Caleb’s Army – Return to racing

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Pace and Racing
Tags: , , , ,

Just this week our blog – Joe Still Runs for Dom turned two years old.  Longer than our daughter Landry has been alive.  Longer than Dom’s cancer battle, longer than a lot of things – much longer than Governor Rick Perry’s candidacy for President is sure to last.

Over the last two years we’ve run a lot of races, 37 actually, crossing finish lines from Austin to Boston, Tempe to Charleston, Denver to New York.  Pittsburgh to Wickenburg.  We’ve been fortunate to participate in some large events literally on the world stage and some smaller local events where we were running because it was the “right thing” to do.

To raise awareness and maybe even a little bit of money to help those less fortunate.  We tied our shoes just a little bit tighter in those events and thought about how lucky we were to be there just a little bit more than usual.  Like my good friend Ashley Kumlein told me the night before the Boston Marathon in 2010, I’ve tried to run those events, “Like I would never run again.”

Well our follow-up race to this year’s New York City Marathon will be the 2011 Lights of Love 5K here in Austin on December 2nd.

I will never have participated in a more important event.

Well over a year ago I received a friend request on Daily Mile (similar to a friend request you might receive on Facebook) from a local Austin runner Bea S.  We met each other through the athletes website and started to encourage each other on training runs and races.

Coincidentally my wife Dawn knew Bea through church and we were all very surprised when we connected all of the dots to realize just how small the world can be sometimes.  Bea and her family have been friends of ours ever since.

A few months ago Bea and her husband welcomed their son Caleb to Austin just a short time after we were blessed with our daughter Landry.  Already I was concerned about another man in Landry’s life, but Caleb is pretty darned cute and I figured it would only be a matter of time anyway before I was chasing boys off of our porch.


Caleb however was born with some serious health issues.  He was born with a congenital condition – imperforate anus.  He also has kidney reflux and tethered cord.  Long-term serious issues that threaten Caleb’s life and development.

Most parents will tell you that all they hope for is a happy, healthy baby – that it is truly a blessing.  Seeing the things that Caleb and his family have had to go through so early in his life have illustrated to me just how lucky those of us with healthy children truly are.  It is a remarkable gift.

Caleb and his family have been working hard to find help for him and this search led them to Cincinnati where the top rated colorectal surgery team in the world resides.  The Smith family stayed in the Ronald McDonald House where the care and support the family needed took care of all of the daily worries for things such as food, shelter, laundry – all free of charge – which allowed the family to focus solely on Caleb and getting him better so they could return home to Texas.

The Ronald McDonald House has been doing this for years and years – providing countless families the support they need at the time when they need it most.

Caleb’s family wants to give that same experience back to other families with sick children.  As Bea put it:

“It was such a blessing, in your time of greatest need to have a home away from home where they cared for you like family- every family with a sick child should have that. They helped ease the burden, comforted us and encouraged us.”

I don’t ask for help very often on the blog.  I enjoy sharing my passion for running and for life with all of you and whenever someone reaches out to me for training advice, injury help, coaching or a sounding board I am more than willing to give my time, energy or effort freely and without pause.

Today, I’m asking for your help.

I am going to be running as part of “Caleb’s Army” on December 2nd – hoping to help the Smith Family raise money for the Ronald McDonald House – the recipient charity for the Lights of Love 5K.

If you can make it out to the event to race, please do so and help make a difference for families like Caleb’s.

If you can make a small gift and help me reach my fundraising goal of $250 for the charity – thank you and god bless you.  You can click HERE to help or visit:

Landry will also be racing for her (Boy)friend Caleb on the 2nd with a fundraising goal of her own of $100.  If you would like to visit Landry’s page you can click HERE or visit:

If you can find it in your heart to help, I greatly appreciate your efforts.

On December 2nd we’ll be toeing that starting line as part of Caleb’s Army and I plan on leaving it all out there.  From Staten Island to Caleb’s race, I can’t think of a better event to return to racing.

Go Caleb!

  1. onelittlejill says:

    You do so much good for so many people Joe. In a long, long, long time from now, there will be a special spot in heaven waiting for you. Next to Dom, of course.

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Jill –

      Thanks so much! You are too kind and believe me, things like this are so very easy to do when you believe in your heart it is the right thing. I’ve set a PR at every race distance in 2011 with the exception of the 5K …. seems like I have something to run for in a few weeks 🙂

      Good luck Sunday Jill! Knock ’em Dead at the Philly Marathon!

  2. Team Smith says:

    Thank you, Joe.

    This means so much to us and to the hundreds of other families who in the midst of a challenging time, fighting for their child’s health, thank God for angels like you- strangers with a heart of gold who donate their time and money to make the Ronald McDonald House and all they do possible.

    Landry and Caleb’s first race! May they become good running buddies and we can say it started here.

    I think the kids will love seeing how fast you run! No doubt a PR will be set and who knows who you’ll inspire.

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