“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
#DoItForDuncan hits the water this year! The 2018 race season was a great one in so many ways. I had a some personal bests, some incredible races and some great conversations about Duncan, Sepsis and taking nothing in life for granted.
However, the 2018 season also ended with some adversity. An ill advised decision to return to the marathon resulted in a pesky hamstring injury that just won’t go away. So 2019 is (so far) shaping up to be a run-free year. Meaning, no triathlon-ing.
But I am all about focusing on the things my body WILL allow me to do. And I can swim.
Training has already begun for a series of (at least 4) marathon swims culminating in the Welland Ultra Swim, at 15km the longest open water event in Canada.
One other small addition to the 2018 season will be the formal addition of Canadian Blood Services to the team.
In addition to spreading the word about Sepsis, I will also be talking about the importance of Canada’s blood system and recruiting as many new donors as possible.
As always, your help getting me to as many events is always appreciated!
Big thank you to everyone who made 2018 happen and here’s to an amazing 2019.
March 3, 2018:
It's been two years since the my son died.
Two years ago the word "sepsis" held little meaning and even less importance.
So few people know about sepsis, yet the simple act of knowing could save your life or the life of someone you love. Knowing to ask a doctor, "Could this be sepsis?", might be the very thin line between life and death.
Last year my quest to honour the memory of Duncan by raising awareness of sepsis and travelling to triathlon races in southern Ontario saw me racing in Milton, Guelph, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara Falls, and it was thanks to everyone who donated to help get me there. YOU!
Now I'm looking to go to even more races and have even more conversations like I had running the "Road to Hope marathon in Hamilton: "Hey, man. What's the deal with your shirt? What's sepsis?" That question led to a great chat with a fellow runner (who now knows about sepsis).
My hope is to take the tee shirt and the conversation to some new, different races like Muskoka, Goderich and Toronto.
Any money raised through the campaign will only go towards event registration, meaning I will take #DoItForDuncan to as many races as you can help me attend.
I thank you in advance.
(see more details from the 2017 campaign below)
(From the 2017 campaign)
In early 2016, my oldest child, Duncan Kennedy had been dealing with a bronchial infection for several weeks. He had visited a walk in clinic a few times and each time he was told to get a chest x-ray and return for a full diagnosis. As a busy 21 year old he simply never gave it the serious attention it deserved. By the evening of March 2, 2016, his breathing had become laboured and his coughing so acute that he began to cough up blood. It was finally enough to convince him to go to the hospital emergency room. At 2am, we received a call from the hospital asking us to come quickly. At 8am March 3, 2016 our son died at the age of 21 from sepsis.
Our world fell apart. There was a blur of family, funerals and condolences. And at the center of it all was this word 'sepsis'. A word few of us had heard before, and even fewer understood. We didn't know about this condition. We had no idea that it was the ninth-leading cause of disease related death. We quickly found out. We learned that Sepsis is the body's reaction to infection. Any type of infection in your body can cause sepsis, including infections of the lung, skin, urinary tract, abdomen (such as appendicitis), or other part of the body. An infection occurs when germs enter a person’s body and multiply, causing illness and organ and tissue damage.
With the help of Sepsis Alliance, we learned that ignorance of the condition among health care professionals and the public is contributing to the misdiagnosis of sepsis. Sepsis Alliance is dedicated to changing that by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis.
And now, so am I.
Shortly after Duncan died, to deal with grief I committed myself to the important things in my life, including keeping fit. As a long time runner and marathoner, I recommitted myself to that sport, and added swimming and cycling to my regimen.
In July of 2016 I competed in my first short course triathlon. In September of 2016 I competed in my first half-Ironman triathlon. For the uninitiated, that's a 2km swim followed by a 90km bike race and wrapping up with a 21.1km half marathon.
My goal with "Team Sepsis", is compete in as many races as possible and to raise awareness about Sepsis along the way!
Unfortunately, I chose a rather cost intensive sport. Registration for a single race can run as high as $300-$400.
This is where you come in. I am looking for corporate and personal donations of cash or donations in kind of equipment to get to those races. Money raised will go towards event registration. Travel expenses, equipment purchase and promotional displays (banners, jerseys etc.)
Please note: This is NOT a funraiser for Sepsis Alliance. I am NOT a registered charity. Charitable donation reciepts will NOT be issued.
Join Team Sepsis. Compete. Raise awareness
- Bettie Fraser
- Kevin George
- Rebecca MacDonald
- Lisa Botten
- Mike Coffin