This past Sunday, July 3rd, I read an AP story by Nancy Armour about Kevin McDowell (18 years old) and his friend Lukas Verzbicas, two talented, already accomplished, athletes who have just completed high school in Illinois. Their summer plans included Kevin preparing to race for the Bejiing junior world championships in triathlon and Lukas preparing for his middle distance running career at Univ of Oregon.
Kevin was a favorite to win the junior world championship, and Lukas has broken the 4-minute mile, in high school, one of only five to do so–ever. These boys are special.
Then, cancer dropped in to pay a visit. Kevin has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is getting chemotherapy. His friend Lukas’ new race goal? Compete at the junior world triathlon championships, for which he had also qualified, and try to win one “for Kevin.”
If that story doesn’t get you to put your best sneakers on and get out the door, I don’t know what will. Read the rest of the story’s details here.
Best of luck to Kevin for a complete and swift recovery, and to Lukas–best of luck for a swift race! You were both my inspiration when I went for an hour-long run on the trails yesterday.