In Your Area
Bob, a member of the Patient-Runner Connection for 2 years, shares his thoughts about the Patient-Runner Connection program.
Bob and fiance, Gwen, cheering on the Run for Research team at the 2013 Boston Marathon
You’ve been involved with the Patient-Runner Connection for the past couple years. Why did you choose to become involved and what made you come back again this year?
Bob: I got involved because of my own liver transplant. I stay involved to hopefully meet others that are dealing with liver disease and show them that miracles do happen. When one sees the miracles, I hope they have HOPE too for others.
Despite snowy weather and an early morning, you boarded the bus with our Run for Research team to share your story on their way to the starting point of the 16 mile long run this month. Then you waited at the finish line to cheer on every last runner. What motivates you to participate in such opportunities?
Bob: I do it to let them know how important they are to us; for what they are doing for me and others that have liver disease. Standing at the finish line is an awesome feeling! Waiting for, and cheering them on, as they cross the finish line hopefully lets them know they are important in MY life and others.
Often times patients want to get more involved, or to express their gratitude in some way, yet don’t know how to go about it. Any advice for those patients that may be struggling to find a way to find the right outlet for them?
Bob: Don't be afraid to tell your story; let others know what it is like living with liver disease. Get involved with the American Liver Foundation - help set up a fundraiser, come out to cheer on the runners, teach people that there are 100 different types of liver disease. SPEAK UP, DON'T SIT BACK AND LET THE OPPORTUNITY PASS ON BY. EDUCATE!
Last year you and your fiancé, Gwen, joined the ALF at the cheering section on Marathon Monday for the first time. What did you take away from that experience and how did that shape the way you look at the Patient-Runner Connection program?
Bob: It was inspiring just to listen to others’ testimonies. Some are happy, some are sad, but yet they are still there, helping and doing what they can, hoping they can make someone else’s life a little easier. I realize that day that I have a bigger family, MY LIVER FOUNDATION FAMILY.