My Lance: The Darling of ITP
My Lance: The Darling of ITP
In August I wrote a story for World Pulse titled “Lance Armstrong, where are you?” http://worldpulse.com/node/41252 This was a story of my personal journey, living with a chronic illness called ITP.
One sleepless night several weeks later, I came across an article on the PDSA website. PDSA is a non profit support organization for people living with ITP and other platelet disorders. Since my diagnosis, they have been a lifeline and invaluable source of information.
The article was about Lance Darling, a trainer and athlete who had taken on the challenge, becoming a champion for people with ITP.
It is not every day that someone you write about…walks off of the paper, out of your story and into your real life. I found my Lance!
I contacted him and he was kind enough to respond.
A few conversations later, I can tell you...he really is a Hero. He is tough but not invincible. He is a regular guy with an extraordinary heart. I’m pleased to call him my friend and proud to introduce him to my World Pulse family. I’m not sure if I will ever meet him in person but if I do...I’ll let you know if he really does have “a twinkle in his eye.”
Here is his story published in the PDSA Fall 2011 Newsletter. I hope that you enjoy and give Lance your support in his future efforts.
The Darling of ITP
By Nancy Potthast
There probably isn’t a person alive who doesn’t know the meaning of the yellow rubber bracelet with the word “LIVESTRONG” engraved on it. They’re everywhere — on wrists, in 5K goodie bags and for sale on counters ranging from sporting good stores to delis and bodegas. They represent the fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer — a mission started by one of the world’s best cyclists named Lance Armstrong whose strong will and determination appeared to make him invincible — until the day he was diagnosed with cancer.
In 2010, a personal trainer from Kansas City, Missouri, who like so many, wears a yellow “LIVESTRONG” bracelet, felt the need to do something outstanding for his 40th birthday —something that would not only mark a personal accomplishment at this milestone in his life, but that would also make a difference in the lives of others. After careful thought and organization, Personal Trainer Lance Darling trained for and completed a 24-hour nonstop workout in which he collected over $11,000 in donations in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Upon completion of his feat, Lance Darling experienced an overwhelming urge to expand this accomplishment and make it a yearly undertaking that would benefit the lives of others.
Lance trains Kansas City residents Brian Bamesberger and his teenage son, Jacob who has ITP. On several occasions, Brian shared with Lance the journey that Jacob has endured in managing his ITP. The inability to play contact sports, engage in various “normal” physical activities with his friends, and the anxieties and nightmares that developed after numerous blood draws and doctor visits intended to keep a watchful eye on Jacob’s platelet counts.
As a personal trainer and athlete (a college football player), Lance couldn’t imagine a child being told that they couldn’t play any sport that they desired. The more he thought about Jacob and his ITP and the lack of understanding and public awareness about it, the more Lance felt compelled to do his part in supporting those affected by the bleeding disorder. As he carefully formulated his goals, Lance mustered up the courage to tell Jacob’s parents about his plan. Unsure of what their reaction would be, Lance Darling approached Jacob’s parents, Brian and Kenda Bamesberger a little over a year ago with his idea to raise money and much needed awareness for PDSA and ITP.And so, the story of a motivated athlete inspired by a young boy with ITP and the determination to change lives begins.
After months of training, preparation, hard work by dedicated volunteers, and media interviews, on Friday, September 16, 2011, at 12:00 in the afternoon, Lance Darling (now wearing his “GOT PLATELETS?” purple rubber bracelet) began his 30-hour non-stop workout in which he ran 55.5 miles and lifted 26,500 reps with no sleep and just enough food and liquid to get him through the 30 hours. For the first and last hours, Jacob shadowed Lance’s workout with him and at 6:00 on Saturday evening, Jacob and Lance crossed the finish line together after their final run.
As Lance managed his mind and exerted his body, the Peak Performance team of volunteers managed the events that would collectively raise over $80,000 for PDSA and ITP. Friday evening began with the I SportPurple Kickoff Party. The event began with fine food and beverages donated by generous local establishments and a silent auction. Just before the start of the live auction, there was a surprise appearance and quick word of thanks from Lance as he ran his hourly course through the Loch Lloyd community. “This really is for ITP and one person started this. He’s right here,” said Lance as he put his arm around Jacob. “Just wait for the years ahead. I have visions and together with PDSA we will get the word out about ITP. Now I’ve gotta’ go run!” Lance said as the crowd cheered.
Supporters worked out with Lance during the over-night hours while the volunteers got some sleep to fuel them for the big day ahead. Saturday began bright and early with the 5K Fun Run that started at 8:00 am, followed by the Hole in One Contest, and concluded with a world-famous Kansas City barbecue complete with carnival games, and face painting for the kids as supporters cheered Lance and Jacob through the finish line. Appearing as though he had just begun his workout, Lance Darling addressed the crowd thanking them for their support and vowing to make next year even more jaw-dropping in an effort to raise awareness for ITP. Lance explained to the crowd the importance of getting the world to understand ITP.
When he awoke Sunday morning, after a night of well needed rest, Lance thought, “This is it! This is what I am meant to do!” Two outstanding athletes with the same first name and mission — to empower and raise awareness for those affected by a life-threatening, life-changing, and often times debilitating disease. One is widely known as the strong arm for empowering those with cancer to “LIVESTRONG.” The other, with his endearing smile and twinkle in his eye, is quickly becoming the Darling of ITP. Lance Darling, we’re delighted to have you on our team as Peak Performance and PDSA facilitate the mission to raise public awareness and empower those with ITP together!
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