Blood Money and fighting ALS by “all means necessary”

9 07 2010

It’s no surprise that I’m willing to fight to end ALS.  Ride 100 miles, 300 miles…easy.  Fight in the Arnold Classic and earn a gold medal just to promote ALS awareness…done.  Create an event to draw solidarity and awareness in the local community…Can do “Iron Horse Challenge” it is….Beat the streets, ride hours in the sun, rain, winter to raise awareness, fundraise…will do.  This year Facebook has been my primary beacon of sending out the message and the call and it has helped me raise nearly 1/2 of the money towards my goal of $2000 for the Tri State Trek and ALSTDI.  I would like to say that my emails out had reaped such success.  In addition, with so many local events and the growth of Pelatonia and not only its popularity/presence, but its advertising, draws more that $200, 000 from the local charitable community and in some respects, drowns out the voices of so many other amazing charity efforts.  I know this because with my commitment to try and ride 1000 miles this year for various charities, fundraising for many of these events has come directly from my pocket (and gratefully so as I believe in all of  them). 

I’ve mentioned before that my compadres are becoming familiar with my willingness to push my own physical boundaries in an effort to fight this disease.  In 2006, less than a week after my mother passed from ALS, my family walked for the first time in the ALSA walk to defeat ALS on OSU’s West Campus.  My father and I ran an additional mile.  It was a message: we will go the extra mile to defeat ALS. 

The next year I did the Tri State Trek..the next I created the Iron Horse Challenge…I then fought in the Arnold (Kali stick fighting)  in the name of my mother and ALS awareness…the next I started to try and push the Iron Horse  north last year, I added an additional ride to Canton, OH and stretched my message farther north in Ohio.  This year a push to fight to defeat  ALS, MS, breast cancer…

you get the idea…my family and friends have been awesome and supportive….reaching out the community has slowly improved…but with the economy things are tight.  With almost 1/4 my goal yet to go, I needed a new frontier to push…

After talking to a friend of mine about their blood plasma donating and hearing that I might be able to raise funds for my charity by donating my own ‘blood’….the idea caught fire.  I can’t help chuckling over the fact that I’m literally donating blood for money, that I have finally offered blood, sweat, and tears in this fight.  That flesh and blood are going into this fight.  Of course…the phrase “blood money” with all of its wild west/gangster connotations leaps to my mind and how could I not do this. 

check out those veins

on the way -

I crossed the bridge over the Olentangy and headed past the Ohio State University Stadium and up Woody Hayes to High Street.  Today’s air was a humid bath of dense, hot, breath stealing air and it seems to drain the color from the midday sun.  My trusty steed ‘Fang’ was glad to be out and chewed up the distance to the plasma donor CSL clinic.  I’ve never donated blood, let alone plasma before, so my curious mind was in full swing, happily submitting to being a guinea pig for such a new and unique experience.   A quick couple of pics and I was in. 

OSU Horseshoe Stadium

A brief wait, a couple of questions, a fingerprint and a finger prick, and I was ready to go.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to catalog my tattoos before, or really experience a center that performed such work, on such a broad spread of the local community; my curiosity was in full bloom and I was perhaps a bit too chatty – go figure.  I got a brief physical and was whisked back to ‘bay 3’, with a date with a centrifuge and a sassy attendant.  About 45 min later and after having watched my blood go out deep, dark alizarin crimson and returning a bright, meaty strawberry red in 4 successive exports and returns…it was done.  A large vial of creamy pink, holding my plasma was taken away and back on the bike and into the hot day I went; $50 in pocket for the ALSTDI Tri State Trek and the possibility of $200 more before the ride. 


the machine

keep the hope flowing

blood returns

facing the machine

wounded warrior project...represented!

hello fang!

all it takes is a band aid and some time....

Support the Tri State Trek and ALSTDI

My mother might have tisked, tisked (she never would have been totally OK with my doing this for money – charity sure – money not so much- but she would never want me to hurt myself for any reason) but she would have done it herself for others – she was like that and I inherited it.  I happy to offer my blood in this fight.  There are plenty of people to fight for, who would fight for us.  You do what you can.  It only proves that even when you don’t think you can afford to donate, there are other resources we all have that we havent even begun to tap. 

 I will fight ALS “by all means necessary”.




4 responses

9 07 2010

You are, by far, one of the most selfless, dedicated, passionate people I have ever met. You are definitely willing to go the extra mile. You are awesome!!! I cannot wait to read the blog that announces a cure for ALS…cause I know you’ll be the happiest man in the world. God bless you Shawn.

9 07 2010
Chris Parkerson

Great veins, Shawn. Watch out for the Vampires.

9 07 2010

wow. for tim lafollette alone, i say thank you.

13 07 2010

Gracious. If had a wish…I would love to follow in your footsteps my friend, but alas, they will not take my tainted blood. If prayer is an acceptable currency, you have mine as do all those fighting disease.

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