Committed or Needs to Be Committed?

Committed or needs to be committed? It all depends on your point of view.

Run Tommy Run

Run Tommy Run

On August 27, 2008, Tommy Neeson will depart from Bangor, ME for a 2,300-mile run (4 Million Steps) to Miami, FL. This journey will last 75 days. Tommy will run, on average, 31 miles per day. On top of that, Tommy will not have the “luxury” of a support vehicle. Instead, Tommy will carry all his supplies in a baby jogger.

I think a lot of people would say Tommy needs to have his head checked. That’s one point of view. BUT, when you hear why he is making this epic run, you will likely think otherwise. Let me share my point of view, starting first with Tommy’s story.

Randi at 6 months

Randi at 6 months

In 1998 Tommy’s youngest daughter, Randi, was diagnosed with brain cancer a few weeks before her second birthday. Randi’s hard battle lasted 6 ½ months before it took her life. During Randi’s battle, Tommy’s wife would stay with Randi in the hospital during the week, and Tommy would stay with her on the weekend. I can only imagine how stressful things got as a separated family tried to cope with a terminally ill child.

With a couple months left to enjoy their time with Randi, the Neeson family learned that they could be together, as a family, by staying at the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. While the doctors, nurses and the medications were there to treat Randi, the Ronald McDonald House was there to treat the whole family. And, believe it or not, there were some great memories for them during that time. The Ronald McDonald House provided the opportunity for Tommy and his family to spend those remaining months as a family. Those are memories they will always be grateful for, and this is what is motivating Tommy to run 30 miles a day for weeks on end down the east coast to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

What’s my point of view? I think Tommy is COMMITTED. Committed to greatness. Committed to inspiring everyone around him to be better people. Committed to having Randi’s spirit live on.

And this is why Atayne is committed to supporting Tommy every step of the way — yes, all 4 million of them. In return for testing the rigors of a 2,300-mile run on some Atayne shirts, we will be supporting Tommy by:

  • Donating $5 to Tommy’s fundraising efforts, for every shirt we sell during the Virginia Beach Half Marathon Expo on August 29th and 30th. (Tommy and his family live in the area.)
  • Arranging for a group of runners to greet Tommy and run the last few miles into Washington, DC with him on September 19. (If anyone knows Mayor Adrian Fenty, also an avid runner, we want to invite him to join us.)
  • Promoting Tommy’s run on our website, blog, at events, and through press releases.
  • Soliciting other sponsors and helping to fulfill his wish list.

Check out Tommy’s website and consider how you might help us support Tommy. Whether it is a donation, joining our run with him into DC, organizing your own run with him, or helping to fulfill something on his wish list, I am sure Tommy will appreciate all the help he can get. And if you have an idea on how Atayne can support him further, please email me or post a comment.

To close, I want to share Tommy’s point of view, in his own words.

“There is a Chinese Proverb that goes:

‘If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.’

What are you doing for happiness? Me, I’m going for a run.”

Know a similar story to Tommy’s about someone who is committed to doing something epic to make this world a better place (and some might think needs to be committed based on the boldness of his/her vision)? We’d love to hear it!

8 responses to “Committed or Needs to Be Committed?

  1. Great blog as always Jeremy! I love what Tommy is doing and plan to fully support him with you (more on that later). What an inspiration he is to other people dealing with the loss of a loved one. A coach of mine used to say “attitude is everything” – it certainly appears that Tommy is taking his loss and using it as motivation to generate positive change. What a great journey he’s embarking on – I can only imagine how many lives he’ll touch along the way. Can’t wait to see it all play out and hopefully play a small part in helping him get where he’s going.


  2. I think this is genius and incredibly inspiring to embark on such a journey. I admire Tommy and his commitment to the cause. I got goosebumps reading your blog, Jeremy. If I could be there on September 19th, I’d be game for running into D.C. with him. How cool would that be?! Thanks for the blog, Jeremy!

  3. So I realize I just commented, but when I went to Tommy’s website and checked out his route, I saw that he’s shelterless in Wilson, NC in October. Good thing I have friends in small places 🙂 Just e-mailed an old radio colleague who happens to live there, and is an on-air DJ in Raleigh, NC, who would probably be ecstatic to house him for the evening. Hopefully it could get him some on-air publicity! Ya never know 🙂

  4. Thanks Paige! I am sure Tommy would love a bed as opposed to sleeping in the baby stroller. I think that is his plan : ) He is pretty hard core.

  5. I think we should stop by Fleet Feet in Adams Morgan on Wed with a print-out of this blog.

    And go the formal route via the mayor’s office.

  6. Jeremy, A colleague has a friend who is a running buddy w/ the mayor. I forwarded this on to him and he sent it on to his colleague. I hope it works out that Mayor Fenty joins this great effort!

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