Being a Boston Native it seemed one way I could help was by raising awareness and money by commiting to run the Boston Marathon. Now for some that may not seem like a big deal, for me, coming from a sport that is full exertion for 2 minutes and then you are done, it is a world away from what I am used to, but, so is A.L.S. for Kevin, so who am I to make this a big deal over the physical challenge. I started my training back in October and will be ready to go by the time the race starts.
True to his warrior spirit, Kevin is not a complainer, nor does he look for sympathy from anyone. If you don't know him, imagine a man who has devoted forty years of his life to being a world class athlete, considered to be the greatest all around martial artist in the history of sport karate:that's Kevin. Combine this with a full time career of 20 plus years being a guidance councilor and assistant principal in the New Jersey school system working every day on the front lines with children who in many cases have nothing but his guidance and support. Add on top of this, leaving his full time job each day and in the evenings since 1980 mentoring youth, teens and adults in inner city New Jersey by providing a structured martial arts education program for them through his martial arts school:that's Kevin. Now imagine with one diagnosis all of this being taken from him: that's Kevin now.
More compelling than his resume is his character. Kevin is a family man, with a beautiful wife and two fantastic children. He has always lead by example and continues to do so approaching this challenge as good as anyone could possibly expect. I am honored to call him my teammate and friend and to do whatever I can to help him continue the fight and bring awareness of Kevin's story and to shine attention on this debilitating disease.
My goal is to raise $6000 and maybe you could partner with me to help make this a reality. I have set up a this page in Kevin's name. If you would be willing to make a financial contribution to Kevin I would be grateful. 100% of the money will go directly to Kevin's family to be used to help aid his family in transitioning from having a world class athlete for a dad to someone who needs help and support for simple things we all take for granted. If you have ever felt that feeling of wanting to help but not knowing how here is an opportunity to make a real impact for someone who has done so much for others. If life finds you in a place where you are able to make a financial contribution, whatever the size, I assure you in will be well spent thoughtfully bringing ease to a person and his family who have given so much.
Back in 2010, Kevin made a decision to retire from Sport Karate after a 40 year career. Though he loved the sport and didn't want to stop competing he felt his body just wasn't responding the way it once did. Attributing this to a sign of age and injuries that hadn't healed and not wanting to anything less than his best he stepped away. None of us knew or ever would have imagined, especially Kevin, that this was the beginning of the A.L.S.
The following is what I wrote to Kevin and read the night of his retirement from competition back in 2010.
As a 15 "“year-old boy, I remember seeing you fight in Boston at Rocky DiRico's tournament. I looked at you with my mouth wide open in amazement and thought, "I hope that one day I can be that good." It happened again when I was 17 years old seeing you perform and again, I remember thinking, "I hope that one day I can be that good."
I just got off the phone hearing the news of your retirement and at 41 years old, it occurs to me that I am still thinking the same thought, "I hope that one day I can be that good" "“ but, of course, I know now that is impossible.
What a privilege it has been to watch you compete for the 28 years I have been in martial arts. What an honor it has been to have you as a teammate and friend. You are by far one of the greatest, most positive martial arts influences in my life and in the life of our team, Team Paul Mitchell. When God made you, he broke the mold, or, knowing you, you probably broke it yourself.
I feel a great sadness in knowing that a four decade era is coming to a close and my students who start in the future will only be treated to the stories and will not have the chance that I did to see you compete. There has never been and never will be another Kevin Thompson,:The Total Package."
I feel grateful that I have had the chance to share some of the journey with you as a teammate. Thank you for your example to me of what an honorable Martial Arts Warrior is! I feel blessed to have you as a mentor, teammate and friend for life.
DonationsSee top donations
- Chris Colombo
- Brandon Kersey
- Clarence Thomas
- Andreas Riem
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more