Today, I made the commitment, on my 48th birthday.
I’m going to complete the Chicago Triathlon, the world’s largest triathlon as a charity athlete. I’m training as a charity athlete to honor my Dad, Al Rosenberg, a TWO-TIME lung cancer survivor. While this is a huge commitment for me, my effort pales in comparison to Al’s heroism, beating one of the worst cancers with the lowest odds of survival, not once, but twice.
Dad survived a second lung cancer surgery in March, having a second lobe of his lung removed , from a stage 1B tumor. It was an amazing success with no metastasis - this meant no chemo, just scans every 3 months to make sure nothing else shows up. Lung cancer has just a 10% survival rate, because it spreads so quickly, especially to the Lymph nodes. I don’t know that there are even odds published on beating lung cancer twice. I call him Steve Austin, the $6M man, because he’s been rebuilt so many times (he’s also had 3 vascular surgeries).
I’ve been a volunteer for the Chicago chapter of the American Cancer Society (ACS) for a couple of years, but I want to step up my support, raising donations for ACS though triathlon participation. I’ll use my lungs to help beat the disease that ruins thousands of lungs annually.
I’m a former competitive 10K runner, but that was back in my 20’s - back when I had knees. Today, I run a mile or two at a slow pace for general fitness, have ridden some mid range bike events, and I’m a little overweight. I haven’t swum a lap since I was a kid in camp. My girlfriend Beth was the inspiration, as she completed her first marathon last year at age 43.
My biggest fear is swimming a mile of Chicago’s Monroe Harbor, with thousands of experienced swimmers kicking me in the face. I hope I don’t drown. I won’t even wade in the water off Chicago’s beaches because the water is so cold and ankle numbing.
To prepare, I’ve signed up for Triathlon training with Chicago Endurance Sports, who assure me I won’t drown.
I’m using this blog to update friends and family on my progress, and to raise awareness of Lung Cancer and ACS, and to raise donations to help ACS reduce cancer incidence by 25%, and reduce cancer mortality by 50% by 2015.
Thanks for following my journey.