Welcome to Operation ASHA’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon fundraiser blog! I am very excited to be kicking off this event for OpASHA, as a fun way to raise funds to support the outstanding work of Operation ASHA, and to spread the word about the amazing achievements of this organization.
So how do I, a 46 year- old desk jockey with chronically bad knees, decide to run a marathon? First, I draw inspiration from the 2 incredible founders of OpASHA, Dr. Shelly Batra and Sandeep Ahuja, who have both dedicated their lives to serving the poorest of the poor, and who, through their incredible perseverance and dedication, have overcome many obstacles in developing and implementing an effective treatment model for TB where many others have tried and failed. For me, their ceaseless efforts to serve underprivileged communities by eradicating this treatable disease are truly inspiring, and make me want to jump in and join in fighting the good fight, and share in some piece of that success!
Second, In many ways, a marathon is an apt metaphor for the fight against TB. Just as the training for a marathon is a long-term process, the fight against TB is a long-term struggle that demands perseverance. So, just as I have gone from being barely able to run 3 miles, to completing a half marathon (13.1 miles) and to now doing training runs of 15 miles, Sandeep and Shelly, and the entire OpASHA organization have worked long and hard to make the progress they have achieved, growing from one treatment center in 2006 to over 222 treatment centers today, serving 2,053 slums and villages in six Indian states and two provinces in Cambodia, with more on the way.
Third, having announced that I am running the marathon for charity, there is no way for me to back out now! Please help turn this effort into a financial success! Every $50 raised will treat one patient and save a life. There is no minimum contribution, and you can choose to sponsor per mile or in a lump sum.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you will come back to the blog, where I will provide additional updates, including thoughts on my upcoming travels to India, where I hope to visit an OpASHA treatment center in Delhi.