I can't believe the day has come, and it marks one year of my cousin Ben having open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm. Today is the day Ben and his wife Nicole are running a 26.2 mile marathon starting in Statin Island. 1 year ago on November 2, 2009, Ben was at his doctors office for a physical, when his doctor sent him for a stress test. After more testing was done , Ben was told that he needed to have heart surgery to repair his aortic aneurysm, this is the same thing that John Ritter died from. Imagine being healthy, and going for a check up and being told this? I can't imagine how his family felt. I know I was in shock. I just prayed for him that he would pull through this, and for his family, and his expecting wife. I can't imagine being a mother, wife, expecting another baby, and seeing your husband recover from this life saving surgery.
Since his surgery Ben has done so much, and come so far. Having a positive attitude has helped him through his journey .He has been training for this marathon for so long, competed in a triathlon, and he even has his surgeon , the one who saved his life running right alongside of him. Imagine that, having your cardiac surgeon running right along with you?? That is awesome, and inspiring to all. He recently found out that his primary doctor, the one who sent him for this test which diagnosed his aortic aneurysm, he is running the marathon too.
Since Ben's surgery, he has written a Memoir called "Barefoot in November", which is due out in November. He has started a website called Heartosaurus.com. Check out the amazing and inspiring post that he wrote the morning of the marathon. Click here. When I face difficulty in completing a task, or experience sadness, I just think about what my cousin has overcome in one year, and say to myself, if he can overcome open heart surgery, prepare for a marathon, compete in a triathlon, write a book, start a website, and work full time, be a husband, a father, and a friend, well, this puts things in perspective for me, and I can't tell you how very proud I am of him, and his family.
His wife Nicole is also running along side of him. Not only does he have his surgeon, but he has his best friend in life his wife right by his side. I can't tell you how proud I am of both of them, and everyone else who is running this 26.2 mile marathon. I used to be a runner back in my days, but it was only a few miles. NEVER could I ever even think of running this far, and imagine what it must do to one's body. I wish them both the best, and may the best guy or gal win! Keep hydrated guys, and I can't wait to hear all about the marathon from you guys. Ben, you have accomplished such amazing achievements, and you inspire many people, I know you inspire me greatly. When I think of what you have gone through, I cry, and Nicole, for be a great person, for being the wife and mother that you are, and such a great athlete too, I can't tell you how amazing I think you are too. I wish you both lots of luck today, and have fun at doing what you guys love to do!!