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Mike Illg is running for Leo Ogle
at the 2014 BOSTON MARATHON!

($1,000.00 +)
($500.00 +)
($250.00 +)
($100.00 +)
($50.00 +)
($50.00 +)

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Join me in my efforts to support Children's Tumor Foundation!

Dear Friends and Family,
Visualize with me: It is dark and cold with a thin layer snow over the undetected, sneaky ice. I am chugging along as small, steamy clouds from my warm breath greet the cold, blocking my immediate vision. I look down in vain with my head lamp to see where my feet will hit ground, careful not to slip and fall. Desperate for solid footing, I secretly hope the noise of my ice cleats will alert the unseen cranky moose up ahead on my path and will get out of the way so that I can avoid being stomped on. This is how I will be spending many winter mornings and here is why.

While I currently live in Homer, Alaska for the last 13 years; my foundation, my roots were established Lowell, Massachusetts where I was born and raised. Growing up, nearby Boston was the place to be. The history, the schools, the food, the music, the traditions, the beloved sports teams has led to many, many visits and eventually to attending my first year in college in Boston.

On April 15, 2013, a horrific act of terrorism in Boston stole lives and limbs and replaced joy and jubilation with fear and panic. The pain, grief, sadness and uncertainty physically and emotionally hurt many people individually and collectively far and near. My heart ached for those who have suffered and it seems the only solace was the very act of running. I intend to symbolically run for myself and others here during the cold and icy winters in Alaska so that I may run the 2014 Boston Marathon for an incredible cause and purpose: to raise awareness and funds for a disease called Neurofibromatosis or NF.

Specifically, I am running on behalf of an affable, 14 year old young man, Leo Ogle for the Childrens Tumor Foundation. Leo also lives in Homer, Alaska and I am friends with him and his parents. He is typical young teen but lives with constant uncertainty and pain due to NF. Neurofibromatosis can cause tumors to grow anyplace Leo has a nerve. There are 3 million nerves in our brains alone! This makes Leos body a living time bomb. It is a horrible thing to wait for news where his tumors are growing. Unfortunately Leo does have tumors and has one growing on his rib cage/spinal column and is an inch thick. As it continues to grow it will act as a tourniquet on his nerves, possible causing him loss of function and it already causes him pain. The daunting and physical pain of running 26.2 miles simply ends when I finish the race unfortunately there is no finish line in sight for those suffering from NF, unless we find a cure.

Here is the deal: there is no cure of NF but by raising funds for continuing research we are hopeful there will be a cure for Leo and others. It cost millions of dollars to test and research and I am sincerely asking for your help. Please donate to the NF Foundation. I greatly value any amount you can give (i.e. $10, or any amount you wish to contribute, per mile x 26 miles = $260) as my goal is to raise $4,000. Thank you for your support. It means a lot to me on so many levels and hopefully funds we bring in will find a cure for my buddy Leo.
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