GARY AND ST JUDE
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Bryan McClure, and I'm a civil engineer working and living in Huntsville, Alabama. On March 21, 2015, I will embark upon the greatest challenge of my lifetime... a 100 mile endurance race at Lake Martin, Alabama. While this will be a significant task to complete, it pales in comparison to the challenge currently being fought by my close friend and mentor, Gary East. Gary and his family have been incredibly strong, courageous, and selfless as he has fought cancer over the past year and a half. When most folks would be concerned with their own battle and struggle, Gary and his wife, Ann, have continued to stay active in their church, often reaching out to their friends and community in need to do what they can for others instead of focusing on themselves.
As I endured a personal struggle last summer, Gary took time in between treatments to reach out to me, whether it was a text, a phone call, or meeting for dinners... just to see how I was doing and how my life was going. He has been and continues to be an inspiration for me, and he has served as an incredible role model. Gary recently began his second round of chemotherapy against a rare string of mutated cancer cells, and I decided to dedicate my race in his honor, raising funds for the cancer research center of his choice. When I asked him about which research and treatment center was best suited to focus funds on his specific disease, in typical, selfless fashion... Gary immediately responded "St. Jude."
When I asked him why, he said "every time I walk into a treatment center, or a doctor's office, or a research facility and see a young child battling what I'm battling, it breaks my heart. I'd rather see the funding go towards battling that disease, because that breaks my heart." And so it is, I've established this giving page in honor of my friend Gary.
THE 100x100x100 CAMPAIGN
This "campaign" begins on Friday, December 12, 2014... exactly 100 days before the grueling 100 mile race. My hope, and goal, is to raise an average of $100 per day as I train and prepare to tackle this challenge. If successful, we will have raised a total of $10,000 that will go towards researching and finding cures, treating children, and SAVING CHILDREN'S LIVES.
Ideally, the goal would be for each participant to make a $100 contribution to this cause. If 100 people donate $100, we will reach the goal. But understandably, not everyone can afford a $100 donation... so even the smallest increments will help. And by all means, if you're able, please feel free to give more than $100... all in honor of a great man, father, husband, friend, and Christian. Please help us work to achieve Gary's wish to eliminate childhood cancer.
As I mentioned initially, this effort will culminate with my attempt to complete a 100 mile race in central Alabama. The race begins at 6:00am on Saturday morning and continues for as long as it takes. My personal goal is to complete the race in less than 24 hours...finishing at 6:00am on Sunday morning. Knowing these young children don't give up, and knowing that my friend Gary will never stop fighting, this task seems insignificant by comparison...so there is NO WAY I'm giving up.
Join me! Together we can help St. Jude change the world.
For those of you who may not know Gary, I strongly encourage you to visit his page on Caring Bridge:
Gary's family posts regular updates about his fight and progress, and there are some wonderful pictures of his family and friends on there as well. Shortly after his diagnosis, the East family elected to give his fight a name... and they chose TEAM GARY. Team Gary's motto is "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous." - Isaiah 41:10
Gary and his family welcome your prayers and words of encouragement and support, so feel free to visit the site and wish him well as he continues his journey against this disease... TEAM GARY!!