Twin Cities distance runners know Seigo as a fellow runner and a reliable race pacer; a fixture at local/national races and running clubs. In 2011, Seigo even broke the world record for the fastest marathon run in a mascot costume. He clocked a 4:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon while wearing a 20-pound St. Paul Saints’ Mudonna costume.
Baseball lovers and, specifically St. Paul Saints fans, know Seigo as the guy in a bedazzled white costume who has entertained them between innings with his joyful song covers for over 20 years.
This summer Seigo was set to run his 100th marathon, bringing his running and baseball communities together on the CHS Field.
Unexpected turn of events
In early March, however, Seigo’s life suddenly changed, and he is now running a marathon of a very different kind.
In January 2020, Seigo was running the Zoom! Yah! Yah! indoor marathon at St. Olaf College just a day after pacing the Polar Dash half marathon (par for the course), and had to pull out of the race due to a hip injury. For Seigo, pulling out of a race was unprecedented. In the Twin Cities distance running community, Seigo is legendary and is considered to be, simply, indestructible.
Out-of-the-ordinary physical challenges continued to plague Seigo over the next several weeks, including fatigue and shortness of breath while running. On their own, each challenging symptom seemed minor, but for Seigo, the streak was peculiar. By early March, Seigo, who has run 90 marathons, was unable to even walk 100 yards on an indoor track. It was clear he needed to see the doctor.
At the United Family Clinic, Seigo learned he was experiencing heart failure. Clinic staff immediately sent Seigo to the hospital.
Seigo stayed at United Hospital in St. Paul for eight days, with the first two nights in the intensive care unit (ICU). Seigo underwent extensive cardiovascular testing. When he was admitted, he was suffering from atrial fibrillation. In addition to the medications he was put on to control his condition, a cardioversion technique – essentially rebooting his heart – was performed to get it back into a regular rhythm.
Seigo was released from the hospital on March 12, with several medications and a life vest (defibrillator) he is required to wear 24/7 for at least three months. His heart was restored to a regular rhythm, but it is only pumping at about 50% of normal capacity. He now needs to slowly and carefully rebuild his strength.
It can be said that navigating hard things is a bit easier when you know what you are dealing with. Seigo doesn’t yet have a clear diagnosis. The doctors and specialists don’t know exactly what caused Seigo’s heart problems. What we do know is:
● Seigo has a very, very significant heart issue.
● At a time when he needs to focus on his recovery, he is facing significant medical costs.
● The running community and St. Paul Saints' fans are Seigo’s family, and he needs us to come through for him right now!
● Seigo is a legend and a fighter and if anyone can beat this, with the support of his communities, Seigo can.
What you can do
Seigo has given his support, service, enthusiasm and friendship to our running and baseball communities, and he now needs our help to make it to this new and unexpected finish line.
The most important thing you can do right now is to provide a financial contribution – in whatever amount you can – to help Seigo with immediate and significant medical bills. Seigo is self-employed with limited funds and no insurance.
We don’t know exactly what the total medical expenses will be, but what we do know is that Seigo was in the hospital for eight days, two of which were in the ICU, and that he received extensive cardiovascular testing. We are starting with a fundraising goal of $75,000 based on the initial discussions with the hospital's accounting office. We will keep the #SupportSeigo community informed if the goal needs to change.
Any amount and every single contribution will help Seigo, as well as show him our love and support. Your contributions will be used to pay for:
● Hospital stay
● Medical tests and procedures
● Cardio Specialists and other ongoing medical expenses
Seigo needs to hear from his community now! Make a donation, share this page, encourage your networks to contribute, and share your Seigo stories and pictures with #SupportSeigo.
We all love you, Seigo, and we’ve got your back!
Follow #SupportSeigo on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/supportseigo
- Bryan Tschida
- Patrick Larson
- Colleen Colburn
- Adam Herr
Fundraising team: Support Seigo (5)
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