Most mornings I attempt to go for a run before work. I need the exercise and it’s a good way to clear my head. Like many mornings I passed Wilson Hill teacher, Todd Smith (more accurately Todd passed me as he’s a machine and I’m an old, balding, semi-fat man attempting to run….but I digress…). As I ran along my normal route I attempted to run a little faster than I normally would. (Faster is a relative word.) This attempt was mostly due to the fact that in a few short days I need to beat Thomas Worthington Mathematics teacher, Greg Garris, in the Fusion for the Fight 5K.
Why do I need to beat Greg Garris, a man 15 years younger than I am you may ask? Here’s the back-story. Last June I ran the #DrewStrong/GussStrong 4.23 mile race from Worthington Kilbourne High School to Thomas Worthington High School. With only a few hundred yards left in the race I was able to catch-up to Greg. Unfortunately, as I began taunting him and challenging him to a sprint to the finish he remembered than he had young legs and I had old legs and he easily out sprinted me. This Fusion 5K is my unlikely opportunity for redemption.
But, that’s all lead up to the real story. The real story is that I ran the #DrewStrong/GussStrong race to support Worthington Kilbourne student, Drew George, who was diagnosed with leukemia on Nov. 7, 2013. Later last school year George underwent a bone marrow transplant April 9, 2014, with his sister, Tori, being the 10 out of 10 perfect donor.
Fast forward one year and Drew George is back and better than ever. He’s playing baseball for Worthington Kilbourne and just last week a healthy Drew George pitched a complete game shut-out for the Wolves. Coach Dan Swallie tweeted out “Wolves win 2-0! Drew George with the complete game shut-out. Is there anything he can’t do?” I literally shed tears when I saw Dan’s tweet. Not only is Drew back playing the game he loves but he’s also been on the Worthington Kilbourne honor roll for his academic success.
I don’t know Drew personally but as a grown man approaching middle age I can easily say I look up to this young man. He’s persevered through circumstances that most of us would rather not even imagine. It’s an amazing story. Today I wear my Wolves baseball hat in honor of Drew George. (I look ridiculous in these flat bill hats that are in style today. I’m hoping 1989 circles back around soon.) Next week I’ll run attempting to beat Greg Garris but more importantly running for a good cause: beating cancer!