Marathon Challenge for EMT Prof Brian Jacklin
"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Mohandas Gandhi)
This story is about a faculty member trying to live by these words. In his own words, "This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Running with the bulls in Spain, completing my education while working two full-time jobs and raising two small children, all pale in comparison."
Brian Jacklin (right), a faculty member of the Emergency Telecommunications program, dropped
off approximately $700 worth of toys to Child Life Services at Children's Hospital,
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) on December 21, 2009. These toys were given to children
who were going through their cancer treatments and would wake up in hospital on
Christmas morning. The donation was part of Brian's marathon project to help
children and adults living with cancer.
Left to right: Emergency Telecommunications prof Brian Jacklin with daughters Bailee and Lyla and some of the gifts collected for patients at Children's Hospital, LHSC.
It all started a few years ago when Brian underwent a transformation. Brian was a man who could not run 2.4 kilometres. He did not enjoy running but he tried and tried again. He managed to train for a 10km run, then completed a half marathon."
"When I am out at 5:00 a.m. running I cannot explain the feeling inside of me. The moon is out when I start. Everything is silent. It is just me and the open road, along with some deer that seem to cross my path. I watch the sun rise, I feel my day start. I am at peace. I know that soon my young daughters, Bailee age 4 and Lyla 2, will be waiting for me somewhere on my path with 'Go Dad Go' chants or holding a drink to help me. They help me to see that the finish line is so close; they allow me to push on through the aching feet and feeling of complete tiredness."
This weekend, Brian successfully completed his first ever marathon running 42 kilometres at Disney World on Sunday, January 10, 2010. After finishing in 4 hours, 17 seconds, his comment was, "Never again." But wife Sherry Jacklin reports that, "One hour later he said 'I could do it again and improve my time ... but maybe not until next year.'"
When Brian found out that the beneficiary of the Disney World marathon would be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society he knew he wanted to make a difference and this race was for him. He had a student pass away from leukemia, colleagues die of cancer, a student's 13-year-old daughter die of cancer last year, a father-in-law who had prostate cancer, a cousin at the age of 32 just diagnosed with testicular cancer and lung cancer and a close friend who fights the cancer battle every day although he has been given a "clean bill of physical health for now." So rather than just paying the entrance fee he decided to make a change in his world and those around him. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of children fighting the battle for their lives. He posted a note at the Central Ambulance Communication Centre and to his students of his upcoming challenge and desire to make a difference. Brian matched the cash donation from the employees of the Central Ambulance Communication Centre and he collected toys from the students and faculty. On December 21, he completed the first part of the journey by dropping the $700 worth of toys and gifts off to the hospital.
"As his wife I look forward to watching him cross that finish line at Disney," said Sherry Jacklin, coordinator of Fanshawe's Paramedic program, before the January marathon. "It's not just the accomplishment of losing 60 pounds, running such a distance, taking your body and mind to the edge, but it is growth; growth of the mind, heart and spirit. It is showing his children and friends that you can endure and much like the Grinch his heart has grown four times in size through this journey."
Congratulations, Brian, on your successful marathon!