Ultra Family Life

Life is amazing! If you never witnessed the birth of a child, it’s hard to convey the gift of living.  Money, status and what people think of you are out the window.  All that matters is the health of your new child.  For my lovely wife and I, this journey has taken over 12 years and was interrupted by cancer (the Big C).  Now we have two very cool boys that are almost exactly six years apart.

Oddly, I continue to workout keeping focused on some form for ultras while being a husband and father foremost.  So when do I run?  Well, work provides a time for running but that’s not enough time.  So, I try to time it just right between feeding our new son (usually late at night) and head out for the trails. 

So, with on average 2-4 hours of sleep per night, I hit the trails, alone, for some level of endurance training.  But the real focus is just time on my feet.  I’m so numb from sleep deprivation, I dream while running up the mountain ridges of a nice place to curl up in the mud and sleep.  But I push on running with my headlamp dancing in the darkness.  With over 20 years of racing under my belt, I draw upon many experiences to pick the right line up and down the ridges and along the cliffs.  And as a responsible dad, I carry full survivor gear for almost any situation.

For every step, I know that racing is not a focus just getting in a workout.  I cancelled all triathlons and races this year to take care of nearly three months of my wife’s bed rest, and make life normal for my older boy.  Life in itself is the hardest endurance race of all.  So I train for the next 100 miler with more sleep deprivation, night runs and playing with my boys every day.  And my training runs…some hurt like hell and others are so smooth.  It depends on getting a little sleep or not.

With about 14 weeks and about 300 hours of training to go before my next ultra, it’s nice to know that I am completing an ultra nearly every day.  And I like to think I am in first place in this race!

To my uncle and good friend Vernon, you keep up the strong fight against cancer, and we will all be the stronger for your efforts.

Aloha – Paul

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Thank You’s & More Good News !

Hey Folks,
Sorry it’s been a while since the last post, but I come bearing good news. First, THANK YOU !!!!!! to all the wonderful people that have taken the time to comment on the blog. It’s wonderful to hear from you, and to those who have offered to share information, yes, please, absolutely, anything you’d like to share that fits our intent to inspire, motivate and educate is very appreciated.
OK, now here comes the news.

Paul Sibley, one of the amazing cancer survivors that is featured in our upcoming documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life ” and a contributor to the blog, welcomed his second son Tristan Charles Sibley into the world on August the 23rd. Congratulations to Paul and his beautiful wife Courtney. It was a hard road, but what an amazing bundle of joy they have to share their lives.

Ida Goeckel is at it again. For the eighth consecutive year, she’s brought together a power packed lineup of musicians in the Buffalo area to raise money for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Breast Care and Resource Center. The concert is on October 17th at Macaroon’s Nite Club in Depew New York. If you’re in the area, you’ve got to check it out, there’s not only going to be great music, but a silent auction on a raffle. If you need more information, you can visit her page at http://www.myspace.com/fmfbc

Ms. Barbara Hillary, that amazing 79 year old powerhouse and cancer survivor, is actively raising funds to reach her next goal, the South Pole. Well it seems that some very important folks are recognizing what a special lady she is and are putting their money where their mouth is. Rolex has become one of her special sponsors. Way to go Barbara !

There’s power in purple. Last June, the Mission Possible Films team took to the road and landed in our nations capital to meet up with Anne Shimabukura for the first annual Pancreatic Cancer fundraising event ” PurpleStride “. We got a chance to film about 2000 cancer survivors and supporters walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to raise money and awareness in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Well come to find out, they raised over $ 380,000.00 with that 5K event. Wow !

And finally from the Mission Possible Film studios, we’re on the road again to Sun Valley Idaho to meet up with Barbie McQueen, the widow of the legendary Steve McQueen. Steve’s life was cut short from Mesothelioma, the subject of our working project ” The Erionite Connection ” . She is a celebrated photographer in her own right, and has a new book out of photographs she took of Steve during their life together.

Well that’s it for now, and again thank you for taking the time to check in. Remember, take care of yourselves, and enjoy the beauty of life.
All the Best,
Heather

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The Books Are Here !

*** Summer Sale ***

We’re celebrating the end of summer with a storewide sale !

Type the word ” CELEBRATE ” in the coupon code section during checkout and receive a 10% discount on your complete order. 

This offer is valid through September 30, 2010.

The Books Are Here !

Great News ! We are now carrying books. They are all in keeping with the theme of the website; to inspire, motivate and educate. They include entries from our own Mack Dryden and Josh Sundquist.

Titles include

Fluufing the Concrete – Mack Dryden’s hilarious account of his life changing experience in a North African prison. You wouldn’t think this subject could possibly be funny, but believe me it is.

Just Don’t Fall – Josh Sundquist’s National Bestseller about his journey through cancer, and the triumphs that followed. It’s the story of a boy becoming not only a man, but a champion.

The Book of Awesome Based on the award winning 10-million-plus-hit blog 1000awesomethings.com, it is a high five for humanity and a big celebration of  life’s little moments.

Of course we have Lance’s ” It’s Not About the Bike “, some great sports training books, health related entries, philosophy, parenting, and for fun, ” Eat, Prey, Love “.

Check out the Book section for a great late summer read, and if you haven’t been to the website in a while, we’ve added some great new DVD’s.

Remember it’s all on sale through September 30th.

www.MissionPositiveFilms.com

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The Books are Coming ! The Books are Coming!

Hello Everyone,

Hope you’re all having a good July ! Well there will be some great summer reading on the website within the next couple of weeks, all of course keeping in our theme to inspire, motivate and educate. We already have our first offering, which is from our own Mack Dryden, one of the humorists being featured in the upcoming movie ” C – A Celebration of Life ” . Mack is a double cancer survivor and a well renowned comedian and writer. You can see his bio on this blog site and the website.

The book titled ” Fluffing the Concrete ” is about his harrowing experience surviving a North African prison. Though the subject is extremely serious, Mack has such a wonderfully funny and easy way of writing,  that I had a really hard time putting it down. It is a very positive look at how you can turn a bad situation into something meaningful, and a great read. The paperback is available on the website now, and the downloadable version will follow soon.

Some of the books that you’ll be seeing shortly are

” The Book of Awesome “,

” Just Don’t Fall ” by our own Josh Sundquist,

” Finding Your Zone “,

” Outsmart Your Genes “,

” Anticancer – A New Way of Life “,

” Energy Medicine for Women “,

” It’s Not About the Bike “,

” Eat, Prey, Love ”

and a whole lot more. As soon as they arrive, I’ll be offering a sale to those of you who watch the blog or have signed up for the newsletter.

Stay Happy !

Heather

 


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Plueral Mesothelioma

Hello Everyone,

We’ve added a new website link to our list that is a wonderful resource for those dealing with Mesothelioma. As some of you may already know, we are currently filming a documentary on a group of renowned researchers that are spending their lives trying to find the cause and hopefully the cure for this deadly disease. This particular site deals primarily with Pleural mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer that is generally caused by asbestos exposure. The cancer develops in the mesothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines and protects the chest cavity and other organs as well. While other types of mesothelioma may result from asbestos exposure, pleural mesothelioma is the most common, making up approximately 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Although mesothelioma is considered to be a rare cancer, between 2,000 and 3,000 people are diagnosed in the United Stated each year. The average life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient ranges between four and 18 months and understanding the signs of pleural mesothelioma development can make the difference in receiving an early diagnosis and a better prognosis

Their site is dedicated to compiling the latest and most up-to-date information on pleural mesothelioma and offers a number of resources to those coping with the pulmonary cancer. From treatment options to top doctors and the best cancer centers in the United States, PleuralMesothelioma.com is a one-stop resource for patients and their families.

Check out this site and some of our other wonderful connections at the Mission Possible Films website.

All the Best,

Heather

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CancerRunner Rescues Seven Hikers

What does it mean to be a father and husband taking care of a full work load, a wife that is on full bed rest at 34 weeks pregnant and a 5-yr old son (plus Rotary President, Relay for Life Chair, Lyon Arboretum Board, etc.) plus trying to retain the athletic skills for a calm state of mind? Well, it means finding odd hours to workout. The last few weeks, I’ve been going for a workout on the trails after it rained all day long, at around 9:00 PM. Sure, seems late but very peaceful knowing that my wife is resting with her 76 pillows and my son is dreaming of Bakugan games after I read him Ferdinand the Bull. No, running at night after a nonstop 15 hours of work is relaxing, and running through soupy, muddy, ‘cakey’ trails is perfect!

This past Saturday night, I was out on a normal run with all my survival gear and expensive lights when I came upon a group of hikers. The sight of my lights seemed to startle them a bit, so I gave a popped off a friendly quiz: “Are you guys just starting out?” The question was meant to assess their state of mind as most lost people usually deny that they are in a ‘pickle’. Without a phone, light, food or water, I knew the answer but wanted to assess the situation first from my many years of experience and also back county medical training. They were also barefoot and very exhausted. We exchanged some words to which I surmised they were out all day, got lost, got injured and were basically stuck! But some how they managed to feel their way through the trails while slipping everywhere to which two were injured from falls. I quickly decided to give up a light to a guy in the middle, and I carried the lady most injured with my headlamp from the end of the train of seven hikers. We hiked through the mud talking story and staying upright with the eventually completion of their trail adventure to which I quickly departed returning to my regularly scheduled run – alone in my solitude once again.

And just a quick note of what solitude I find on my run.  I received an email from a friend who is raising money for a young boy fighting a touch cancer battle.  So I reached out to his website to offer kind words of support.  I received an email from his family that he is still fighting strong.  Just thinking of a young child that courageous truly inspires me to keep pushing on.

 

See ya on the trails! Paul

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Meet Leilani

Hello Everyone,
Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.
I can finally introduce you to Leilani Grippin Karasaki R.N., B.S.N., an acute-care oncology nurse at Queens Medical Center, and one of the earlier members of our Celebration family. It took a bit to get a picture of her, it seems even though she’s absolutely gorgeous, she’s quite camera shy, but she is now posted on the website. Leilani is known throughout Hawaii as an exceptional caregiver, and in December was named by the Star-Bulletin as one of Hawaii’s ” Ten Who Made a Difference “, in recognition of people who noticeably helped bring change to Hawaii or contributed in outstanding ways. She is one of the kindest and most caring individuals you could ever meet, and will give the film a wonderful insight into cancer from the caregivers perspective. She shared something very interesting with me that I’d like to pass on. While a patient is undergoing treatment, many of the doctors, nurses, and technicians get very emotionally connected, but once the treatments are over and the patient walks out the door, they very seldom know how their lives turned out. They don’t get to see the joy of life after cancer, they just hope. So you wonderful survivors remember, from time to time, pick up the phone or drop a note to the special people that were there for you during your fight, and let them know how great you’re doing. Believe me, it will mean the world to them.
All the Best,
Heather
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Principal Filming is Now Complete. Yeah!

Hello Everyone,
Happy July !
Exciting news, the principal filming for ” C – A Celebration of Life ” has been completed. Yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!
May and June were incredible months for shooting quite a few members of our film family. In May, I was able to attend and film Venus’s Houston Dia de la Mujer Latina Festival where she and her team provided paps and breast exams for 1000 women that otherwise would not have that opportunity. Her goal is to save lives, and that’s exactly what she’s doing. Luisa welcomed me to her very special graduation in Tucson, and Kathy kept me laughing hysterically in LA.
 
In June, Don joined me for ( 8 ) days, ( 3 ) cities and ( 4 ) amazing survivors. We started in Hartford, Conneticut where Mack Dryden was the Keynote Speaker for over a thousand cancer survivors and supporters. He was absolutely hilarious, heartwarming and inspiring for a good 45 minutes. What a joy to watch him entertain so many special people. The event was put on by the Hartford Hospital Cancer Center, a truly 
wonderful group of caregivers. That hospital is extremely forward thinking and progressive in cancer treatment, and they understand the importance of treating both the mind and body. They say they are in
” The Business of Hope “. That was something that has really stuck with me.
 
From there it was on to New York to meet the one and only Barbara Hillary. She just turned 79 just a couple of weeks ago, but let me tell you, if I told you she was pushing 65, you still wouldn’t believe me. She’s gorgeous, sharp as a tack, and side splittingly funny. She treated us to a guided tour through Harlem, which is where she spent a good deal of her childhood, but she seemed as surprised as we were how upscale that area has become. She joked that she used to see white folks run through Harlem ( quickly and without a smile ), and now they run through in jogging shorts.
 
The next day, we were lucky enough to spend a monumental day with our other favorite New Yorker, Bob Ryland and his lovely wife Nancy. The 16th was Bob’s 90th birthday, and like Barbara, he’s found the fountain of youth. I tried to get him to tell me where it was, but he just gave me that great smile of his and shook his head. We were able to film Bob playing tennis, the game he’s loved almost the whole of his life, and riding the scooter board that he uses to get from his apartment to the courts just about every day. My favorite part though was just getting to hear his stories. Bob has lived an incredible life, some of it heartbreaking, but through it all he has kept the positive attitude that has become his trademark.
 
Finally, we hit our nations capital to meet our Pancreatic Cancer survivor Anne, her wonderful husband John, and their two beautiful and very precocious daughters. Anne told us they were 7 and 8, but after spending some time with them, both Don and I are convinced they are just short teenagers. The supposedly 7 year old showed a great interest in the camera, and how everything worked. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have a female Spielberg in the making. Anne’s been very involved in raising money and awareness for the deadly cancer that she beat back, and they had the first Washington DC walk for the cause. To see over 1700 purple
T- Shirts walking down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the capital was truly a site to behold. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it ( In Hawaii we call it chicken skin ). Let me take a moment to mention another Pancreatic Cancer survivor Eileen, whom we met the day of the walk. She’s had a tough fight, but her spirit cannot and will not be denied.
 
Lastly, after some very busy weeks, I finally made it to my PO Box and had a lovely surprise waiting. I received a video of Tommy D’s session. Remember Tommy is the one that’s providing the toe tappin part of the movies music, so I can’t wait to see what he sent. I’ll let you know how great it is on the next update.
 
So now we’re down to the editing. Thank you all again for sharing your time and your stories. It has been one of the best experiences of my life.
All the Best,
Heather
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Meet the Family !

Hello Everyone,
I have exciting news, we have completed our documentary family! I wanted you all to get a chance to meet them, and learn a little about all the amazing people that are involved. More complete bios are on the website, and most have their own websites which are wonderful to explore if you have the chance. So let’s get started.
 
Our youngest member is Luisa Diaz, who lives in Tucson, is a Leukemia survivor, has just graduated High School, and spends her time raising money and organizing events for teens with cancer. Her goal is to be a Children’s Oncologist. I had the opportunity to film her graduation, and spend a little time with her wonderful family. What a beautiful, strong, and exceptional young lady she is.
 
Our twenty something is a dynamic young man named Josh Sundquist, who was in the middle of a national book tour promoting his latest book when Don and I caught up with him. He is a Bone Cancer Survivor, has skiied in the Paralympics, and spends his time traveling around the country as a Keynote speaker teaching both adults and children what it takes to overcome obstacles. We were able to see a talk he gave at a high school in Seattle and the tremendous impact he made in the short 45 minutes he spoke.
 
Our thirty something is Paul Sibley, who is a Skin Cancer survivor that has many titles such as Triathalete, Ultramarathon Runner , high level business executive, husband, father, and fund raiser for cancer research. Paul donates a good part of the little spare time he has helping the American Cancer Society in their Race for the Cure events, as well as heading his own foundation dedicated to childrens cancers.
 
We actually have ( 2 ) forty somethings. The first is Leimomi Golis who is a Lymphoma survivor, works in the health care industry, is co-chairperson of the longest running cancer support group in Hawaii, and is currently taking care of her sister as she fights Breast Cancer. She is another one of those incredible people that spends a good deal of her free time raising money for cancer research or helping those fighting the battle.
 
Our second forty something is Anne Shimabukuro, the Vice President of Treasury for Marriott International, who happens to be a Pancreatic Cancer survivor. In addition to an extremely demanding job, she is a mother of two, and an advocate for the need to raise awareness about the deadly form of cancer she beat. She is also on the Board of Directors of Food & Friends, a support foundation that helps people that are dealing with life threatening illnesses. We will be filming her mid June during a large fundraiser in Washington DC. We’re sure looking forward to meeting her.
 
Our fifty something is Venus Gines, who is currently living in Houston, is a Breast Cancer survivor and a true force of will in a beautiful petite package. She has established her ” Dia de le Mujer Latina ” festivals in 30 states and counting. These festivals are days that give women in the Latino communities that can’t afford healthcare, access to Pap’s and Breast exams in an effort to catch cancers early. She includes education, eye exams, and diabetes testing all in that ” Fiesta ” atmosphere. I was fortunate enough to attend the one she held in Houston and they processed over 1000 people in that single day. Amazing !
 
Our sixty something is Don Fallis, a rectal cancer survivor, businessman, Ultramarathon runner, explorer, fundraiser and now home contractor. He also happens to be my life partner, and one of the main reasons this project is being done. It was his battle with the disease as well as my mothers, that spoke of the need for something like this. He even helps me when I need a second camera for filming.
 
We have ( 2 ) seventy somethings as well. The first is Barbara Hillary, the first African American woman to reach the North Pole on skiis, and soon to be the first African American woman to reach both poles, and that’s after surviving Lung Cancer. She is one of the sharpest and funniest people you’d ever run across. She’s part of a documentary that’s currently on the Festival circuit, is writing a book, and in her spare time, is a Keynote speaker. Don and I will be filming her in New York mid June, and I just hope we can stop laughing long enough to use the cameras.
 
Our second seventy something is Russell Jim, an amazing gentleman that is a leader of the Yakama people in Washington State. A Throat Cancer survivor, he spends his time leading a coalition dedicated to solving the nuclear and hazardous waste containment issues that are endangering the lands and livelihoods of the people in that area. He has served on numerous government councils and commitees, and is tireless in his effort to win this very crucial fight.
 
Our eighty something is Bob Ryland, a Prostate Cancer survivor who also happens to be the first African American professional tennis player. He was Arthur Ashes hero, coach to a number of high ranking tennis players, not to mention a stint as Bill Cosby’s personal trainer. He still plays every other day and works with the younger generation who dream of one day holding that New York Open tennis title. We’ll be filming Bob mid June as well, and lucky for us, it will be his ninetieth birthday bash.
Happy Birthday Bob !
 
Our ninety something is Wallace Froiseth who is a very shy Leukemia survivor. He was one of the famous early Hawaii longboard surfers and competed against Duke back in the heady days before World War ll. A great many things make him special, but what struck me was that he was diagnosed at 87, and rather than throwing in the towel, he threw up his hands and said. OK, let’s get this done, and immediately started on Chemo. He still works out every day, and is living life to the fullest.

Now for the funny folks. First is Mack Dryden, who is a professional comedian, writer, Keynote speaker and double cancer survivor. He first whipped Testicular cancer, then Eye Cancer, and needless to say came through with some great material. He’s been on more talk shows than I can list, wrote for Politically Incorrect, and does stand up all over the country. Don and I will be filming his performance for a crowd of about 900 cancer survivors and supporters in Connecticut later this month. I can’t wait to see him live.

Then we have Kathy Buckley, who besides being a cervical cancer survivor, and the first hearing impaired female comedian, is a gorgeous amazon standing at 6′ tall. She has an extremely quick wit and kept me on my toes all afternoon, but a heart as pure as gold. Though her resume is filled with TV shows, Broadway, and the like, her lifes work is to help children, and she spends much of her off hours raising money to help both kids with hearing disabilities and those with cancer.

No movie has a chance of really being good without a great soundtrack, and with the lineup of musicians that have come on board, this films music will be amazing. First we have the sounds of Ray Bumatai, who is the only member of the family who is not physically with us. He lost his battle with Brain Cancer, but during his remission wrote some wonderful pieces and thanks to the generosity of his wife Bree, they will be a part of our story. He was a Hawaii celebrity, who acted in TV and movies, delighted folks with his standup, and topped it all off with his music. 

Then we have Tommy Davidson, who we’ll call the man of brass. He is just as tough as the man of steel, for he survived Stage 4 Testicular Cancer, eight surgeries in 10 months, and a ruptured aorta, but brass is his metal, because he can truly play the trombone. He’s a professional musician by night and an educator by day. He a who’s who in the jazz community, and beloved by his students and he’s promised us music that he guarantees will get our toes tappin’. That’s a promise that will be worth the wait.

Then we have Ida Goeckel, the lady of the Electric Bass and Breast Cancer survivor. She is addicted to music and has taken her love and used it to help others. She gathers musicians from all over the area, puts on concerts and uses the proceeds to benefit those that are in the cancer battle and need financial support. She is writing an original piece for the movie and will be using back up musicians many of which are cancer survivors. Whatever she comes up with is bound to be exceptional. Go Ida !

Finally we have a number of care givers, nurses and doctors that have added their experience to the project. Wow, what a team.

I will be giving you updates as the project progresses. Principal shooting will be complete this month, and then the editing starts. The plan is to have it ready for film festivals in the fall of 2011. As I hope you know, your input is always welcome. If you have any questions, or you have any ideas, please let me know.
Thank you also to those that have helped me locate these wonderful folks. You are my heroes.
All the Best,
Heather
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Back in the Groove

Since the HURT 100, I’ve been transitioning into short course triathlon mode.  This transition was going well with excellent speed and power until a good friend, Mike Meunch, asked me to run around Oahu withhim.  With about 3 weeks notice, I stopped the triathlon training and focused on long runs.  Well, I got in one long run.  Our adventure was epic, even though I suffered an injury around mile 70.  Goes to show you how important training is.

After the Oahu run attempt, I moved back into triathlon mode managing the leg and ankle injury.  At the Honolulu Triathlon, Olympic distance, I donned my new sun protection ‘Smurf suit’ to provide maximum sun protection.  Since it’s all blue, I really stood out.  The suit was great, but my bike took some damage with the saddle stays cracking leaving me with a wobbling saddle for the 24 mile bike ride.  This really changed the game plan from a PR to a ‘just hold that bike together.’  My arms were shot after holding my arse off the seat while training to maintain some sense of aero position.

The run was fun with an easy sub 7 minute pace, but nothing exceptional as I was just cruising after the bike ride.  I still managed 13th in my age group but 6 minutes slowly with my two bike stops and no real aero benefit.

As I write this, I am excited to learn about the new friends that are part of Heather’s dream and welcome everyone to the family.  And as part of the family, I am returning for a trip to my home in Louisiana to tend to a close family member suffering from cancer that is at stage 4 and little success from the surgery.  Always make time to see those you love when they are alive – no point after!  I’ll take my son with me to see his uncle who is really like my father with my lovely pregnant wife baking inside our new little baby boy due in early September.

Aloha!

Paul

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MPF NEWS – Sharing Our Stories and Adventures