About Me

In the early 1990’s I decided to get back into running.  I started out by running around the block and eventually worked myself up into running 3 miles.  In March 1992, I started having pain in his right leg, which didn’t seem to get any better as the days went on.  I went to the local care station to consult a doctor and had x-rays done.  I will never forget the moment the doctor came back into the room and put his arm around my shoulder and said “There is something on your knee.  It might be cancer.”  After a second opinion it was determined that it was not cancer, but a bone cyst.  I was referred to Dr. Michael A. Simon, at the University of Chicago, who is one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in his field.  With x-rays and MRI in hand, I walked into Dr. Simon’s office.  Dr. Simon looked carefully at the images and explained the bone cyst had been there for years and was not the cause of the pain I was feeling.  The pain was caused by Arthritis and Dr. Simon advised me to engage in alternate activities like swimming or biking.  I explained that I liked to run.  Dr. Simon said I could try running again but if the pain came back he advised that I would have to stop. 

When talking to a friend about the troubles with my knee, he friend ask about my shoes and mentioned that my shoes could have aggravated my knee.  So I decided to try a new pair of shoes.  Based on a recommendation, I bought my first pair of New Balance running shoes.  Twenty years later, I’m still wearing New Balance and have been running pain free ever since my first pair.

Together, my wife and I volunteer as religion teachers at St. Gerald’s Catholic Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where we are still teaching today.  Over the 20 plus years, I have taught hundreds of students.  Last year, we were invited to participate in the Great Steps Walk for Neurofibromatosis (NF) in Naperville, Illinois.  The invitation came from a former student and his wife and explained that his brother John, who also was a former student, has NF.


John is 22 years old and has had NF since he was born. He has numerous cafe au lait (birthmark looking spots) all over his body, along with multiple tumors that affect his daily life and functionality. Currently, John is seeing a doctor for the tumor on his spine, which causes him immense pain on a daily basis. This disease was supposed to leave John blind and deaf by the time he was 18. Even though his sight and hearing aren't the best, he still has function of them both. Part of John's NF is a learning disability, but that did not stop him from completing high school and completing HVAC training, over a 9 month span.  John’s success and determination are an inspiration to me, which is the reason why I have chosen to run the Chicago Marathon and 2012Run12 in honor of John and the many others with Neurofibromatosis. 


Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system which causes tumors to form on the nerves anywhere in the body at any time. This progressive disorder affects all races, all ethnic groups and both sexes equally. NF is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States (one in every 2,500 to 3,000 births). The neurofibromatosis affects more than 100,000 Americans; this makes NF more prevalent than Cystic Fibrosis, hereditary Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and Tay Sachs combined.  Neurofibromatosis does not have a big name spokesperson or a big budget.  Its goal is to support families with NF, create awareness, improve treatments and promote research.


Last year I ran the Chicago Marathon, my very first marathon. Completing a marathon brought a great sense of achievement, happiness and satisfaction.  It also helped me realize how very fortunate I am to be able to even run a marathon. Not everyone is as fortunate enough to receive the gift of health that so many of us take for granted. When it was time to sign-up for the 2012 Chicago Marathon, I felt it was important to dedicate this marathon to those that are less fortunate than many of us and raise money and awareness for Neurofibromatosis.  Because of the closeness that we now have with John’s family, it seemed appropriate to raise awareness and money for such a worthy charity as NF.


John’s success and determination is what has inspired me to raise awareness and money for Neurofibromatosis, I have has decided to run in honor of John and the many others with NF.  I am running the 2012 Chicago Marathon and 12 half-marathons in 12 states in 12 months.  My goal is to raise awareness and money for Neurofibromatosis. 

If you would like to make a donation and support NF, please visit my donation page


Every donation, no matter how big or how small will make a difference.

Thank you for your support!