In memory of John Rebello
If you knew John you would have liked him
“He was a good son, a good brother, a good husband, a good father, and a good friend”
My 14 Year Life’s Purpose to remember my brother John Was a Success
Purpose + Commitment + Persistence = SUCCESS!!!
My life’s purpose over the last 14 years was to remember my brother, and best friend, John who lost his battle with kidney cancer on February 27, 1999. On May 23, 1999 [my 62nd birthday] I made 7 challenging 14 year [5/23/1999 to 12/31/2013] commitments and if I was persistent I would meet them and it would ensure the success of my life’s purpose. The 7 challenging commitments were to:
- Raise $100k for kidney cancer research in memory of my brother John by 12/31/012.
- Ensure that 100% of the donations go to kidney cancer research.
- Bring worldwide awareness about kidney cancer research.
- Finish marathons on all 7 continents by 12/31/012.
- Finish a marathon someplace in the world every year for 14 years by 12/31/012.
- Run more miles [races+training] than the circumference of the earth [24,901.5 miles] by 12/31/012.
- Drastically change my 1999 lifestyles to ensure I was physically fit & healthy to meet all of my commitments.
During the almost 14 years of running marathons around the world, I had met the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th challenging commitments that I made on May 23, 1999. Although I had met 5 of my commitments I still had to meet my 1st commitment to raise $100k for kidney cancer research and my 6th commitment to run more miles than the circumference of the earth by midnight December 31, 2012.
On December 31, 2012 at 11:00am I met my 6th commitment to run more training and race miles than the circumference of the earth [24,901.5] when I ran the final 3 miles and crossed the 24,902.5 finish line at the LaJolla, CA Cove. Meeting my commitment to run more miles than the circumference of the earth was definitely a challenge because in order for me to meet it I had to have the perseverance to overcome the pains, aggravations, and frustrations of the many injuries that I had over the last 14 years of almost daily running. Over the 14 years I believe I have had every injury that a runner could possibly have, [Achilles Tendinitis, Plantar fasciitis, Quads, Hamstrings, Shin Splints, ankle sprains, Calf’s, IT Bands, and knees] fortunately my body was able to somehow quickly heal and I was able to overcome the injuries and continue running. During the 14 years of running I would have to replace my running shoes every 400 miles because they would break down after that many miles. This meant that during the 14 years of running 24,902.5 miles I wore out over 60 pair of running shoes – as well as both of my knees.
Meeting my commitment to raise $100k by midnight on December 31, 2012 came down to the final 4 days of December. On December 28th I received a very generous donation of $5,000.00 which brought my total raised to $98,151.00. The donations just kept coming in and from the 29th to the 30th I received a total of $630.00 in donations which brought my total to $98,781.00. At 6:11pm on the 31st I received a generous donation of $500.00 – the total raised was now at $99,281.00. After 14 years I now only had 5 hours and 49 minutes left to raise the final $719.00. It now became “finger nail biting time” as I sat in front of my laptop anxiously waiting to see if I would get the final $719.00 needed to cross the $100k finish line. As I waited I thought about the wonderful 1,173 donors who over the last 14 years have donated to kidney cancer research – I never would have gotten to the final $719.00 without their support and generosity.
As the minutes slowly ticked by it looked like I would miss my commitment but then I heard the “You’ve Got mail” voice and it was a message that at 7:22 pm on December 31, 2012 I received a generous donation of $2,500.00, which brought my 14 year total raised for kidney cancer research to $101,781.00 – I had crossed the $100k finish line. It was a very emotional “Story Book” ending to my 14 year journey to 18 countries, finishing 19 marathons in 14 different countries and on 7 continents, running 24,902.5 miles, bringing worldwide awareness about kidney cancer, and raising $101,781.00 which went directly to kidney cancer research in memory of my brother, and best friend, John. I will always cherish the memories and the many wonderful people that I met during the 14 years of running marathons around the world. There were also many positive changes that took place in my life because I had the persistence to meet all of my challenging commitments. The four most important changes are:
- I am now more confident in everything I do – I now have a “can do anything” attitude
- I have greatly improved my overall health as well as managing my Type II Diabetes because of what I learned about exercise and diet over the last 14 years.
- I had the opportunity to use my 30 years of program management and new product development skills, to put in place a very worthy, honest, professional, and successful charity that had a worldwide following.
- I made a number of long-term friendships with people that I met during my travels to 18 countries.
It was an honor for me, over the last 14 years, to represent my brother John, the extended Rebello family; the dedicated doctors who are doing kidney cancer research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and most importantly the thousands of people around the world who are suffering with kidney cancer.
What’s next for me?
On November 19, 2012 I finished my “Bucket List’ for the next 10 years of my life [2013 to 2023]. The list was a continuation of my last 14 years of running and included new running challenges such as finishing my first Triathlon, finishing my first 50k race, and to continue running marathons throughout the U.S; as well as around the world. I was really looking forward to the new running challenges that I set on November 19, 2012 but because of the constant pain in my right knee it became very difficult for me to run before and during the St. Croix marathon on December 2, 2012. After I returned to San Diego from the marathon I continued to run with the constant pain so that I could reach my commitment to run more miles than the circumference of the earth and finally on December 31st I crossed the 24,902.5 mile finish line. After crossing the finish line it was very clear to me that there was something seriously wrong with my right knee and I needed to have an MRI done on my knee. On March 1st I had the MRI and was told by my Orthopaedic Surgeon that I would have to have my right knee replaced and that once the knee was replaced that I would never be able to run again. I was devastated when the doctor told me that I will never be able to run again. The daily training and the challenge of finishing marathons have been a very important part of my life and I was definitely looking forward to the new running challenges that I would be facing over the next phase of my life. Before I have the knee replaced I will have another MRI and a second opinion from another Orthopaedic Surgeon sometime in the July timeframe – at that time I will make the decision whether I will have my knee replaced. If I have the knee replaced then I will look at it as an opportunity to do other physical challenges such as doing more swimming, cycling, and finishing my first duathlon [Bike & Swim]. I will also use the time to:
- Setup a Motivational Speaking Business.
- Setup a Consulting business to work with charitable organizations.
- Setup a daily Blog.
- Continue consulting with early stage and startup companies.
- Finish the book that I am writing about my 14 year adventures.
I am now eagerly looking forward to the next exciting phase of my life and the many opportunities and challenges that I will face. You can follow me on my journey to the next exciting phase of my life by visiting my website’s blog, Twitter and Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bob Rebello “The man who ran around the world”