Think I have it bad? Meet my friend and fellow lung challenged athlete….Mike McBride.
Michael has really bad emphysema and has to be connected to supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day just to stay alive. He actually has a tiny hole in his neck , which allows the oxygen to be delivered directly to his lungs (what they call ” Transtracheal Oxygen ).
Well, despite the bad hand he was dealt in life, Michael competes in marathons and climbs Skyscrapers for fun ! (and for charity). What’s even more amazing, is that he has to to pull a 100lb cart behind him which holds his oxygen tanks. When he does a race he goes through so much oxygen (17 lpm), that he has to have people positioned along the course to help change out all the empty tanks …. A logistical marvel in itself.
On April 20th, 2009, Mike will be the very first person with severe emphysema ever granted a disability slot to compete in the Boston marathon, and I will be the first severe asthmatic to do the same.
Mike’s been a tremendous inspiration for me and many many others, sick or healthy. If it wasn’t for Mike, I don’t think I would have pursued Boston the way I did. When I first applied I didn’t think I stood a chance of getting in. It wasn’t until Mike broke the news about his own success in being accepted, that I suddenly felt a new sense of enthusiasm for what seemed so out of reach before.
Wouldn’t it be something if we pull this off !
PS……Mike did a stair climb today. 54 stories in 28 minutes! Hauling his oxygen and all. Absolutely amazing.