TRI-ing for the Cure: Carl Hicks
Five weeks from now, on the day after my daughter Meaghan would have turned 38 years old, I will compete in a sprint triathlon in hopes of raising awareness and funds for the fight against pulmonary hypertension. Following a heart-lung transplant she endured to try to survive, I helplessly watched my little girl pass before my very eyes. The vision of that saddest moment in my entire life will forever haunt me for the rest of my days. But, it will also forever motivate me to remain in this fight to save others stricken by this terrible disease until we defeat it.
Over the years, fueled by many of your dollar bills and prayer, we have made great progress in this struggle. When Meaghan was stricken, there were no FDA approved medications for pulmonary hypertension. Now there are many that both extend and improve the quality of life of our patients. Despite this progress, there is still no cure and it remains a terminal disease, stealing the breath of our daughters, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, friends, and others.
I want to introduce a wonderful friend of mine to whom I am dedicating this race. Michelle Figueras, who lives in southern California, is a PH sufferer. She is also one remarkable young woman who absolutely refuses to be defined by this disease. Accomplished in many areas from motherhood to her profession, she is entirely self-made, full of life, a true “crack-up” to be around, and beautiful in every way. She has earned my deepest admiration and respect by how she has achieved so much, without the least complaint, while facing such a terrible disease. She provides me instant inspiration, and I will need it as I swim the mighty Columbia River on the 17th of August.
Team Phenomenal Hope, a top-rated organization in the fight against pulmonary hypertension, has a program called Let Me Be your Lungs. The program supports an athlete (or an old PH warrior), to offer to “be the lungs” of a PH patient, and in a manner of sorts, team up in a competitive event to fight the disease together. I proposed this to Michelle and I am more than honored and delighted that she will “let ME be her lungs” during this arduous swim, bike, and run event! See my Let Me Be Your Lungs proposal here.
Now it’s your turn. We do not have to take this disease lying don’t and I for one will not. I will be out there for all of our PH patients on August 17th and will make it to the finish line if I have to crawl. Michelle and I need your help. Please, please, please, consider donating to this struggle, and help us move a few steps closer to the cure. The money raised will go directly to patient assistance programs so wonderfully stewarded by Team PHenomenal Hope. You can make a donation to my efforts here.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for remaining in this fight with me against pulmonary hypertension. Never, ever give up. Meaghan didn’t, and neither should we.