Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meeting A Survivor, Doug Ulman, CEO of LIVESTRONG

(Doug Ulman, CEO of LIVESTRONG)
I have been really blessed to meet some great people in Austin. Joey Trimyer made Running For Ryan web site free of charge and continues to maintain it for me as a volunteer. When a coach in San Antonio, Gary Brimmer, introduced me to John Conley (Austin Marathon Director) I didn't realize how much help I would get for getting Running For Ryan off the ground. . Through an Austin Marathon event, I met Bart Yasso, who befriended me so genuinely as we share the desire to run, him with Lyme Disease, me with Lupus. Bart has helped spread the word about the fundraiser and continues to encourage me to see it through to NYC. John Conley invited me to LIVESTRONG/ Austin Marathon announcement event today at the LIVESTRONG HQ in Austin. Because it was in the middle of the work day I almost didn't go, but so glad I did!

I remember reading about Doug Ulman in the Austin Monthly Magazine when I was waiting at an appointment. The magazine was covering non-profit CEO's and he was the lead feature. So, I read his article and was thinking to myself how amazing it was to be a survivor and then go right into running a huge cancer non-profit organization. I had no clue of his life, and his cancer fight, so I sent an email of congratulating him on taking a serious situation and turning it into an inspirational journey.

He responded with a nice thank you email, and that was it. So several weeks go by, and I get this invite to go to the announcement event today. Doug Ulman and John Conley present, with Mayor Leffingwell. Well, I thought it would be pretty interesting to see these guys talk, so I decided to see what the big news was going to be. Well, turns out the Austin Marathon will be sponsored by LIVESTRONG for the next 3 years, yeah for both organizations!

So, I was going to head back to work, but I decided, I wanted to introduce myself, and palms sweaty did just that. I told him I was Sarah Shay, I sent an email about your article a while back,and he pleasantly spoke to me, and said he was in New York the weekend Ryan passed away, as he ran the regular marathon the following day. After we chatted for a couple of minutes, I decided to head back to work. But as I was outside I turned around and told myself, "Go get a pic for the blog...he's a nice guy!" So, palms sweaty again, he politely took a pic with me and welcomed me to HQ anytime:)

This positive energy carried through out the day and I had an enjoyable 6 mile run after work. About a mile from the finish I just busted out in a good cry as I couldn't help but just look to the sky for Ryan. I instantly missed him, but thanked him for giving me the courage to go out and meet inspiring individuals through out this journey to keep his memory alive and give back to those who survive daily with life altering injuries. I just feel very lucky right now. I feel like I am doing what I am suppose to be doing at this moment in my life. Thanks to Doug for the sincere introduction.

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