so well run!

I also want to thank you for taking care of my request to race with Jon Blais’ #179 at race check-in at the last minute! You were great! The “War on ALS” team has heard of your graciousness and appreciates your help.

I had many positive comments from athletes during and after about the cause as I wore my race shirt “Blazeman Warrior” . Our goal is that Multi-sport athletes can keep the cause alive as one of our ways of giving back to the world.

Strength and honor,
Ed


July 9th, 2007

It is with great sadness that I greet you. My cousin, David Barker, died Friday afternoon. As you may know, David has been suffering with ALS for approximately sixteen long years. He fought a long hard fight and was surrounded by a loving family. I would ask that you hold our family in your prayers during this time of sadness. But this is also a time of celebrating his life that he lived so valiantly.

When I began this endeavor to join in the War on ALS, I had no idea that my cousin and Jon Blais wouldn't be here. Like I've said, My goal is to do something in life that makes a difference, as it is with many people. I wish I had more to offer, but I'm determined to use what I do have to the best of my ability.

I am in the process of diverting the fund-raising from the ALS Therapy Development Institute to the Blazeman Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to raise $250,000. You can log on at http://www.active.com/donate/teamblazeman, select my name and donate as you fell led.

You can find out more on my website, www.CoonbottomTriClub.com . To become a member of the Tri Club, donate $25.00 to The Blazeman Foundation, under my name. Same with sponsorship. Thanks to all of you that have helped along the way. The fight is not over, please consider joining ranks with us.

Dave Knight

Friday, June 22nd 2007

It’s been a mere two weeks since the death of triathlon legend Jon Blais, and already I’m worried the multi-sport world has moved on too quickly. If it were up to me, the story of his life would be the lead on Triathletemag.com for the rest of the year, but we have to cover the news, and Laura Bennett cashing in 200 grand and a hummer is news.

So, I’ve spent plenty of time over the past few weeks wondering how I could better honor the Blazeman, who was twice the writer and ten-times the triathlete that I am. Think about it…the man was diagnosed with ALS and then he decided to do an Ironman. The slogan “Nothing is Impossible” has never been more true. I broke my toe once and I bitched about it for three months.

Brad Culp

Anyway, here’s what I came up with: I want everyone who reads this blog to roll to the finish in their next race. Unless you’re duking it out for the win at your next Ironman, get on the ground and roll your way across the line. It’s the least we can do for a man who motivated scores of triathletes. I know of coach potatoes who decided to do their first Ironman after watching Blais roll down the chute in Kona last year.

And here’s some extra motivation for you: After you roll across the line, donate at least $5 to help fight ALS at www.alswarriorpoet.com. Send me a picture of your finish (brad@triathletemag.com) and I’ll match every donation. I know it’s not much, but I’m a 21-year-old journalist moving to a place I can’t afford.

I’ll do my part. This weekend, I’m racing at the High Cliff Half Ironman in Sherwood, Wisconsin. I hoping to be in the mix for the overall win, but even if I’m caught in a all-out sprint for first, I’ll gladly get on the ground and take second place.

Here are some of my favorite words from the Blazeman, in case you need a little extra motivation to Rock n’ Roll at your next race:

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for. It doesn't interest me how old you are, I want to know if you'll risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, both yours and mine and still shout at the edges of a lake, river or mountain, 'Yes, I am a warrior poet'. It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what need to be done for someone you love. Live more than your neighbors. Unleash yourself upon the world and go places, go now. Giggle, no, laugh and bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are. Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, your life. Face your fears and live your dreams. Take it all in, yes, every chance you get, come close. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life and still remember me, your friend, the BlazeMan, ALS Warrior Poet."

We love you Jon, we’ll never forget you.
Brad Culp

Monday, May 28th 2007

Please know that jon is in my thoughts today and know that we will keep fighting. I feel helpless today but I know I have to keep doing what I can do... And that is to get the word out there and FIGHT. For Jon, FREEDOM!

Matt Reed

Monday, May 28th 2007

Hi,

Thanks for your updates on Jon. I called for freedom for him yesterday in hope. I logged on this morning and the tears have not stopped falling. Jon inspired me more than anyone will know. I want to join Team Blazeman and educated fundraise fight be proud and keep Jon’s dream alive.

Please email me back all information required to do this.

Please let his parents know of my prayers for them and Jon!!!

Christine Suter,
Whistler, B.C.

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Blazeman,

You are a true inspiration and like Gehrig, are a man of steel. I want you to know that your story has had a profound affect on my life.

I am 40 years old and living in Florida. I am an amateur marathon runner and currently training to run my 3rd consecutive Marine Corps Marathon. I would be proud and honored to become a Blazeman Warrior and I pledge to support the war on ALS.

I am living the credo and vow to fight the war on ALS and I will not stop until the disease is cured.

Surrender is not an option.

Continue the fight!

David Tarlow

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Hi,

My husband competes in triathalons & I'm a stay-at-home-mom/cheerleader. I have visited your site many times, and you are such an inspiring person, Blazeman. I first saw you when you were featured in the Hawaii Ironman. I have to say that you were the wake up call I needed-to get off of my butt & stop living my life on auto-pilot. To start appreciating my body, and my life. You have affected so many people in such an amazing way. Not only have you affected the way I live my life, but you have affected the way I will teach my three little girls to live their lives. And one day, when they have children of their own, they will pass on the gratitude, determination & strength that you taught me. My husband Bill will be competing in Eagleman in a few weeks, and I hear you will be there. It will be an honor to see you in person.

Be well,
Jennifer Boileau

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Jon,

I hope this message reaches you. This is Jason from way back...back from the transition area in IM Arizona in 06...back from Kona too. It's been too long my friend.

I wanted to write just to remind you that though I so briefly passed in and out of your presence for just moments...I think of you daily. I am well and still racing, though more casually since my music career is picking up.

Just know Jon, that you are forever indelible in my mind and heart...your story exemplifies for me the higher orders of human accomplishment and potential...your spirit is a testament to the highest ideals of what it means to be human and to overcome.

Be well...keep fighting the good fight.

Jason
Netcong, NJ

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Jon,

I hope you see this and know that you have touched so many of us. I have finished a bunch of Ironman races inlcuding Kona in 2004, the year before yours. I followed you on-line that day with Jen. Your courage has shown me how to be a better person. I admire your parents as well and their bravery. FREEDOM Jon. I speak for my tri team of over 100 strong when I scream FREEDOM for you. I am racing in my first XTERRA race tomorrow and you will keep me going strong.

I think a log roll in the mud would be nice.

Thanks Jon
, Clint Tebbetts

Friday, May 18th, 2007

I am writing to find out if and how my non-profit can become associated with Team Blazeman?

The purpose of our organization is to promote health and fitness in local communities while at the same time raising funds and awareness for certain diseases. After seeing John’s story, ALS is one of those diseases. Do you have "chapters" that our organization can be named?

Although we know about the ALS Association, we are endurance athletes, hence the desire to join John’s team.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
Gregory S. Miller
Executive Director
Fit 4 Life of America, Inc.

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Hi Karen,

Thought I might shot you an email and let you know that I made my half-ironman debut. And feel as though I did team Blazeman well. I won my age group, with a time of 4:37, and placed 23rd overall. I have also possibly recruited another member to join my mini army here in Wilmington. For now though it is just getting ready for Ironman Louisville on August 26th.

Also a big wish of luck to all the other warriors.

Thanks,
Patrick Farwell

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Hi Kevin!

Sorry that it took me so long to get this to you. Feel free to use whatever information you wish. I am having the blazeman logo and waronals.com web address added to my race suit this year, I will have a picture of me racing in it for you within a month!

Im excited to be supporting such an amazing cause,
Jordan Bryden

ATHLETE PROFILE

Year of birth: 1986
Place of birth: Calgary
Gender: male
Language: english
Height: 6ft 5in
Weight: 184lb
Sports Hero: Lynn Cox, Peter Reid, Bill Bowerman, Natalie Coghlin
Entry Year: 1996
Sponsors: Speedo, Pearl Izumi, EAS, Oakley, Gords Running Store, Tri-it.ca, Ridleys Cycle
Education: High School, eventually going to University
Other sports: Xterra, Mountain Biking
Representing: Canada
Nationality: Canada

Career Highlights

2006 Race Season
9th - May 14, 2006 ITU Honolulu Pan American Cup - Honolulu, HI
10th - July 2, 2006 Canadian Elite Championships - Brampton, ON
42nd - July 9, 2006 Edmonton World Cup Triathlon - Edmonton, AB
37th - July 23, 2006 Corner Brook World Cup Triathlon - Corner Brook, NFLD
38th - August 20, 2006 Geneva European Cup Triathlon - Geneva, Switzerland
30th place - 2nd Canadian U-23 Elite Race- September 3, 2006 ITU
Triathlon World Championships - Lausanne, Switzerland

2005 Race Season
Gold Medalist Junior Men - October 23, 2005 Xterra World Championship - Makena, Maui
16th place Junior Elite Men - September 11, 2005 ITU World Triathlon Championships - Gamagori, Japan
Championships - Gold Medalist - July 30, 2005 Canadian Junior National Triathlon - Caledon, Ontario
Yellow Jersey - Series Winner August 21, 2005 Canadian Junior Development Series - Kelowna, B.C.

Canadian Race Series Results
1st place - Stage Winners Jersey June 26, 2005 Canadian National Points Series #1 St. Malo, Winnipeg
1st place - Stage Winners Jersey July 2, 2005 Canadian National Points Series #2 Trois Rivieres, QC
2nd place- 1st Canadian July 23, 2005 Canadian National Points Series #3 Edmonton, Alberta
2004 Season
Silver Medalist July 31,2004 Junior National Championships Caledon , Ontario
Silver Medalist July 24,2004 Alberta Provincial Championships Edmonton, Alberta
Bronze Medalist July 24.2004 PATCO Cup International Triathlon Edmonton, Alberta
Development Race Bronze Medal August 21, 2004 Kelowna Apple Canadian Junior Kelowna, B.C.
Series Bronze Medalist August 22, 2004 Canadian Junior Development Race Kelowna, B.C.
1st Overall August 28, 2004 Summerside Triathlon Edmonton. Alberta

Credentials
- Named as the 2005 Alberta Triathlon Association Jr. Male athlete of the year
- Named as the 2005 Triathlon Canada Jr. Male athlete of the year.
- Recipient of the 2005 Premier's Citizenship Award.

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Dear Gentleman,

Some of you know me, some don't. My name is Ryan Van Praet, and I'm from Chatham Ont., Canada. Kevin has written about myself and Jon, and my story was posted on Ironman.com earlier in the year. I am writing for a very simple and specific reason. On Apr.20-22, my wife and I flew down so that I could finally meet Jon Blais and his family face to face. My father has ALS like Jon, and I have since found it to be my mission to carry on the work Jon had started with his Ironman 2005 performance. I figured if I was going to carry on the work he started, I needed to meet the man himself.

Attached are some pics from my visit with Jon, and a pic of my father as well. He and Jon are on fairly similar paths as far as the severity of their diseases.

       

Now, to the reason for the email:
I BEG you, I PLEA to you, as the people who control the stories, who are the story tellers, the voices in the multisport world....PLEASE don't let Jon's story, my father's story, all warriors with ALS stories, die.

Jon started something huge, he mobilized so many people, and his mission is to keep the awareness alive, the fight for funds, research and a cure. I ask you to help keep the War on ALS alive. In 2005 Jon finished the Ironman, last year he was in a chair while Brian Breen rolled for him, and now he is in his final months, as too is my father. As an Ironman it is my mission to continue to use my efforts in racing to raise awarenss and funds; it is my mission to NEVER let the world forget how terribly cruel and unforgiving this disease is. My personal struggles with impending blindness occupied my life previous to my fathers ALS, now it means nothing. For when I'm blind, I am still alive...the world needs to celebrate their own lives, realize that Ironman is a celebration of living, and a way to honor those who can't do the things they want to do because of diseases like ALS.

I am going to Lake Placid to race and roll, my bid for a lottery spot failed for Kona, and so too are my chances of getting to the finish there to honor those with ALS. However, I will do my part in whatever races I do. I ask you to please look beyond Ironman as a buisness, as a sport, and use your abilities as leaders in the forums you have, to tell the world that life is worth celebrating, and to remember those Warriors who have gone before us.

Jon I think feels his story may die with him...what a tragedy that would be? The world watches Ironman and listens to you all. You have a voice and a power to do great things with the media you work for.

We watch the pros race, we watch various age group stories (all of which are truly inspiring), we get updates on the PC division, and updates on the leaders in the military race...Just think how fantastic it would be to have updates every year on the athletes racing #179, and racing for Team Blazeman. How great would it be for people to tune in 5 years from now and ask "Hmmm, who's racing for Team Blazeman this year? I wonder how much money they've raised since Jon Blais raced? What inspiring person is wearing #179?" A pipe dream? perhaps, but how Jon would smile.

Please when you sit down at your computers and desks to decide on what the world needs to see and hear; please realize they need to know what 2 years with ALS can do to a person, and how seriously wrong it is that this disease has gotten so little attention prior to the Blazeman.

I thank you all for reading my email, I just promised Jon I'd do my part to make the story known. You see, Jon's story isn't just about ALS, it's about celebrating the gift of life and cherishing every second you have of it.

All the best, and thanks for all the wonderful and very meaningful work you all do; you truly are inspiring people.

Ryan Van Praet
Ontario, Canada
"You can quit, and they won't care, but you'll always know..."

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Doing the Couer d'Alene Ironman for A.L.S. Saw the HI Ironman when you competed and the following Ironman when you were at the finish line. The first Ironman I did was in Canada, 1991, dedicated to my son who died from SIDS.

This will be my 6th Ironman. I'm dedicating it to you and the fight against A.L.S.

Be well,
Kent Breckenridge
Spokane, WA

Friday, May 4th, 2007

I want to help carry the torch for Jon I won a lottery slot to Kona!!!!! Jon is a inspiration to me, What do I do?

Rob Gazella,
Michigan Tri-Warrior

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

I'm very excited to be supporting the Blazeman foundation to help fight the War On ALS.

I met a man, a very unlucky but courageous man, Jon Blais. He has made a huge impact in my life making me realize how lucky we are to be here on earth. Jon was blunt with me and told me straight up when I asked him whether he would go to Hawaii to race again in 2007. He said "I'll be DEAD. I have a death sentence. I have ALS." I stood there speechless. He was in his chair with little mobility and just stared at me. That's when I realized this is a terrible disease.

From that moment, I wanted to use my talents to help fight ALS. I want to help Jon Blais raise awareness and funds so we can beat this disease. I take his strength and courage with me every time I take the starting line. It makes my career that much more passionate to race for the Blazeman Foundation.

- Matty Reed, 2008 Olympic Hopeful, Escape from Alcatraz Winner and a figher against ALS

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Jon,

My thoughts are with you and your family these days, and I hope that the kind notes in your guestbook bring some respite to your long days.

I am getting closer to Ironman, but first I will be bringing a bit of Blazeman spirit with me out on the course at Wildflower this weekend. I remember when we talked about that race and you were right about what you said! Let's just see how the weekend unfolds.

I've got my Blazeman kit, and will be glad to talk to anyone and everyone about you, and how you've touched so many people. . . just like I said I would.

A promise is a promise!

~Autumn

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Brian Breen,

You fellow crazy Irishman! I've been emailing back and forth with Karen over the past few days and talking about the Boston marathon.

I, like you, was inspired by Jon when he completed the Ironman in 2005. I watched and said, "I can do this!" It's also been my dream to found a charitable organization...not to be rich or famous, just to make a difference.

Then I watched what you did, in 2006 (completely NUTS!). I plan on completing the Ironman in 2010 and not sooner because given my injury history (13 broken bones, 5 surgeries, two years of my life on crutches), I need to be methodical, precise, and calculated. I can do a marathon right now, but no the distance in Kona. I did Boston in 2004 and finished despite a pulled hamstring at mile 11. It was 89 degrees at the start of the race. I refused to quit.

In my reading of Jon, I learned he and his family are from Seekonk, the backyard of the Boston marathon. I'm talking to Karen about doing something CRAZY for the 2008 Boston Marathon including sponsorships, charitable events, and raising money.

I'm organizing a huge group of people to run for 2008. I did it, then my friend did it, then several friends did it. Now, we've created a group of believers. This group, we're searching for a cause, and I can only think of one that I could possibly think of championing to the finish.

My only question to you is, are you in? Let's do this.

Let's give Jon the party of a lifetime, right in his backyard, Dick & Rick Hoyt style.

Shawn Mahoney
shawnmass2@comcast.net

Tuesday, April 18th, 2007

Jon:

My name is Jeff Newman and I just gained entry into IM HI through the lottery. I am a physician and have followed you since you raced in 2005. I would be honored if I could become part of your team to raise money and awareness in the fight against ALS.

E-mail: jhnewmanmd@yahoo.com

I hope to hear from you soon,
Jeff Newman

Tuesday, April 12th, 2007

Scottsdale, AZ 4/11/07 2:30pm: "ALS is the most likely diagnosis at this time..." Holy S_ _t!

I am a 44yr old triathlete who started in the multisport lifestyle officially in 1989. After taking the 1990's from racing off to pursue career interests, I resumed my racing and finally grabbed my first 2 age-group victories in '06. The prospect aging up into the 45-49 group and beyond seemed like a great thing, a race in April I felt like I was flying and was 8th overall in a small 125 man field. After laying off all Summer to work with a Gov't contractor, I resumed training and won another age group in Sept. '06 but felt weaker,slower.

In October '06, I tripped and fell during a triathlon...blamed it on the river rocks during the trail run, then I accidentally rolled across the finish via another fall. Further training runs added more falls and kept me on my bike or in the pool. My most recent tri in Dec.'06 (not my last) resulted in my left leg going numb and prompted me to limp to the finish.

I assumed it was just weakness with middle age, my various neck/back injuries, Achilles tendonitis, Morton's Neuroma, or staying out of the weight room for too long.

Finally I took that fateful trip to WebMD, from there to a Physical Therapist who would not touch me, the to Neuro Dr. #1 to Neuro Dr.#2 which led me to "the diagnosis" which is leading me to Neuro Dr.#3 "the ALS specialist".

My training ethic has been stronger than ever, but unfortunately I'm no longer running due to the 3 days of pain/stiffness even a one-mile run brings to my calf muscles. FYI- I'm planning to race the AZ Xterra Tri this month on the 21st and plan to be sporting a Blazeman tri-top no matter what the next diagnosis may or may not be. The run (a 10K trail run where I fell in '06) is obviously a concern anything to do besides stretch or massage?

I am just looking for a little guidance and a lot of strength right now. It felt good to get this off my chest. Can't guarantee the roll on the finish just yet.

Thanks!
Ken Kowalski

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

I finished after you in IM Hawaii in 2005 I was with you in the medical tent, I was so proud to have been with you and told everyone how fine a man you are. I am #254 our club the shoreline sharks will rally and do a race for als this year. you keep me going-- we are all so inspired by your strength you have changed thousands of lives for the better. Your energy is felt throughout this country. Thank you Blazeman , for it all.

Nancy Cronin
Hamden, Ct.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2007

I just received my Blazeman gear, and I will wear it in honor of Jon, and everyone who suffers from ALS.

I will be going to Hawaii for my first race this season on May 20th finishing with a log roll...

Erik Feeney
Pennsylvania

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

Hi, Jon & all Warriors and Volunteers.

We were thinking about you this weekend, especially thinking what a great time we had with you and your family at the Blazeman 5k in Coventry, RI about this time.

Cheers to you.
Laurie & Colburn

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Dear Jon and fellow warriors,

I wanted to give you all a recap of my latest race down in Oceanside, California yesterday. Both my dad and I competed in Blazeman screened suits and had phenomenal races, and we owe it all to you.

I've never had a good 70.3 distance race - for some reason I bonk out on the run every time. Yesterday however, I vowed that I would not let that happen. Racing in my ALS emblazoned gear there was no stopping me, not this time. Mainly, I just wanted to have a solid race and get through the run without dying, but it turned out to be more than I could have hoped for, even with a nagging hip injury that kept me from getting in essentially any run training for nearly 3 months.

I swam the 1.2 in 23:26, my best split ever, had a good T1 and was off. I rode a 2:31, also my best split, and 12 minutes faster than my 2005 time. I started the run feeling fresh and ready to go. Building into the first lap I realized I was on pace to crush my best 70.3 run (1:44). I started to really go for it my 2nd lap, and because of all that Jon and Team Blazeman has done for me, there was no stopping me. I broke down a few times crying on the run when images and thoughts of Jon filled my mind, and it was beyond uplifting. I felt like I was being carried through the whole run, blazing by competitors, and loving every second of it!

I ended up going a PR by 16 minutes - 4:30:45, good for 4th in my age group (18-24) and a Clearwater World Championship slot! And, I kept the log-roll alive of course!!! Luckily I didn't start it too early, as I wasn't aware, but a Swedish competitor in my age group was a mere 25 seconds back and missed the last 70.3 slot! But like I told my dad, I would have honored Jon regardless of missing a spot or not!

My dad had a great race too - 4:57, PR, 12th in his age group, 17 minutes faster than his 2005 time from the same race. It was amazing to share our stories of late-stage run motivational self talk (like, "come on, do it for Jon", "20 more minutes of pain for Jon, no problem", etc.) and botched log-rolls - we both had trouble navigating them and wound up along the wall :) (we'll have to practice them for next time!).

So, thank you Jon, and all those involved with Team Blazeman. I feel so blessed to have had such a great performance thanks mostly to Jon, but more so due to the people I got to discuss ALS, Team Blazeman, and our event with, and just spread the word and continue to tell Jon's story!

Thanks again,
Keith Ryan

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Hello Blazeman Warrior,

We want be become BLAZEMAN WARRIORS and how do you become a sponsor also.

Thank you.

Jay Houslander
Canada

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Hi Blazeman,

My name is Roger Drews in Poway California (San Diego). Jon, I am racing for you this year at IronMan Arizona.

I am 46 years old and have been racing since 1979. I have 3 kids (20,18 and 15). I have used you Jon as a role model for my kids. Jon, you are greatly admired and loved in my home, and we always REMEMBER YOU OUR FRIEND - THE BLAZEMAN ALS WARRIOR POET.

We are your friend Jon, and we love you. I hope when my trials in life come, I am brave and courageous just like you Jon. You are my hero Jon.

Mom and Dad Blazeman, you are 2 amazing people, I know this because you have a son like Jon. We love you too.

Always in our thoughts and prayers,
Roger,MaryLou, Evan, Jayna, and Brendalyn Drews

P.S. Jon - my wife Marylou, like you, works in special education at the elementary level.

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Hello ALS Warriors,

First, thank you for inspiring me and reminding me that my life is not a dress rehearsal. The world needs more people like you Jon.

My name is Jennifer, I am an IM finisher and I belong to the Shoreline Sharks multi-sport team, based in West Haven, CT. I tried to organize a spin-a-thon in Jon’s name recently but my gym was not willing to cooperate with me. So, instead, I want to put on a road race in my community to join forces with Team Blazeman. I would appreciate any information you could give me in order to get it off the ground. Do I get the sponsor first? Get police on board first? Contact USAT first? I’m not sure where to begin or how much to ask from a sponsor.

I already have a hilly half marathon course plotted out (not certified yet). Would a 5k or 4 miler be more distance friendly to the masses? Another option would be a sprint tri as we are located on Long Island sound. I realize that the New England racing calendar is PACKED, and the tides would need to be considered for a tri. But anything is possible, right?

I really want to do this for you Jon. You’re my hero and you are in my thoughts everyday. Keep on fighting!!

Fondly,
Jennifer

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Karen,

Just an update that we have some more exposure that hopefully will help raise more money and awareness. I joined the CEO Challenge that will also be taking place at Ironman CDA. I am now listed on their website and there is mention of me raising money for the Blazeman Foundation. Here is the link to the CEO Challenge (scroll all the way down). I am the only female right now so that maybe a challenge of its own!

CEO Challenge (scroll all the way down)

Anyway, I am hoping that some of my interaction with the other CEO’s may spark some more donations. I plan to work my “agenda” at some of the discussions and forums and try to see if we can get more people involved.

Thanks,
Cheryl

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Ryan Van Praet sent me the attached article from Triathlete Magazine Canada

Peace,
John W.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Thanks Karen. Please let me know about the other local group, I've heard rumor's about another group. I'm getting ready to send off my t-shirt order with a local printer for our team logo,(which includes War on A.L.S.). I've included a link to my schedule, the team logo is on the home page if ya wanna check it out.

dk

Detective David A. Knight, CFE
Leon County Sheriff's Office
Violent Crimes Unit
2825 Municipal Way
Tallahassee, Florida 32304
850.922.3429 Direct
850.921.9735 Fax

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Hello everyone,

Was watching a recording of the '06 Ironman and decided to check out Jon's and Brian's story. Just did my first marathon 3 weeks ago. But, basically what can I do to get involved? I'm not promising to do an Ironman or anything...:) but want to join the fight on ALS.

Thank you.
Brgds,
Doug Miller
Tampa

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Blazey:

Just wanted you to know that Sunday March 4th I started working with a trainer so I can do a 6.5 mile loop at the OC Blazeman. I like to think of March 4th as March Forth....the day to go forward with spirit, courage and heart. I know you hear constantly that you have been an inspiration to us all.

However,the question remains....what are we doing about it? You put ALS on the map at Ironman 2005 and you have passed the torch to all of us. I've tried to understand the grieving that I feel daily over this "bulldozer" which is taking over your body while mine is in tact. It doesn't seem right/fair. The grieving comes from missed opportunities. The times I said, "no" when I should have said "yes". So it makes NOW so very important to me. Now is the time to take action and I have this need to let you know about it.

Sunday I began my fist session with a personal trainer. I'm doing this to build a basic foundation that will help me to continue to do Blazeman Races in the future and someday do more than a 6.5 mile loop, not to diminish this first event. It is taking much concentration, preparation and positive energy to pull it off but I'm enjoying the journey. I've started to get sponsors and will collect the checks made out to Blazeman Foundation and send them in June. I'm counting on the momentum building for the race and more donations coming through at that time.

My motto for the OC Blazeman is "50 and Fighting" I turn 50 a week before the event and know that this is how I'll be celebrating this year, by striving to be my personal best while raising money, awareness and a true sense of hope for an ALS cure. I am new to being a warrior but I know I have the passion and heart to receive the baton as you pass it on.

Melody Beattie wrote:

"There's a heartbeat, a rhythm to life and the universe. It is in us and around us. It comes gently like a friend knocking quietly on the door, asking if we are okay, if we have lost our way."

Well Jon, here is to that connection that many of us have now with each other because your decision was instant and your committment was total. Thank you Jon for showing us a new way to travel.

Love,
Jayne Marie

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Mr. Blazeman,

I’m so sorry read another young man has ALS! My husband of 41 years old has the same disease. I’m not sure why I felt complied to write, but I wanted to train for a triathlon this year and was on Active.com looking for a race. I thought about raising funds for the ALS LA organization by running in race. Jeff & I raised funds last year during the walk to d’feet ALS in LA.

My husband of six years, Jeff’s sends his days with a personal assistant and tutors teenagers every Tuesday & Thursday afternoon. After that he travels on his automatic wheelchair to pick up Alyssa, our daughter of 4yrs old, from daycare. He gets to spend his afternoon with Alyssa until I get home. Not only that, he helps take care of our household finances and duties via the computer or phone.

I really think Jeff would like to talk to someone in his own shoes. I mean someone young. I hope you don’t feel upset about that comment.

Constantly, we run into people in their upper ages and we tend to get a bit frustrated once for the diagnoses and the other for the disease it’s self.

Would you mind giving him an email to talk? Our email address is: reinville@earthlink.net

We both are in our early forties.

Good luck with your fight and I’ll be watching out for you. We live in Southern California and are involved with the LA Chapter of ALS.

Martina L. Renville

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I am sure that you have heard over and over again what an inspiration you have been to THE WORLD! Being a fellow Ironman finisher,knowing the strength and dedication it takes, I really ENVY you! You have truely been an inspiration to those sick, and to those heathly. Teaching us all to NEVER GIVE UP! What's it going to be? Victory or Death! I am all for VICTORY! Thanks again for INSPIRING ME!

Steve Birds,
Seattle, Washington

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Jon,

I saw your story on TV when my tri team sat down together to watch the IM World Championships. We all (I'm not kidding - all 23 of us) cried when watching your story. Not only out of compassion for you, but also with feelings of victory, defeat, overcoming adversity, strength and determination. We all also felt a little guilty...here we were, all healthy (all except one, who is battling cancer, yet continues in her mulit-sport life) yet complaining how hard life is when training for an Ironman. Well, what we live through each day is nothing. We learned what weakness was (in use) when we watched your story. We found weakness in ourselves after seeing the strength in you - you inspired each of us that evening.

I think of you most days. I think of my friend battling cancer. I think of my other friend who battled cancer and, thank God, won. I think of you all who overcome so much on a daily basis. This is what keeps my vertical alignment. You all provide so much, and you don't even know it. Thank God for you, Jon. What is happening to you sucks - it really, really does. In the same breath, it is a gift that is impacting thousands of people and I thank you for having the courage and strength that many of us don't have.

I was reading your website. I, too, am a special education teacher. I teach kids who are deaf and hard of hearing. They think I'm nuts that I do this Ironman "thing." At the same time, they have tons of questions (you know how kids are!!). I'm going to introduce them to you, Jon. I want them to know you and everything you've done. I also cannot wait for summer so I can proudly wear your tri jersey on my training rides. I'm getting ready for my second Ironman.

Best wishes to you and your family, Jon. Thank you for bringing ALS to the spotlight via multisport. You are so very amazing.

Sincerely,
Tracie Happel
Wife, Mom, Teacher and Ironman

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Dear Friends,

Many of you will remember supporting me in 2004 when I raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and completed my first two triathlons. That was a life-changing experience for me, and now I am ready to take on another great challenge with your assistance. On June 24th, I will be competing in the Ironman Coeur D’Alene. This event consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle, and a full 26.2 mile marathon. My goal is finish the race in 12 hours and 20 minutes. This would be an improvement of over an hour from my first Ironman!

In addition to the training and preparation, I will be raising funds through the Janus Charity Challenge for Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS. Augie’s Quest was founded by Augie Nieto with a goal of curing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

I first met Augie Nieto as a senior at Claremont McKenna College when, as an alumnus, he spoke to an economics class I was taking. At that time, I learned of his remarkable career in the fitness industry. In the last year, I became re-acquainted with Augie when I learned that he had been diagnosed with ALS and started Augie’s Quest. Seeing his passion and determination inspired me to contribute my time and energy to this great cause.

I encourage you to visit www.AugiesQuest.org to learn more about Augie, the charity, and ALS. Also, please read this Wall Street Journal feature about Augie: online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116485210886636490-g_gcL2bGWgX5YAD_z_rPprirc4o_20061208.html?mod=blogs. In doing so, you will see that we are so close to breakthrough treatments and cures. With a little more help, we can make a significant difference.

As I have learned more about ALS and Ironman, I also became acquainted with an incredible man named Jon Blais. In May 2005, Jon was diagnosed with ALS but carried on with his commitment to race the Ironman Kona in October 2005. In finishing the race, Jon rolled across the line, symbolizing his vow that he would finish "even if they had to roll him across." This inspirational effort was the beginning of Team Blazeman - a dedicated group of triathletes racing around the world to raise money for the fight against ALS. While racing in Coeur D'Alene, I will proudly wear a Team Blazeman jersey, representing our shared fight against ALS. You can learn more about Jon Blais and Team Blazeman at www.WarOnAls.com.

I hope that you would be willing to support me, Augie’s Quest, and Team Blazeman through a financial contribution to the Janus Charity Challenge. To make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact me directly or log on to januscharitychallenge.kintera.org/cda2007/fischer and look up my donation information. No donation is too large or too small - every penny counts! Please also inquire to any charitable matching programs your company may have and, of course, please feel free to pass on my information to any friends, family, or others who might share an interest in this great cause. If you have any questions or problems, please let me know so that I can assist you.

Thank you for your consideration! I look forward to the next 4 months of tough preparation and spreading the word for this great cause.

Best Regards,
John

"Life is not a dress rehearsal."
-Jon Blais

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Jon, Bob and Maryann,

It was so great to see you in San Diego at the Awards Ceremony. Bob.....I've been doing my homework and have been on the website daily. I recently sent an e-mail to the Ryan Famly regarding the Huntington Beach event. Give my love to Jon and tell him I'm planning on running one of the 6 mile loops for him.

Jayne Marie

Monday, February 19th, 2007

We are a triathlon family and were moved to tears by the 2005 and 2006 coverage. You rock Jon! I will be wearing a Blazeman kit for all my races from now on. You are a remarkable example of the human spirit!! We will be praying for you and all ALS patients. You are with us at every training session.

Rich Howe & Family

Friday, February 16th, 2007

I saw the last Hawaii Ironman and it has inspired me to join Blazeman. Tell me what I need to do.

Best Regards,
Ron Salmon

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Hello Folks,

My name is Sean Dutra, I met Jon and his dad briefly at the Westchester Triathlon this September and that's when Jon's father had told me about Team Blazeman. So I went to your site and found this link for training and racing as a Blazeman member.

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...

Thanks.
Best Regards,
Sean

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I think of you often on my training rides and runs. You are a great inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story with the world and inspiring us all to do our best and help fight the cause. In your honor, I will be rolling across every finish line I cross from now on.

I will continue to say prayers for you and your family.

Roll on!
Best regards,
Julie H.
Austin, Texas

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Hi to all.

I don't know who will respond to this, but I am a long time duathlete/triathlete in San Diego (have been racing since 1980), and want to join this team and effort. In the past, I have been a top duathlete and trathlete in the late 80's and early 90's. Now, I race more for the love of it (and a bunch slower!) and to inspire others.

Jon, if you get this, I want you to know that I every ride, run, or swim I am doing, you are always thought of, and you are in my prayers, as is your family, and all others that are stricken or involved with your effort.

Jon, if there is anything you remember in my email, please remember this, your words were true, genuine and what life is all about. Sometimes in our wonderful country, people get complacent, ungrateful, and self-centered. Jon, you are a true hero. A true leader. A true warrior.

YOU ARE GOD'S WARRIOR. Jon, I don't even me, but you are my brother, not because your words got on TV via the Ironman, but BECAUSE of your words, their meaning, and your actions you do to back them up. Like you, I always try to remember to "fight the good fight" in everything.

I promise you, I will never forget you and all the people like you, and what your effort means. Every race, every training session is dedicated to all of you.

Now, what can I do ?

I am in San Diego. What can I do to help this team and effort grow? I will buy the racing gear and wear them proudly, and I will contribute my own resources, but what more can I do to help organize ?

With great respect,
Roger Drews
Poway, Ca.

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Dear John and Co.,

My name is Keith Ryan and I am a triathlete from Southern California eager to become a Blazeman Warrior. In fact, my entire family hopes to join forces with you in the war on ALS. Our family is quite unique in that all four of us are involved in multisport (we began doing triathlon in the mid 90s) and do tons of races and training together. We have all been both touched and motivated by your story, determination, and heart. I'll try and keep this as short as possible as to not bore you too much...but you have been a huge motivator for us the last few years.

The Ryan Family triathlon story begins with my mom, Dana, now 49. She got my dad to buy her a bike over ten years ago, saw a race on TV, said "I want to do that", and went out and got 3rd place in her age group. A marathon runner, my dad, John, 48, quickly followed suit and began his new multisport lifestyle, despite swimming only as fast as the 70+ women (he's made some improvements though). At the age of 12, I did a race at Bonelli Park and fell in love with the sport. My younger brother Kyle, now 18, did his first race at the age of 8 racing along side CAF's Rudy Garcia Tollson at the Iron Kids races down in San Diego. He is now a freshman at UC Davis and a member of the triathlon team. A competitive swimmer from age 8-college, it was not until I quit swimming at UC Irvine my sophomore year that I began to take triathlon more seriously. I'm a consistent age group winner and have won some local stuff and just got my best USAT national ranking, 20th in my age group. Now 22 and a recent graduate, I spend a lot of time training and racing, coaching at my alma mater Edison High School, and working at a teen center for underprivileged Hispanic youth. I plan on going to graduate school to get my MA in school counseling next Fall. That is essentially my family in a nutshell. Now comes the good stuff.

After my first two half Ironman distance races in 2005, I decided to make the jump and become an Ironman like my dad had done back at Ironman CA in 2000. We signed up for Ironman Arizona 2006 and began training. I was plagued with running related injuries and mentally fell apart and decided to pull out of the race in the fall of 2005. That is, until I saw the Kona coverage, and heard your story. I was so incredibly moved by your story and remember the first run I did after I saw it and had re-decided to do Ironman AZ. It was a short run, maybe 6 miles, but I remember how it felt and how I cried the majority of the time just thinking about you and your amazing efforts in Kona, how unfair life can be, and how I wanted to do something about it. I felt so uplifted every time I thought of you from then on out and I arrived at Ironman ready to go. A short race recap goes something like this: I swim a 50:07, my dad 1:11 - I ride 5:31, my dad 5:22- I melt on the run and my dad catches me at mile 23. I tell him to go ahead and he says that his ultimate goal was to finish along side me. My 13 minute miles transformed into a "blistering" 10 or 11 minute pace as I thought of you and remembered your struggles in Kona. Like you told Breen about his Ironman, the Ironman was the greatest experience of my life. As I heard the roar of the crowd, my dad and I locked and raised our hands as we ran down the chute and finished together in 11:14. Most people hear our story and think it's amazing, but they don't know the real reasons behind it.

Like you pushed Brian through his Ironman, and have motivated so many others in so many ways, you got me to that line. Without you, I would have most likely DNFed. I was cramping so badly and was so sick that I shouldn't have finished. But like Brian said, there was no chance of me not finishing with you there with me. And that afforded me the most amazing experience of my life to date.

Now I turn to the main reason behind these stories. My family is putting together a fundraiser- the OC Blazeman 140.6 in our local city of Huntington Beach. We are in the beginning stages of making our web page and spreading the word about the event, but we are extremely excited nonetheless. All four of us are going to participate- it will be the first Ironman distance for my mom and brother. In fact, we came up with this idea on one our family training rides during the holidays.

We have spoken with Dave Galli and heard about his swimming the channel to raise money for ALS, and were motivated to help in our own way. We have a large network as we known Bob Babbit well, Terry Davis of Tri California, Mike Collins of OC Multisports, many local tri-teams and bike shops...in essence, we're going to get the word out there.

The event is merely going to be a group of people out there to raise money for a cause and honor a true hero, that's you! It isn't an organized race, just an event to raise money and spread the word about ALS. It is also going to be a fundraiser for MS (an employee's spouse at my dad's restaurant was recently diagnosed), and CAF as well (we've been doing race for a reason and such), but our main focus and drive is the war on ALS.

So, I guess the next step is joining team Blazeman. How about a family of ALS warriors?! So, what do we do!? My dad and I are going to get the Blazeman team apparel soon as we have 70.3 in Oceanside March 31st and want to represent Team Blazeman and spread the word about our event and ALS as much as we can.

We also would like to know how to set up our own pay pal link on our page to track our donation information. We would greatly appreciate any direction you could give us.

We hope to hear from you soon. If you could pass this on to Brian Breen that would be awesome as maybe he'd be willing to help our cause or at least keep spreading the word.

Feel free to contact our family at:       triryans@hotmail.com

Just to let you know how driven we are for this cause- my dad came into my room about 60 minutes ago in his bike clothes (it's raining right now) and said, "Go mail Blaze, I'm gonna go watch him"! -- I've been listening to the 06 Kona coverage we have on Tivo listening to the sound of the trainer humming the entire time I've been writing this.

God bless and I hope to hear from you,
Keith Ryan
Huntington Beach, CA
Edison High School Swimming Head Coach

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I am an avid cyclist--my brother lost battle with als 3 years ago--want to help with raising monies in cycling events.

Murphy Godek,
Rhode Island

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

I forgot to mention how moved I was watching the NBC coverage in 2005. My Mother-in-law raced on that day with you. She said, she saw you out on the bike and you gave her (as you've given so many),the strength to keep pushing.

When we (my husband and I) watched in 2006 I must have wept for 2 hours after. Your story is remarkably touching. As a mother myself, I feel heartache for your mom and dad. At the same time, I can't imagine the enormous amount of pride they must feel. I don't even know you and I'm so proud of you. Keep up the great work! The world needs more people like you.

With warmest regards
Jennifer
Sea Bluff, Connecticut

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

I am in awe of all that you have accomplished in your lifetime. You truely are a HERO. Not only in sport but in everyday life. What a gift you are to the world.

I know from my own experience as an IM finisher, that it's tough getting through training and racing with a healthy body. I just can't imagine the mental fortitude you must posess. You are one determined warrior. What a great word to describe you! WARRIOR! I hope to meet you one day. Until then I will do all I can to get your name and your fight out there. I'm unable to spin today, Feb 10th. But I hope to host an event in your name at my gym. I will also do another IM in the future and you bet I'll be rolling across that finish for you and this !@#$%^&* disease that you are being bulldozed by.

You have helped me realize that my life is NOT a dress rehersal. I hope to pass your positive message on to my 3 daughters.

Be well Jon Blais and know that you are so meaningful to so many. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Fondly,
Jennifer
Sea Bluff, Connecticut

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

My name is Patrick M. Conrey. I’m a firefighter from Clearwater, Florida. I learned about team Blazeman in a hotel room the day before the Las Vegas Marathon. I wanted to do something special when I finished my 5th Marathon, after seeing the NBC program the day before, I new I had found my special ending to a long day (the AKA “the log roll”). I had run a personal best of a 3:36, not a Boston time but getting close. I would like to know what I have to do, to become part of the team. I would love to be part of the team in Clearwater 2007 (70.3) or other events. I appreciate your time and consideration feel free to contact me via email or by cell phone (727) 798-0768. What ever it takes I am the MDA coordinator for my Fire Department. I know what this charity is all about and would love to do more in such a special way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P

Patrick M. Conrey (AKA: Patio, Irishmarathon man)
Pat, Jana, & Sean Conrey

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your inspiration! Your story has touched me and all the students in the Health and Fitness classes at my school, as well as the triathletes in the club I am coordinating at the local YMCA. I have a question, though. I love the new logo you have, with the quote, "So others may live." It would look great on a black t-shirt! I have a co-worker whose brother-in-law is battling ALS, and a student whose father died last year of ALS. I would like permission to use your logo and likeness on t-shirts that I could put these two men's names on, and sell them to my fellow triathletes. You will receive every penny of profit that I make. I would love the opportunity to get the word out, and help in the fight, and we will all log roll across the finish line of every race that we do.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Sincerely,
David Eagle
Hilliard Darby High School

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

This is it, I'm in now what???????

My dad (70 years of age) me 35 years young, race in adventure races, road races, triathlons, bike races, about 10 a year. We have been to Oregon, Chicago,Kansas, we live in Missouri, Saint Louis. We want to race to cure!!!!!!!!!

You see I work in a world of life and death, I personally never know what my patients with cancer young or old are going thru, but I have watched many die, babies to old age and and and what do you say, but I must do something to help cure a disease that is not as widely noted as CANCER. I WANT to be a part!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You go Blazeman!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Sincerely with many log rolls to come

Amy and Roy of Missouri

I want to race every race for ALS, how do we do this!!!!!!!!!!???????????

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Hi Jon,

I'm a personal trainer/tennis coach and newly diagnosed with MND. Your website has helped me to try and think positive but its all still so hard to take.

Tina
England

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Blazeman,

Please checkout my website, www.perfectly-fit.com. Go to the links page, I added your link to the site, I hope this is okay with you! I am also a seekonk warrior, class of 95. shoot me an email or give me a call , I am usually there all the time.

Mike
Seekonk, Massachusetts

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I’m in. Now what?

Peter Pichotta,
La Crosse, WI

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I train and compete in Northern Indiana with a team of six other triathletes… We want to help… How do we join and help raise some money?

Zach Rininger

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Jon, Mike, and friends…..

I gotta get involved !!!

I met Jon in Kona this year and I want to dedicate work, dollars, and sports to Jon, and my Grandmother who died of ALS.

S. Zev Barnett
Centennial, CO

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

I don't know if this is the right or appropriate place to say this but I wanted to share my Blazeman experience.

'm new to the Blazeman, and my friends and I were inspired to put on a Spin-a-thon and we've been running ever since. I don't know how to say all that I want but I feel compelled to share. We're all middle school teachers and two of us coach HS sports. I knew I could "make" my girls softball team spin and I held my softball team parent meeting last night with the idea I'd present it(John's DVD) and see where it went. It was completely quiet for the entire 15 minutes and 38 seconds except for sniffles and people getting up to get kleenex. (I cried too)I explained what we were going to do(one of my friends is doing the entire 16.5 hours) and told the kids and parents to think about what they saw and I'd check with them today to see where they were at with regards to participation.

I got to practice not knowing what to expect and here's where we're at: On their own several girls went to the ASB class today to present the spin and see if ASB would get involved. They said yes, they'd promote, raise funds and spin.

My JV's and Varsity teams decided to challenge each other to see who could raise the most in pledges. Several parents said they want to participate. One parent writes for a local paper and wants to do a story. Prior to this I presented the DVD to some of my fellow teachers at lunch and asked for help. 2 hours later I find out that two of them organized the entire 6 grade class(330 kids 10 teachers) into doing a jog-a-thon on the 9th to raise money for ALS and they're going to show the DVD to all 6 grade classes and dedicate their science period for the next few weeks to research ALS. All this has happened in the last 24 hours. One story, one amazing individual, one wonderful opportunity and a school of Blazemen was born. May God Bless each and every one of you and thank you John for having the courage to do what others can't and helping a person like me realize that it's not the body, but the spirit. Sorry for the long post.

Dave Mac Donald

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

My father was diagnosed with ALS and ultimately passed away in 2001, trapped in depression I ran a marathon with a friend in 2004. I just completed my third marathon in November 2006, the ING NYC Marathon. I watched the 2006 Kona Ironman on TV last year and saw you, your story and Brian who swam, biked and ran with inspiration because of you and in your honor. I really appreciate what you do, what you stand for and the fight you face, please know that you touch everyone who learns about you and your story and your inspiration will forever live in every one of us.

Fight the fight my friend! I will do everything I can to honor you and others throughtout my life.

Kevin
North Carolina

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Hey Blazeman!

I can't really recall how I happened upon your website. I am 48 and in my 8th triathlon season. I've finally built up to the point where I am doing my first Ironman (Wisconsin; 9/9/2007!). Okay, actually I wanted to do an IM before I turn 50, and figure this is just about my last shot!

My father-in-law has been battling ALS for 10+ years. He's holding his own. I am going to order Blazeman "War on ALS" gear and wear it in all of my long training activities and all of my races. And believe me- I am going to roll across every single finish line- podium finish in jeopardy or not!!!

You've inspired me. I am going to race my IM for Team Blazeman and my father-in-law. Do you have any official program to help collect funds, etc., or should I use the (Janus?) IM-sponsored fundraising site?

Anyway, just wanted to drop and note- wish you the best- and let you know you've recruited another warrior!!!

Don Weirens

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Jon,

I am an avid triathlete and last Friday I was flying home from a business trip up north when I was seated next to a very nice girl from Wilmington. We struck up a conversation and she said she was staying in Sarasota (where I'm from) and she was going to visit a dear friend who's suffering from ALS in Ft. Myers. She said her friend is a great triathlete and I asked if it was "John Blais"? Her name was Charlam Durante and she couldn't believe that I heard of you! What she didn't know is that hundreds of thousands if not millions know about you and your war on ALS.

Your a major inspiration and you definitely know how to fight the fight. You are doing all that you can do and you are touching people's lives everyday -- this is what will be with you forever and that's pretty cool! Keep doing what you do and when you can't anymore know that others will because of you.

From a fellow triathlete,
Chris Juall
Sarasota, Fl

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I'll be running the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon on June 24th, and would love to join Team Blaze in an effort to raise money to find a cure for ALS. My uncle, Jesse Plumley, passed away 9 years ago due to ALS. I read the article on Jon on active.com, and figured now was my chance to help. Please let me know what efforts you have made and how I can contribute to finding a cure.

If Jon is reading this, you are my hero! I watched your Ironman video and want to thank you for your courage. I look forward to helping.

Regards,
John Plumley
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Hello Jon,

My name is Jeff Wright and you don’t know me, but after watching your story on the Ironman the last couple of years I feel that know you.

The last few years I cheered on my wife while she competed in triathlons and I thought to my self I should compete in 1. After watching your story in 05 I thought "If this man who was given 5 years or less to live can finish the Ironman Hawaii, than hell I can do this". So in late September of 06 I finished my first Triathlon in Lake Geneva.

My wife and I would love to join your Team and help wage War against ALS!!! If you could or have someone send us some information I would love to support your efforts here in Chicago.

Thank You for taking the time to read this,
Your Fan Jeff Wright
Rosemont, Illinois

P.S. Jon thank you for being an inspiration to me and to all those who are fighting ALS.

Friday, January 19th, 2007

I saw the IM World Championship program, and was moved to the point of tears. I want to be a part, and do what I can to raise awareness.

Todd Verkest
Phoenix, Arizona

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Hello,

My stepmother was just diagnosed on 1/17/07. I am interested in getting involved with ALS awareness. I have been doing triathlons for the last 4 years. How do I become involved??

Sincerely,
Barry Conrad

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Good Morning from Alabama,

In 1990 my grandfather died from ALS. My grandfather was absolutely my best friend. He was the only one that ever really believed that I would make it. I am now an Ordained United Methodist Pastor in Alexander City, Alabama. Through a dare a few years ago, I started competing in Triathlon. I am a 250 pound Clydesdale. I have completed a half Ironman, Gulf Coast and ran a marathon at St. Jude’s (Dec. 2006) for a 5 year old friend who is battling cancer. This year my brother and I will be competing in Ironman Louisville. We will be running in honor of Jon (The Blazeman) and in memory of my grandfather and all the other poet warriors.

I went on the Janus site to see about raising money for ALS research but Louisville is not listed. Tell me how my brother and I can become part of your team and let us know about Janus and the fund raising. Also what publicity we can get out there to make people aware of this dreadful disease.

Rev. Steve

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Mr. Blais,

I had the honor of meeting you at the Ironman 70.3 in Clearwater, FL. You are truly an inspiration. You embody what triathlon is all about: the human spirit fighting against the odds. I have followed your story since the 2005 Ironman Kona in which you were profiled. It would be an honor to join team Blazeman. I plan to compete in at least six events in Florida:

  • The Madeira Beach Mad Dog Triathlon in May
  • The Dunedin Beach Triathlon in June
  • The Sand Key Triathlon in September
  • The Ironman Florida in November
  • The Times Turkey Trot in November
  • The Ft. De Soto Off Road in December

I would be proud to raise awareness of ALS and the research being done to defeat it. If you have any questions for me, please call.

Thank you for your inspiration.

Sincerely,
Marc P. Vallin

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Thanks for the inspiration and hope and love you have put out there... we're going to do our best for the Spinathon in Seattle on Feb. 10 at Triumph Multisport, a community of caring multisport athletes and friends.

Ed
Issaquah, WA

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Hi my name is John Mckay,

I have watched the Ironman for years and was touched by the blazeman story. My friends have decided to run the oklahoma memorial marathon in April as a relay team. We are supposed to have a name and we thought of all of the silly names we could call ourselves then I decided that we should call attention to a cause. At that moment you flashed into my mind. We would love to have your blessing to call ourselves BLAZEMAN.COM or OKLAHOMA BLAZEMANS (or any name that you think appropriate), we would also wear the blazeman shirts and maybe do the roll at the finish line. Basically we want to draw attention to ALS and hope you will allow us to associate ourselveswith your cause. We know isnt a triathlon or even doing a marathon by ourselves. But we want o bring BLAZEMAN to Oklahoma. I hope all is well and thank you for your time reading my letter.

John McKay
Oklahoma

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I am interested in joining team blazeman.

Sincerely,
Eric C. Piazza
New York, NY 10016

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Hello,

I found your website today as a result of the article in Active.com.

I commend you on your fight. I lost my step-father to this disease 2 years ago, and he too was a warrior.

I am committed to help find a cure and would like more information about joining your team or supporting your fight.

I am not an endurance athlete. I run 5K and 10K races and signed up for my first individual duathlon this year.

How can I help?

Thanks,
Carisa Stangler

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I’m interested in joining team blazeman.

What is involved?

Mary Miller

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Dear Team Blazeman:

I aspire to join your team. I am an active triathlete and saw Jon's performance at Kona 2005. Remarkable and inspiring!

ALS has been a close part of Gayle's (that's my wife) family. Her grandmother (Kay Sanders) lived with ALS in Saugus, MA for almost 18 years. Dr. Brown in Boston treated her until she passed and continues to fight for a cure today.

Each year my wife's family hosts the Kay Sanders Memorial Golf Tournament in north Boston to provide funding to The Angel Fund.

I hope to run the Boston Marathon this year wearing a number given to The Angel Fund. Right now team Angel Fund is waiting for the quantity of numbers then they will distribute them. I hope to be one of the lucky ones!

Jon, you are an inspiration and I would like to stay close to Team Blazeman. I have a few tris on the calendar this summer and would be proud to sport the Blazeman colors.

Please add me to your distribution list(s)...and God Bless.

Brian D. Reh
Fishers, NY 14453

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Hi John (W.)-

My name is Emily Archibald, I am 26 years old and want to help get involved in the war against ALS. I am originally from Chatham, MA on Cape Cod and life has taken me to Raleigh, NC. I am a nurse in the cardiothoracic ICU at UNC Hospital. Ever since I was little I wanted to do an Ironman and that dream came true in 2004 at Ironman Florida. I have also since gone on to complete IM Coeur D'Alene in 2006, and am looking forward to completing IM Florida again this year.

Throughout my IM experiences I have been inspired by many different people, most recently by The Blazeman, and also by Scott Johnson (the first double lung transplant recipient to complete an IM- He was a patient in our unit when he received his lungs- However I was working in Boston at the time and have never got to meet him)

I want to organize my own spin-a-thon against ALS. I have pitched the idea to my gym (The Wellness Center at Meadowmont). I will be meeting with their director next Friday the 26th to get things organized. I know Feb 10th is approaching fast! But I am committed to the cause.

I am hoping to raise awareness about the disease, and am hoping to touch and inspire people- just like The Blazeman has done. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards,
Emily Archibald

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I'm not new to ALS, but I am new to the fight for ALS. My close cousin, David Barker, has been battling ALS for over twelve years. I am a new team member on Blazeman, and I'm trying to do my part. I have raised a little money so far, and will continue to do so through the season, and thereafter. Check out my new web site, which is intended to put ALS awareness and fund-raising out there.

David Knight
www.CoonbottomTriClub.com

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Jon,

There have been few times in my life where I was moved by watching sports as I was when I saw you finish the Ironman. At the time I told myself that I had to do something to help your cause. Unfortunately I got wrapped up in doing my own Ironman and over a year slipped by. It has now been over a year and I realize "decision must be instant and commitment must be total"

My Gradfather died of ALS and like myself he was a lifelong athlete.

This year I am doing Ironman Louisville and will raise money for ALS TDF. Tomorrow I will look into trying to set up a Spin-a-thon on 2/10 ehere in Birmingham, Michigan. I have several other ideas and my three kids have agreed to support the fund raising activities.

You are truly a great inspiration!!!

Mike Demko
Birmingham, Michigan

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Hi Jon,

I have been checking out your website and wanted to email you. I watched IM Hawaii 2005 and you inspired me, by saying “face your fears and live your dreams”, during one of your interviews. I took that with me into my races in 2006 as my motto. The great thing was as I passed an aid station in Arizona I looked up and there you were. I interrupted your conversation to say thanks for your inspiration. At IM Arizona I qualified for Hawaii but due to an injury I was unable to race. I did attend the medical conference and felt honored to have been present for your talk to us all. I just wanted to say that you have inspired me and I feel privileged to have met you and listened to you speak. You are an amazing individual and I wish you all the best in your fight against ALS.

Christine Suter
Whistler, B.C. Canada

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Originally this e-mail was received on December 9th, 2006. It is repeated here because of a feature story on Ironmanlive.com.

Hi gang,

I desperately want to join team blazeman, how do i go about it? I am a three time Ironman finisher and my father is dying from ALS, and i want to bring the fight to southwestern Ontario Canada, and all my friends and fellow athletes..

How can i become a member of the team?

i am going to Lake Placid to godwilling finish my fourth Ironman and get the honor of rolling for my dad.

Any help is appreciated.

thanks,
Ryan Van Praet

"You can quit, and they won't care, but you'll always know..."

* * * * * * *

Jon, Katrina & Mike,

After watching the 2007 Ironman championships (sorry I missed 2006 but will be buying the DVD) I was inspired to help for one main reason…

My friend and co-worker, Tom Newton is fighting ALS.

I am interested in helping to raise awareness and money any way I can. Any monies that I would raise I would like to be donated in the Tom’s name.

Since the airing of the 2007 championships I have been doing some research on line and I have made the decision and I will be committed to this as long as I am able.

I do have a couple of questions…

  1. What do I do next?
  2. Are there any other team members running in the Boston Half Marathon (Boston’s Run to Remember - http://www.bostonsruntoremember.org/boston/index.html) on Sunday May 27th?
  3. When is the next Blazeman 5K in RI?

Once I hear back and get a little direction from you, I will be purchasing a couple of t-shirts to wear on training runs and workouts, and I will purchase my tri gear as needed.

A couple of things about me…

  • I currently live in Connecticut but I work in Canton Mass. I am planning on moving to Mass as soon as possible – hopefully by June.
  • I completed 1 marathon and many halfs as well as a bunch of shorter races.
  • My goal is to start my multi sport career this year by first getting back to running and I would like to do it for a good cause (as well as my own health and fitness).

Tom’s bio will follow shortly.

I am looking forward to doing anything that I can do.

I have also copied Tom as I told him I would keep him in tune.

Mark Helisek
Canton, Massachusetts

* * * * * * *

Hi!

My name is John Fischer and I am a triathlete from Los Angeles. I have completed 1 Ironman (Arizona 2006) and am training for my second at Coeur D'Alene on June 24, 2007. For CDA, I am raising funds for Augie's Quest through the Janus Charity Challenge. I met Augie Nieto in 2002 when he spoke to an economics class I was taking at our mutual alma mater, Claremont McKenna College. Since then, he was diagnosed with ALS and has started Augie's Quest. From your web site, I know that you are familiar with Augie's Quest.

Watching the Ironman Kona telecast in December re-acquainted me with the Jon Blais story. As I was already signed up to fundraise for Augie's Quest, I was particularly moved by the focus on Jon and team Blazeman. Now I am glad to be helping.

For my campaign on behalf of Augie's Quest, I need more publicity. I am hoping that by reaching out to Team Blazeman I can somehow achieve this. Could I race as part of Team Blazeman? How can we use our shared fight against ALS in the best way? What are some other ways that you have used to get more attention to the War on ALS?

I look forward to hearing from you and working with you!

Sincerely,
John Fischer
Los Angeles, CA

Friday, January 5th, 2007

I was very moved while watching the 2006 Ironman at Kona. My cousin David has been battling ALS for 12 years. I sent a donation, purchased a shirt and have begun seeking out donations as I race this year. Here's my blog and I look forward to being part of the battle.

Peace,
DK

coon-bottom-tri-club.blogspot.com/

Detective David A. Knight
Tallahassee, Florida 32304

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Greetings,

My father passed away on Long Island, New York from ALS on December 1st, 2005 at the age 88. For him, the disease progression was fast and furious. Since then, I have considered becoming more involved in the ALS community. Other than joining the Western PA/West Virginia Chapter of the ALS Association, I haven't done much. I read an article in the latest issue of USA Triathlon Life about a boy involved in fundraising for ALS through multisport. Consequently, I visited the Team Blazeman website. This year I will be competing as a middle-of-the-pack 50 year-old age grouper at the New York City 70.3 and the Timberman Half Ironman triathlons. My thirteen year-old daughter will be competing in several kids triathlons, as well as the USAT Youth Elite triathlon series. I just ordered my Team Blazeman tri shorts and top from Tri-Gear to wear during these events, and need to get her an outfit as well. Are there are any fundraising opportunities we could get involved in through multisport? If so, please send to me information.

Thanks.
Sincerely,
Tom Simmons
Indiana, PA

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

I'm planning my first Tri on June 30th of 2007 (Tinman, Tupper Lake, NY) It's a 70.3. I want to roll your story across the finish line that day.

How do I officially join?

Paul Leo Fahey

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Dear Team Blaze,

I would like to race for team blaze this year at the Virginia Double Iron. I have many ideas for how I can raise money and awareness and I am excited about it. Can you send me some information about how I can join the cause.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Peelee

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Hello,

My sister, Sue has ALS too. She was diagnosed 11 years ago and collapsed 9 years ago and is on a ventilator now. She will tell you that she is the happiest person she knows. I am her caregiver now. We have a great time together. We are watching the Iron Man on a VCR tape that her friends in Hawaii sent to her. How amazing. We know first hand want John Blaze is going through and what he has ahead of him. Stay strong brother. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Sue's e-mail address is suelyonfox@hotmail.com. Sue can blink her eyes and silently move her lips to form letters...Sue' husband, son and I read her lips and this is how she communicates...but she is just as alive as I am and makes the very most out of what life she does have.

Last year at the annual ALS Walk here in Kansas City, Sue's way cool team was 116 strong. We managed to raise over 16,000$ in the few months prior to the ALS Walk. This was almost tripple what her team has raised in the past. Of our team members, we had virtual walkers in Hawaii and Sumatra.

Happy Trails,
Nancy Lyon

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

I just finished watching the recorded Kona championship with my boyfriend. We hadn't had a chance to see it until now. I knew of Blazeman's story from last year, and was equally touched to see all the flames on the course, fighting for ALS.

I am a competitive triathlete, former Peace Corps volunteer, and current pharmaceutical sales representative for Pfizer. I would love to learn more about the team program. I have raced IM but am sticking to the half distance. I finished 9th in my category at World Championship 70.3 this year, and have several wins from the 2006 season in duathlon and top finishes in triathlon. I love the sport but it's not my life. I see the bigger picture. When I'm racing or training, I'm doing it with passion, but I would love to do what I do and help gain exposure for something more important, and bigger, than all of us.

Please tell me what the program entails, and how I can help. I currently have several sponsors whose logos are on my jersey, so I could not wear only the team jersey, but it'd be great to have the logo added to mine. I look forward to learning more about the team and how I can help.

I am truly inspired and my heart goes out to Blazeman for the incredible passion he has displayed and the ability to touch so many hearts out there-- hearts who may have not otherwise been awakened. Thank you for inspiring one more tonight!

Amy

* * * * * * *

Dear John,

I heard your story at the 70.3 WC in Clearwater and I was touched. I will be competing in the Virginia Double Iron in October and would like to join your team. I don’t know how I am going to raise money and awareness but I have the drive necessary to do it. How do I go about joining your team?

Cheers!
Philip Lee Clark

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Hello Jon-

I am contacting you because my husband and I want to help get the word out about your work and the fight against ALS. I am a marathoner and my husband is a triathlete and we live in Houston, TX. I have completed 7 marathons, including Boston and Chicago. My husband just completed his first Ironman in Florida November 4th. He’s ready to compete in his next IM race and has entered the lottery for Kona (although I know that odds are against him on that one). Other races he’s looking at for the future include Lake Placid, Coeur d’Alene, and a rematch in Florida. He wants to venture abroad as well, but it will all have to come in time ;)

I guess my point in getting into all of that is that we’re definitely continuing to compete not just in our home state but across the country and we want to be warriors in your fight.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

Danielle Ryan

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

I’m interested in racing for Team Blazeman in 2007. At age 56, I am a late arrival to multi-sport – but I love it. In 2006 I qualified for World Long Course Championships in France next July. I am also preparing for my first Ironman in Brazil in May 2007 with hopes of qualifying for Kona.

But what is more important, ALS claimed both my grandfather and my mother. Familial ALS is relatively rare – I should overcome those kinds of odds in the lottery! But such is life. I have not had genetic testing done – what’s the point. Knowing whether I may or may not have ALS does not change the fact that my mother’s battle taught me to live every day to the fullest.

I race because today I can. It is a way of celebrating the health I have today. I would like to make it a way to celebrate my mother’s life and the lives of those with ALS.

Thanks so much for all you do to raise awareness and support for the fight against ALS.

Karen O’Riordan
Marietta, Georgia

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Thanks for being so inspirational, I am grateful for what I have and I hope to compete in an Ironman one of these years.

Wilson
Aiea, Hawaii

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

please send me information about upcoming ironman competitions that raise money for ALS . I am interested in competing

Wendi Platt
Virgo, IL

Friday, December 15th, 2006

Jon,

I cried in 2005 as you crossed the finish line in Kona. Your whole story was VERY inspiring for me. I’m a 45 year old guy who in 2003 had both knees partially replaced (due to arthritis). I can’t run so I racewalk. I have no hope of every winning my age group. I wasn’t even sure I could finish a tri.

But I did on July 1. The swim was pretty ugly, I did well on the bike and most of the people I passed on the bike passed me on the run. But I completed the race. I actually did one more tri later in the summer.

Seeing your story this year on NBC again brought tears to my eyes. I want you to know that I will be doing the Blazeman roll at the finish in honor of you. I’ll try and get a picture of it to e-mail to you. PLEASE feel free to e-mail me back. This old guy can use all the encouragement he can get.

You are in my prayers. Thank you for being the inspiration you have been.

Steven Gerber

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I am a full time tennis professional in the Bay Area. I teach 60 hours a week and love what I do. I watched your story on NBC at the Ironman, you are awesome, what you did. I have run 4 marathons to raise money for the local hospital where my daughter, Olivia was born in 1998, she was 12 weeks early and weighed only 2 pounds. She just turned a healthy 9 years old....

I would like to get involved in your cause, how can I help?

Thanks again, great effort in Hawaii!
Randy W Becker Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

hey jako

its petra. i ran the honolulu marathon on the 10th december and couldn't have done without you in my thoughts when the going got tough!! also i wouldn't have been able to kick fab's hairy ass without your help

luv ya petra

* * * * * * *

Jon,

Talk about an inspiration. I cried in 2005 when I saw the Ironman special on you and then when I saw Brian's feat this year, I knew I had to get in touch. Watching you and Brian in 2006 killed me.

I've always wanted to start a charity and help others. You talk about the Blaze Man and team...I want to start the BlazeMEN. A team of true champions, like you and Brian Breen. We won't make millions as athletes, but you bet your top dollar we'll wake up the masses.

I grew up in Lawrence, Ma, went to UMass Amherst, and now live in Newton, Ma. I really want to start the "Blazemen," a true organization of athletes, like Team Hoyt, who care to fight for a difference and raise awareness. Nothing in it for us.

Your cause will never be forgotten, it will live, in the spirit of those you inspire. I'd love to chat with you and your family on how I can help.

Thanks,
Shawn

* * * * * * *

Blazeman,

Cool site! I am a triathlon coach and the co-founder of a web site: http://www.SoCalRunning.com

I saw the NBC coverage and was touched by your story so I posted an article on our site about you and your cause. I formerly worked for MDA and because of this, I worked with ALS patients. Your cause is close to my heart. And Gary, SoCalRunning.com's other co-founder lost his grandfather to ALS. We want to join your team and help in your fund-raising/awareness efforts. You can check out my article today at the web site above.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and I'll be sending in a check over the next few days. I also add a link to your page from our site today.

Thank you for inspiring me.

Train Focused,
Steve Mackel

* * * * * * *

I watched with great interest, as I am sure many people did, the 2005 and 2006 Hawaii Ironmans. I have been truly moved by Jon's fight against ALS and the fact that there is nothing new that can be offered to ALS patients now versus what was available to Lou Gehrig. I am a triathlete, but have only done Olympic distances. I have competed for 5 years, but am an mid-level age-grouper. I would like to buy the ALS "tri-gear" to wear in my next triathlon, which will be in the summer since I live and compete mostly in Colorado. I was moved by Ben B. that did the 2006 Ironman for Jon and ALS. What else I can do to support the cause?

Sincerely,
Lisa Decker

* * * * * * *

Thank you for all your efforts and dedication to educating us with your message to help find a cure for ALS. I learned about your mission last year, My thoughts and prayes are with you and your family. We look forward to offering our support anyway possible.

Kevin Reen
Swampscott, Massachusetts

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

I watched NBC's recap of Kona this weekend like many, many other people and I was moved to tears by Jon's story and Ben Breen's race. I recently registered to compete in a half marathon in March (having completed my first sprint distance tri in October and trying to keep in shape for another one in May) and wondered whether Team Blazeman would allow me to run and fundraise in Jon's name for that race or whether you prefer that the focus of the Team be placed on triathlons.

Kindly,

Kim Magee

* * * * * * *

Hello,

I was truly inspired by watching Jon's 2005 Ironman Hawaii Finish. I completed my first triathlon in September in Bath, PA finishing 64th out of 125. I would definitely be interested in joining the blazeman army. I work at a hospital in Allentown, PA, and I train 5 to 6 days a week. My next triathlon is in Hawaii on May 20th 2007.

Thanks,
Erik Feeney

* * * * * * *

Hi Jon,

Also watched this weekend thanks to Jen who is a friend and colleague. You're amazing -- and an inspiration. While we haven't met, through Jen ALS has become very personal indeed. Blessed be in your war on ALS. I'll do my part! May the Spirit that lives within ease your pain and give you peace.

Pat

* * * * * * *

Blazeman,

Saw the Ironman this weekend and lost it a number of times. You are a total inspiration. I watched you last year and this year you accomplished something even greater! I have competed in a number of triathlons from Sprints to 70.3’s, but never the Ironman. I plan on doing one in 2008… I WILL roll across the finish line in your honor!

How do I join team Blaze?

God bless you and your family.

Tim Hammill
Truckee, CA

* * * * * * *

Met John and parents at 2006 IM, after watching you on TV in '05 it was amazing to see you and to speak with you on Alii Drive !! I rode with your ALS sticker on my bike and thought of you often during the ride Keep up the fight, you are an inspiration to many ! Matthew 5:14 NIV

Butch Wabby
Franklin, TN

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Jon and family

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. After watching the Kona broadcast last year I was moved to do a little something to help the cause but things in my own personal life got in the way, so the results were truly minimal in the grand scheme of things. Watching the NBC show this past Saturday has made me realize once again how very special Jon is and that I would like to do something now and in the future to both honor Jon and help ensure that his legacy is one that is never forgotten. Let me know what I can do, please.... May God be with you and watch over you always.

Mike Conway

* * * * * * *

I was watching the Ironman competion yesterday and your story just really amazed me and touched me. Seeing Brian Breen run the race for you this year was just awesome. He has a real drive to gain help in fighting ALS. What I found to be very moving was how you rolled yourself across the finish line last year, and how Brian rolled across as well this year. Your story has really driven me to want to spread awareness about ALS too. I am definately going to tell as many people as I can about your story and about ALS awareness. It made my mom cry and me cry... and I do not cry often. You are an inspiration to many young athletes and those who are suffering through ALS. May God bless you and your family always.

Julianne

* * * * * * *

Jon,

I just learned more about you and your mission this past weekend watching NBC. I will be attempting my first Ironman next August in Louisville, and to participate with Team Blazeman Warriors would be my honor.

Five of my fourteen marathons were done with the Leukemia Society's Team in Training program, so I used to this type of involvement. My grandmother battled ALS in the 60's, and my mother, her daughter, battles MS for 20 years. So diseases of the nervous system run in family. So far, my generation has been skipped (my brother, sister, and myself are 47 - 52).

I would like to join with you and use my Ironman experience to raise money and awareness.

Thank you,
Paul Vanderheiden

* * * * * * *

Dear Jon;

Words cannot begin to express how your accomplishment in the Ironman has inspired my life.

I watched you last year and Brian Breen this year. I was moved to tears because of the power of the human spirit unselfishly given for another human being and for a cause. You and he have brought a voice to a silent killer that for years has taken those who could make a difference in the world.

As a former Marine I sacrificed my life daily for my country, many of my brothers died for the cause of democracy.

It has been a long time since the flame or passion for a cause has been lit in me. After watching you and Brian I was once again encouraged that one man can make a difference , that others would sacrifice for those they barley know for a common cause.

For years I have always said some day I will do an IRONMAN but never did. The words you said still ring in my head

" Life is a dress rehearsal live it to the fullest for it may end at any time" I am a successful real estate investor, with many accomplishments, however, they do not hold a candle to what you have been able to do by your sacrifice.

Every year a set a goal for myself as a theme for all that I do everyday and every month of that year.

My mentor asked me what my theme for 2007 would be. After much thought I answered ' To inspire 1 million people by DEC 31 2007. I did not know why or how was going to accomplish this challenge, then I saw the IRONMAN.

I have said all this to say I begin my training for the Ironman in 2 weeks, with your blessing I would like accomplish this in your honor and as another voice in a choir of awareness for ALS, while doing all I can to inspire and make aware to as many who would listen about ALS.

I am sure that since the airing of IRONMAN this weekend you must be inundated by many similar emails.

Your voice is not only being heard it is inspiring others to ACT....

Thank you Jon for your inspiration , passion and your heart, for waking that was my dormant flame to give me a purpose once again a mission worth sacrificing my life for.

I look forward to rolling across the finish line in Kona HAWAII to let everyone know you are not forgotten, that all must be aware and take action to find a cure for ALS, for all of those you have inspired. Your legacy will live on.

If their is anything else I can do to help please let me know.

Sincerely;
A Blazeman IRONMAN soldier rolling a trail for the awareness of ALS.
SEMPER FI
Rico Pena

* * * * * * *

Hi Jon,

I'm planning to enter a long distance ride known as the Paris-Brest-Paris.

This ride takes place every four years in France, and is the 'granddaddy' of all long distance cycling events. The ride is over 1200K - 750 miles - and must be completed within 90 hours.

The next PBP is in August 2007.

There are four qualifying rides which must be completed within the first 6 months of the year in which the PBP is held. These rides are 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K in length.

My first 220K qualifying ride will take place on 6 January 2007.

The PBP is not a high visibility event such as the Kona Ironman, probably no more than 5,000 riders - from all over the world - will qualify to ride it. There are undoubtedly far more triathletes in the world than ultra cyclists.

I have decided that if I am going to embark on this process, I should have some other reason for doing it than just for my own satisfaction - although naturally, that will be a prime motive.

Given that the PBP is not as well known nor does it enjoy the TV coverage as does the Kona Ironman - although, in France it is a very big thing - do you think that in some way I could use the PBP and the qualifying rides leading up to it, to advance the cause of ALS?

Let me know your thoughts on this.

I hope you are doing as well as possible.

Ken Jessett

* * * * * * *

Jon,

My name is Matt Grosskopf I am a lieutenant/Paramedic with the Mt. Vernon Fire Department in Mt. Vernon Illinois. I am interested in joining the team and raising money for ALS. I am competing in several Tri's in 2007 including the steelhead 1/2. In 2008 I'll be doing Ironman lengths ( not sure which ones yet ). Although I don't know anyone with ALS your story and others I have read about have inspired me to action.

Please let me know how I can help. Matt

"Every Blaze needs a Firefighter"

Matt Grosskopf
Bonnie IL, 62816

* * * * * * *

Dear Mr. Blais,

Hi, my name is Jarrett Nichols and I'm a 17 year old from Visalia, California. I was watching the 2006 Ironman World Championships and heard about your story and Brian Breen's story. I would forst like to tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me. I've seen you're website and looking though it and I must say you are truely amazing!

I'm not a triathalete, yet. I've been swimming for 10 years and cycling for 4, so I think I'll just learn to run and make the jump but I'm starting bike races this next season. I wanted to know what I had to do to get a cycling jersey and be a member of Team Blaze and represent the fight out here in the Central California cycling scene. I understand that you mainly are a Triathlon Team but I thought I'd give it a try.

I appreciate your time in reading this email. I hope to hear back from you, regardless if my request is possible.

Sincerly,
Jarrett Nichols

* * * * * * *

Cheers:

I am a friend of fallen ALS WARRIOR POET Scott Carlson and think of him on every bike ride I do and consider him a hero and one of the most courageous individuals I have ever met. Accordingly, your profile in Kona this year and last along with the building army of supporters has fulfilled what I have been looking for…. A way to help and honor my friend and all who so valiantly fight. Scott was a person who did not care about your stats, how much money you had, what type of job you had etc… He did not define himself by triathlon it was part of who he was not what he was. Scott was unique, and I see that in you John as well, and I want to be part of your team and defeat this disease. Please let me know how I do that.

Ron Trentini aka (Psycho Ron)

FYI - Scott & I were team mates on Team Psycho in fact he was my introduction to the team thru which, my training and racing habits brought me the nick name of PR, Psycho Ron. One which I try to live up to on a daily basis :).

* * * * * * *

Hello -

I watched last year's Ironman World Championships and was completely in awe of you (Jon)... I always cry during the NBC special because it amazes how far people will and can go to reach their dreams. It was even more special last year because I had signed up for Ironman USA in Lake Placid (my first Ironman). I completed the Ironman in under 14 hours and raised money for Girls on the Run.

While watching the IM World Championships again this year, I again was in tears b/c I know how it feels to work so hard to cross the line and also because of Jon. Jon's words moved me (again). I work for a gentleman who was recently diagnosed with ALS. It is a cruel disease that needs to be stopped.

I would be extremely honored to race Ironman Lake Placid again this year and raise money (and awareness) for Team Blazeman. Please let me know what I need to do and I'll do it...

Thank you for being such an inspiration.

Kellie S. Ennis

* * * * * * *

Dear Jon,

I've followed your story for a couple of years now. Mutual friend, Rob Vigorito, turned me onto your fight initially and I have been following ever since. Jon, I have been involved with the sport of triathlon for many years, and on many levels. This year, I was also diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. I underwent 4 rounds of chemo, hit remission, and my prognosis, unlike your own, is excellent. Although obviously, it rocked our world initially and I will always have to monitor my blood work to make sure I remain on track. Through this, I have been fortunate enough to meet some amazing friends throughout the multisport community. Ours is a unique bond that really cannot be explained. For this reason, I needed to reach out to you to let you know that you have friends and support in places that you never knew. I only hope and pray that I have a fraction of your strength and courage in my future days to come. You are a true icon and hero. I will be putting your website link/logo up on a few of the sites that I am affiliated with in hopes of continuing to raise awareness for your brave cause.

Stay strong. Stay Special. Stay Jon.

sb

* * * * * * *

Dear Mr. Blais,

Like so many others, I watch Ironman each year. Last years coverage was especially emotional for me, as I had just attempted my first Iron distance race, but was unable to finish due to pneumonia. I watched you go through that entire race with such determination it brought tears to my eyes. I vowed to return to Clermont Florida for another attempt this year, but I have since been diagnosed with Kidney disease and spent the majority of this year in a bit of pain. My bike sits in the box in which it was shipped back to me from Florida in October of 2005, and my running shoes haven't seen pavement in quite some time. I haven't taken a wet stroke since the start of the 2005 Great Floridian.

I thought of you many times during this year. When I'd have thoughts of returning I had the immediate thought of how painful the run would be for me, having kidneys full of stones and cysts. I believed my running days to be over, thus no second chance to finish the distance. You always came to mind, pushing through your pain, making the most of this dream you have, knowing life is no dress rehearsal.

I plan to return to the Great Floridian next year, I know my limitations, but I also know I have a purpose this time. I would be greatly honored if you would include me in your team and allow me to opportunity to spread your words.

I plan to raise funds for your cause, so please contact me as I imagine there are guidelines to follow.

I look forward to speaking with someone from your team.

Thank you Mr. Blais. Regardless of my decision to return to this Iron distance race, you have inspired me so often.

Margo Eig
Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

I’ve never been so moved in this sport like I have now!

Onward Team Blazeman.

Mike Reilly

* * * * * * *

ALL:

A VERY special Mahalo to... The VOICE of Ironman, Mike Reilly, who in Oct 2005 made the now famous and inspirational call..... You ARE an Ironman !!! As THE Blazeman Rolled across the most famous finish in Triathlon, thus completing a journey few would have ever thought possible.

This IS the heart and the soul of Triathlon !!!

LIVE ALOHA

Rob Vigorito
EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Columbia, MD USA
www.Tricolumbia.org

* * * * * * *

Hi Jon, Cliff, and Mike,

My name is Rich Higgs. I am a triathlete/dentist who is signed up for the ’07 IMAZ as a Community Fund participant. After watching yesterday’s NBC coverage of IM World Championships, I have decided to mobilize myself within my community to raise funds and awareness for ALS in general and Team Blazeman in particular.

Please contact me to get me started in the right direction. My first task is to get my family of clients involved. I send a monthly newsletter to all of my patients which should come in handy to getting the word out. I can also use my websites, voicebroadcasting, and other marketing tools for similar purposes.

I am ready to get busy on this so any assistance asap is appreciated.

All the Best!
Rich Higgs

* * * * * * *

To Whom it May Concern,

I saw John's story in 2005 and was moved immediately, if fact throughout this past years triathlon season whenever I felt worn out our tired in training I would replay the video from last year's Kona coverage and watch the peace on John and would immediately realize how lucky I am and would go back and train even harder. His story is the most motivating I have ever seen, and after watching Brian Breen and his journey this year at Kona I want nothing more than to be involved in what you guys are doing...I am actually going to be launching my own running website in january, and my business partner and I are both faith driven individuals who want to do more with this project than make a living, we want to use it to make a difference in this world in any way we can. We are wondering if it might be possible for us to partner with what you are doing and from every shoe purchase made on our site contribute to your cause. Thanks so much for what you are doing, and for motivating me and countless others I am sure to fight this horrible disease.

God Bless,
Rob Dietz

* * * * * * *

My husband and I watched the 2006 Ironman with tears in our eyes; I love watching every year but this year it was more inspiring than every and that is due to your fight. I am an athlete and would like to be a part of your team. I am even considering doing the Ironman in your honor. Where do I begin? Thanks so much.

Donna Webster
Southern California

* * * * * * *

Hi Jon-

You don't know me-we've never met in case you're trying to figure out why I'm emailing you. Or maybe you get a million emails a day, I don't know. I was taking a break from studying for finals tonight and turned on the tv. I saw you doing your log roll across the finish line at the Ironman. And I just kept watching your story. I'm not usually the kind of person to just write someone out of the blue but I wanted to say hello...and to ask how you are and to ask what I can do to help in your fight. :)

I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Jennifer...I prefer Jen-from Baltimore. I was born here and except for a few years here and there, have lived here all my life. I'm in grad school now for environmental science and work for the Nat'l Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) doing communications/outreach. I think I was inspired to write you because I've had some changes in my life in the past 6 months that have made me reevaluate what's important and what my life's really about. I haven't been through any of the things that you have been through and in fact, my challenges will seem incredibly trivial compared to all that you have done and been through but just wanted to share-in 6 months time all the things in my life I thought were set fell apart. My husband and I got separated, he lost his job, I lost my job...and I started to feel like maybe it was God's way of telling me I needed to do something different. So I am in grad school now, I found a new job, I have a roommate, and my friends and my family have been so amazingly supportive. But those changes made me rethink the way I do things. And instead of worrying about the silly things, I started counting my blessings. And I've gotten it down to the simple ones that mean the most. I have friends and family that love me. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a job that means something to me. And I have the ability to give back and I should take advantage of that. And I keep a journal now. Helps me keep my head on straight! :) And when I think I'm having a bad day now, I remind myself that it's not how many times they knock you down, it's how many times you get back up. And for me, you will now be part of my daily reminder-you choose to fight...you choose to get back up and keep going. And every day, that for me will be my mantra..."get up and fight...keep going."

So...I know you are probably inundated with emails. And I'm not sure if you will have time or will want to write back but if you do, what things are you doing in your fight that you need help with? How can I help?

Again, I don't usually write people I don't know and if you don't write back, I wouldn't be surprised. But I want you to know that regardless, you have and will continue to inspire me every day. I hope that you are doing well and this email finds you in good health and good spirits. :) Keep on doing what you're doing. :)

Take care,
Jen :)

* * * * * * *

John,

Saw your coverage today as did many I am sure. My Dad was diagnosed with ALS some 15 years ago, and is still here today without any Medical assisitance. He still uses a walker and can't speak. But he can eat and breathe on his own. I hope this gives you some hope for this shit disease. I applaud you efforts to cause awareness of the disease. Please keep me in mind for any fund raising in the NJ area. Congrats to Brian Breen and your team. Stay well.

Steve Minchak

* * * * * * *

They could have spent the entire 2 hours on you, Brian, Sister Madonna, Willie's agent (loved the "where to put the pole" comment) and the Marine Amputee -and that would have been just fine with me.

My girlfriend and I want to get more involved with Team Blazeman -if we can. I'm also curious if you might have a Blazeman Bootcamp or Blazeman's version of the Biggest Loser. Unfortunately, I'm currently approaching 3 bills and much closer to a coronary than I am to Kona. My weight class mandates solid tires and certainly more than 16 spokes... Am going to have a long road to get back to my light heavyweight days -but I'm going to try to get there. My best guess would be eight months -assuming I stop eating now... Proudly wearing your shirt at the gym, hopefully, at some time down the road, the 2XL will be more like a tent drapped over me and I'll have to order some more of your gear in a smaller size. All joking aside though, let us know what we can do to help out the warrior poet nation, we'd like to step up.

I hope this note finds you well. Thanks for your email, it made my day. Allison and I are frequently on your website and think of you often from out here in LA. Thanks Jon, have a great holiday with your family and take care.

Warm Regards,
Tim

* * * * * * *

I saw your story yesterday. We were there in Kona in the week leading up to the race. I would like to help and join team Blazeman. I can barely run a lap and I haven't been on a bike in a year but I know many would change places with me. Pleas elet me know how to help.

Dave Mac Donald

* * * * * * *

Jon,

I just watched the 2006 Hawaii Ironman. I was a triathlete many years ago and I stopped training for a variety of reasons…none of which seem valid or justified now. I am at a “Y” in my life. I choose a “Y” since that means that whatever direction I take I’m moving forward as opposed to being at the proverbial “crossroad” that only leaves me one path forward and two paths sideways. I am awaiting biopsy results to find out if I have cervical cancer. Since learning of the possibility of cancer I’ve been re-examining my life and have found myself questioning my purpose for being here on this Earth and have realized that I have not been happy with my life for a long time. Watching my mom battle twice (and win twice) with breast cancer I know all too well how short our time here is and how we must live each moment fully since we aren’t promised the next. Tonight, while watching the Ironman, I was shaken to my soul while I listen to your story. I am a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist in Charlotte, NC and I teach Anatomy and Physiology at the massage school I graduated from. I taught the Nervous System to my students a couple weeks ago and ALS is one of the pathologies that I go over in detail. I have always known it to be a senseless disease but have never had a heart connection or even a face to put with my PowerPoint slides and lecture. I wanted you to know that I will forever, as long as I instruct, tell your story. Your picture and story will be carried on in the minds, hearts, and hands of my students and I can only hope that the drop that I am able to put into the ocean of awareness spreads out in the unseen ripples of my students and becomes a tsunami of awareness, compassion, understanding, and, most of all, a cure. I still don’t know my life purpose and I don’t know what may lay ahead for me but, in seeing your story, I know that I cannot just give up and give in to my possibly diseased body. You have no choice, your body is betraying its intended functionality…but I do have the option to fight and you’ve reminded me of the warrior spirit I once had…back when I was proud to say I was a triathlete. Please take some solace in knowing that I will be carrying on with your story and that a piece of my heart and soul now have your name on them. You are more than an inspiration…I would say that, to me, you are a lifesaver. You have given me hope, have inspired me to just hold on, and have ignited my flicker of light to fight for whatever life I have from this point on. Years ago I wrote Ricky Hoyt’s initials on the back of my cycling gloves to remind me of what he had been through and had accomplished and that I had no right to give up since he didn’t. I would like to ask you if it would be ok to place your initials on the back of my glove as well. After tonight, I am considering taking up triathlon again and would be honored to have you riding with me since you will be one of the reasons for my ride. I would like to leave you with a quote from my old triathlon coach that I believe he stole from Mark Allen or one of the other greats of triathlon, “We aren’t just mere mortals….we’re triathletes.” You are absolutely not a mere mortal…you will live on… That, I personally promise.

I am starting a charity called Rub for Love that will provide massage therapy and other healing treatments to those who are dealing with life-changing or life-threatening diseases. Please know that I will be dedicating my charity to you and your spirit and what you have given back to me. I will forever do what I can for ALS and for you. Can you advise a contact person for the future dedication to you? It will be at least a year until the charity is up and functioning but I wanted to let someone know when that time comes.

Thank you… You will never know the lives you touch or the lives you change…

Wishing you peace and happiness,
Crystal N.H. Cliff

* * * * * * *

Jon-

I've been on the phone since the NBC broadcast ended with people who know the story. You and Brian did a great job in the interviews. Thank you Peter H.! *IF THAT isn't EMMY AWARD work...I don't know what is.*

THIS RECRUITING STATION IS OPEN!

"Battleship" Bob Mitera
Team Blazeman- Chicago
Triathletes Who Care Co-Founder
Team Polar

* * * * * * *

Hello,

Mi name is Marcos Trejo, 40 years of age. I used to run 10K marathons 19 years ago. I want to run the Iron Man Triatlon for your cause. What do I have to do?

Please contact me.

Thank you.

* * * * * * *

Hi.

My name is Kristie Klein and I am a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. Just last week my favorite law professor at Florida State University College of Law, Professor Gey, was diagnosed with ALS. He's the kind of professor who has inspired countless students - and his recent diagnosis has shocked and saddened so many people. As fate would have it, I watched the annual recap of the Hawaiian ironman, and was truly inspired by your story. I found out that there is a spring triathlon in Tallahassee, Florida (where the college of law is located) on March 24, 2007. I would love to get a team of people together to complete that triathlon together (rolling across the finish line) and raise money and awareness on the war on ALS. I already talked to Professor Gey who was touched and though he may not be able to complete the triathlon, will be there and perhaps run the last mile.

Thank you so much for inspiring so many people! I, and the team I put together, will be honored to wear your tri-gear. Also, if you have any advice or suggestions on making this the best it can be, I would appreciate it tremendously!

Thanks so much,
Kristie

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

To all of Us:

Way to go on the Ironman!
I'm the girl rolling at the end for Jon...
Way to go, ALS Warriors!

With Love from Iowa
Mia

* * * * * * *

Hi,

My friend, Cindy, and I were watching the Ironman Championships 2006 tonite and were inspired by Brian Breen's effort for the Blazeman at Kona. We had also watched and cried over the Blazeman's heroic Kona performance in 2005. We have signed up ourselves for our first Ironman in 2007 ( IM Kentucky) and hoped we might do it in honor of the Blazeman. We would love to support your cause and be part of something much bigger and important than ourselves. Let us know what we can do for you!!!!! You are an inspiration and a beacon of hope for many... I hope you know you have touched more lives than you can imagine!

Love and the best wishes!
Jamie Bunting

* * * * * * *

Dear ALS,

BOOM…

Love,
-blazeman

* * * * * * *

Hello

i am Bryan Rocha 17, from chino hills california and i am a triathlete. i watched john last year on t.v. and Kona and this year watched brian do it for him and i was almost in tears. I think that is the most inspirational and awesome thing. I believe in this cause, its a real reason to race and was wondering how i can get involved with this organization i would love to become a part of this. I have won 5 sprint triathlons in my age group, and am now getting ready to do the Wildflower half-ironman. So please let me know thank you and i look forward to hearing from you.

Bryan

* * * * * * *

Hi gang,

I desperately want to join team blazeman, how do i go about it? I am a three time Ironman finisher and my father is dying from ALS, and i want to bring the fight to southwestern Ontario Canada, and all my friends and fellow athletes..

How can i become a member of the team?

i am going to Lake Placid to godwilling finish my fourth Ironman and get the honor of rolling for my dad.

Any help is appreciated.

thanks,
Ryan Van Praet

"You can quit, and they won't care, but you'll always know..."

* * * * * * *

Dear Team Blazeman,

Hello, my name is Wesley Coble I am a recent graduate of California State University, Bakersfield and want to make a change in the world. I want to join the team and make the strides to become an Iron man and help make the world knowledgeable and aware of ALS. Please let me know what I need to do or who I need to contact to do so. I am so inspired by Johns story and those who have followed in his name and for this cause. I too hope to one day take my place ten feet from the end and roll across the finish line. I hope to hear from you very soon. May God bless you and your every efforts.

Sincerely Yours,
Wesley Coble

* * * * * * *

Hello,

My name is Jesse Crabtree. By chance I just got done watching one of the most inspiring documentaries of my life. Before I get into that let me tell you a little about myself. I’m former college cross country runner who has lost the passion to run and compete which is sad. It is still in me to compete on a high level but I never take the time to do anything about it and I guess I have been waiting for something to push me. Today I went for a ten minute run, which is the second time I have ran in four years, but then I stopped and enjoyed the view from my lake house and went for about hour hike down the shore. When I returned home, I watched the story of the Jon Blais and the great work he does with ALS. I lost my grandfather to ALS, and since then I’ve ran in a few 5k’s with proceeds going to ALS and it felt great, yet I still believed there were more I could do. If it was just chance that I saw the Blais documentary, then great, but I don’t believe it was. I believe it was god telling me to do more. So, now that leads me to writing you. I am writing on information to help do my part. Any information would be grateful.

Thank you and God Bless,
Jesse

* * * * * * *

My name is Bill Smith. I did my first sprint distance race in 2003 first Olympic in 2004 and tried a half in 2005. My first son was born last October and I have not been training but want to get started again. My Uncle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ALS this year. I would like to use my racing to help raise funds. Can you help me figure out how?
Thanks

* * * * * * *

Jon,

I saw your story on the Kona coverage of the Ironman 2006, was totally inspired, and I want to be a part of "Team Blazeman" to help in any way. I am a firefighter/paramedic and have raced for years in marathons and a few years in triathlons for many different causes, and I hope to help yours. I tried to email, but it didn't go through from the website? Thanks for your time.

Collette
Orlando, Florida

* * * * * * *

Hi Jon-

You're an inspiration. I would love to help out in your fight in any way I can. I'm out of shape and haven't run any races but would love to start training so I can wear "team blazeman" on my shirts! What can I do to help??

Jen :)
Baltimore

* * * * * * *

How can I find out more about joining team blazeman multisport. I was lucky enough to see Jon in action at the 2005 Ironman as a spectator, and was inspired then to train harder and after watching the 2006 ironman with brian breen racing for jon and als is even more inspiring. I work in the healthcare industry and see adversity everyday and have never had anything touch me as much as jons story does. I will mostly race locally in San Diego and am enteritn the lottery for 2007, and have my main goal of racing the 70.3 race in Cabo if I dont get into kona. Please send whatever information you can about joining team Blaze and the figt against ALS.

Thank you,
Mike Hollinger

* * * * * * *

I lost my friend and mentor to ALS, so this afternoon while watching the Ironman Champoinships, I heard about amazing story about a true hero who crossed the finish line and has brought attention to ALS. While I do not Multi-sport, I do run marathons...and hope to do so with ALS on my shirt.

Jon Mathiesen
Chicago, IL currently living in Portland, OR

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