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Long For Life

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Long For Life


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The Home Stretch

Posted by Michael Floyd on August 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Hasn't been a lot of time out there on the road for blogging, although been asked many times if we are. Working out the on-going logistics of our challenge has taken up a tremendous amount of what precious little free time we have. Relying on connectivity and cell phone service was a giant issue through the heart of Canada (whodda thought?), not having power supply for charging the phone, the computer, the camera... We've had to learn to exist without those comforts when they've been unavailable and rightly so, a great wake-up to getting back to fundamentals and being extremely grateful to have them!! We'll continue to update the Facebook with our progress and be far more diligent with blogging our progress.


OMG we've experienced a myriad of eye-opening mini-adventures, jaw-dropping views, incredibly uncomfortable scenarios, scary traffic situations and road conditions, brutal elements and extreme weather, endured relentless muscle and injury pain unlike we've ever known, every day's victory getting bigger and sweeter with every battle won. Easy to do when with the clarity of purpose, with each other, the team, and the unwavering support and love of all the people of Canada that we've met everywhere we've been. The details of all of these and so many more experiences to share. A culmination of what we'd expected would be life-changing realizations beginning to manifest into "Oh WOW!" with many more to come.


Hard to find the time to put THAT into words while on this trek. The notes are taken, the details documented, the hard-cover will be available soon in your favorite bookstore.


Until then.... WE STILL GOT WORK TO DO!! 1200 kms to go on th stretch run from Calgary to Victoria!!


(We`ve found ourselves saying those words recently - "...ONLY 1700 kms to go" or "ONLY 1500 kms to go". Seems like an unreasonable statement to most people that we meet, just shake their heads and laugh...)


We're riding into Calgary on Thursday August 29th with a crew of longboarders at 7:00pm for the 10K push from the skate park at Chestermere Lake to Atlas Pizza and Sports Bar in Calgary (on Memorial Drive near 68 Street NE) for some short R&R and celebration. We'll be at the park at 7:00, get to Atlas Pizza & Sports Bar at 8:00. Any longboarders that would like to join us...see you at the skate park. If you need a ride, meet at Atlas Pizza by 6:30. If you're not a rider, meet us at Atlas anyway :)


Then it`s time to get back to work!! Ohhhh yeeaaaahhhhh!!!


Cheers and Love...


Michael


Salute to a Sailor

Posted by Michael Floyd on April 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (1)

I read a story today that fueled inspiration.

We know that one day we`ll be able to win all of our battles against cancer. It's gonna take a lot of hard work from a lot of great people to make that happen. And we'll do it...in time...with the coming together of communities everywhere, with all efforts no matter how small counting as a part of the whole. So a giant thank you to all who are stepping up, jumping in, riding along, shouting out and bringin it.

I read the story of 15 year old Callum MacLean from Charlottetown, PEI. Callum lost his fight on April 9, 2013.

What was obvious to me from his story was the amount of life that he had lived in his time here. And the clear message that what IS important is for us all to get the most out of our time. Every bit of it. Fully and gratefully, live it as large as you want it to be.

Give a salute to this brave sailor!!

callumrussellmaclean.wordpress.com

Stay tuned for news on a tribute cruise through his hood.

Brandon's Story

Posted by Michael Floyd on March 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It was discovered in an x-ray when Brandon was two-and-a-half. It was taken to determine if his persistent cough might be pneumonia. It wasn’t pneumonia at all. This was a fist-sized tumor attached to his spine located between his heart and lung.


A few weeks of poking and prodding found the tumour was ganglioneuroblastoma. Not the worst blastoma or the least dangerous blastoma if there is such a thing. What we knew about it at the time – rather, what we were told about it at the time - was that the age, the size of the tumour, stage development and aggressiveness offered a 25% chance for survival.


Brandon received incredible care at the Calgary Children’s Hospital and the Tom Baker Cancer Center. Many unimaginable weeks of poking, prodding, testing, and successful surgery ensued. Following that another five years of MRI’s proved that it wasn’t to return. He was given a “cancer-free” designation, and qualified for an unrated whole-life insurance policy.


Fast forward to December 2008, age 15. Brandon awoke and began getting ready for school just like any other day. In an instant, he fell to the floor... and it was all over. Brandon awoke for the second time that day. Damage was localized to blindness in the left eye and impaired mobility in the left upper body.


What we learned was that Brandon has blood vessels in his brain referred to as AV Malformations – purposeless blood vessels that aren’t supposed to be there. It’s not very rare that people would have these AV Malformations, but what is rare is that they burst. And in some of those cases those bleeding blood vessels are located in a sensitive area of the brain. In this case it was and caused a stroke.


Whether it was permanent or if there would be improvement was unknown, only time would tell. The area of the brain where these blood vessels were located was inoperable.


Attempts were made to close off the blood vessels by running a tiny wire through an artery, up through the body to inject glue into them and permanently seal them yet were unsuccessful. Another procedure was introduced using a device called a Gamma Radiation Knife. This giant room-sized device would shoot gamma radiation particles through Brandon’s skull and brain directly at the blood vessels in an attempt to fry them closed. The computer was programmed with three-dimensional imaging, a metal halo was bolted to Brandon’s skull then bolted to the table, and the gamma knife went to work.


2 years later in spring of 2011, another blood vessel near the site burst and caused another very mild stroke. Physical issues were minor with no recurring vision and mobility loss. Another week of testing indicated that this blood vessel had completely closed off and further aneurisms are unlikely.


But he’s not waiting around to find out whether they are or not.


Today, Brandon is back to 100%. It’s his wish to begin a new journey starting with this trek from coast-to-coast simply being grateful to be here and physically able to do it, to trust and leave all worry behind and to truly recognize what living truly is.


He would like everyone to know – to truly believe – that no matter what happens to us in our lives, we will survive and thrive.


We can’t do this alone. Please sponsor Brandon’s and his Long For Life!

 


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