Friday, May 14, 2010

David and Dan, both Lionhearted

I was blessed to have a wonderful friend named David, whom I met in grade school. Always caring, always looking for the the best in people and in life, David had a way of bringing people together. But, even as kids, we noticed that David was sick a lot. In middle school, one of our teachers callously informed our entire class that David had Cystic Fibrosis, and that he most likely would not live to graduate high school with us.

Ever one to argue with authority, David proved her so wrong. He did graduate, and he fell in love, and got married, and was a father, and achieved so many many wonderful things.

As so many kids do, a lot of us lost touch after high school. Then came the wonder of social networking. Through social network websites, many of my high school classmates reconnected. We healed old wounds, strengthened old bonds, and created new friendships. And for a group of us, the thing that brought us together was David. He became an incredible support to me, listening to all my bad date stories, encouraging me to believe in myself, teaching me what real men were. We got together as a group several times, and I am so blessed that we all got to spend some time with David once again.

In November of 2008, after fighting a valiant fight for so many years, David lost his battle with Cystic Fibrosis. He is missed by so many.

Lately, David has been on my mind a lot, and I recently had a dream about him, so I know I am missing him terribly. I wanted to write about him, to honor him, because he used to love to read my old blog, but I had no idea what to write, or why.

Then I found out about Dan Timko. Dan is a student at Pitt University, and a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, who is the chairman as the Backyard Run. Dan describes the Backyard Run:
For the past three years, prior to the Backyard Brawl football game between PITT and WVU the brothers of Phi Delta Theta run a football the complete 79 miles between Morgantown West Virginia (WVU Campus) and Pittsburgh. We cross many terrains going from the mountains of West Virginia to the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Prior to the event Brothers go around campus to local businesses asking for donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Last year we raised over $2,500 and we have raised over $10,000 since the first event three years ago. This year we have set the bar higher in hopes of raising $10,000. The run normally starts around 2AM and ends that day in the afternoon upon arrival to Pittsburgh.

When I asked Dan why they chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, he shared with me that one of his good friends, and one of the fraternity chapter founders, has Cystic Fibrosis. This brother lives his life to the fullest, and is an inspiration to all those living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Dan and his brothers are already planning for this year's even, and are looking for ways to raise even more money, and raise awareness for CF.

They have created a great website for people to go to to check out the event, and are working on finding ways for people to donate. Please check out their web page at

There is more to Dan's story, however. Dan is participating, on behalf of the Backyard Run, in Robin Hood Lionhearts, a contest in conjunction with the new Robin Hood movie. This allows people to nominate people or groups who have worthy causes or do good for the community. Once someone is nominated, people need to vote for them. Three winners will receive monetary prizes to go to the causes of their choice. It does not require money, you do not have to register, you simply have to click a button.

So, here is what I am asking you all to do....please please click on this link. Then click where it says "I support this Lionheart". It is that simple. So so so simple! Then, if you want (and I hope you do) you can chose to spread the word on facebook or Twitter.

There are only 2 days left to vote, so it would be great if you could do this. I would love it if, once you did vote, you left a comment on this blog, so that all the brothers of the fraternity can see how you have helped. I thank you in advance for taking the 10 seconds (literally) to do this!

Dan told me that the goal of the Backyard Run is to make the CF stand for Cure Found. What an amazing wonderful statement. Let's make it happen!

Thank you Dan, and thank you Phi Delta Theta for championing such a worthy cause. I hope in some small way I have helped.
I miss you David, and I love you dearly. I wish you were here to see what an impact you made on my life, but I know you are smiling on me, and so many others, from above.