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richardbpc
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Reged: 02/05/06
Posts: 1
HIV+ brain cancer survivor marathon runner
      02/05/06 07:08 PM

NEWS FROM THE RICHARD M. BRODSKY FOUNDATION
1247 Mara Court, Atlantic Beach, NY 11509
Contact Richard at 516/432-1254 cell ph 516-770-7724
or at www.richardmbrodsky.org or www.worldaidsmarathon.com
E-mail: richardbpc@aol.com
HIVers & cancer survivors… we’re running marathons

Me, they’re calling me, how can that be. And now the American flag is being raised and I’m being asked to take center stage on the podium. But, there were 10,000 other marathon runners and most of them finished way ahead of me. Baffled, confused -- I sneak a peak at my watch and I remember I was late for an appointment but surely winning the Miami Marathon -- well, Oprah will just have to wait.

NO, this is not a joke and if you check out the archives on Howard Stern’s Radio Show you’ll discover that my wife, Jodi, and I were on his show back in 2002. TV appearances followed on shows hosted by Montel, Dick Clark, Sally Jesse Raphael and John Walsh. Even CNN and Voice of America covered the story of a bisexual, architect-turned-author, married HIV-positive marathon runner who completed a 03:23 marathon time at age 46. I still recall ‘Howard and Company’ chuckling, okay more like hysterical laughing, about my talking about a marathon in Africa. Well, you probably figured it out by now. On my second anniversary of having my brain tumor removed, Jodi and I were flying to Mbita, Kenya to participate in the first World AIDS Marathon. It was kind of like the song, ‘Get me there any way you can -- plane, another plane, car ride and ferry, just get me to Mbita, an island in Lake Victoria, Kenya. Pictures, proof, no problem… check out www.worldaidsmarathon.com -- you’ll find me along with my African friends.

I keep thinking how fortunate I’ve been. HIV, hernia, brain cancer, broken shoulder, blood clot, hernia again -- it just doesn’t get any better. What I really mean is this: If you’ve been dealt a couple of fatal illnesses and you can beat them by being on the AIDS medicine and having a great team of internists, surgeons, hematologists, radiologists and oncologists, and then pushing your body to run marathons, What does this say to anyone who is diagnosed with anything from a cold to heart disease and a doctor who says, ‘You had better get your affairs in order.’ Oh, and don’t think for a moment that I haven’t heard those words on numerous occasions. To me those words mean, get up off that couch, drop the remote, and get your body moving -- and wherever you are in the world, demand that the AIDS medicine be available to all AIDS sufferers. It now costs less than $150 per year for AIDS medicine in the resource-poor countries of the world.

All this nonsense about 3 X 5, and having 3,000,000 people in resource-poor countries on the AIDS Medicine by the end of 2005, which never did happen, -- what about the millions more of AIDS sufferers. Who is playing God here and just who is deciding who shall live and who shall die? AND, here in America we still have 40,000 newly infected HIV people each year.

I have a plan; it’s my own dream, but it does require the help of HIV-positive people everywhere. So much for society stigmatizing us and making us feel like we have no purpose; you’re definitely needed. We’ll work ourselves out of this mess, where the world watches while 8,500 people continue to die every day from AIDS. Here’s my plan; visit your local running club and tell them how you’ve always wanted to run a marathon. If you and your doctor decide you can train for a marathon, ask someone at the running club if they would jog with you, be your mentor, and just give you all-around general support.

Not up to running and you want to come as close to completing a marathon, partner with a runner and offer to get the word out in your community that your new friend, Mr. or Ms. Marathon Person, would like to run for you and your non-profit organization on your behalf. Help raise money on behalf of a local AIDS charity or the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, www.richardmbrodsky.org. Make the commitment for which you can proudly say, ‘my town is taking about 65,000 steps (number of strides in a marathon) towards finding a cure or vaccine for AIDS.’

I’ll be running a marathon a month for 2006. In February, I’ll be running the Seville, Spain Marathon. Before I had brain cancer, my brain told my body it could only run one marathon a year; now my body tells my brain, RUN.

Oh, and then I reached for my watch and then I realized I never owned a watch, but funny, I still do feel like that Olympic hero.

-Richard M. Brodsky
President of the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation


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