John Stamler Ran the NY City Marathon Six Months After Open Heart Surgery

Raising money for www.BensFriends.org - the organization that develops and builds on line communities for people with rare diseases


On November 7, 2010, John Stamler Ran in the NY City Less than Six Months After Open Heart Surgery for BensFriends.org


After six major operations in seven years culminating with open heart surgery in May 2010, I ran in the NY City Marathon (26.2 miles) on November 7, 2010 to raise awareness for people suffering from rare diseases and to raise money for www.BensFriends.org, an international network of patient support websites for people with rare diseases. I finished the NY Marathon with a time of 3 hours 36 minutes and 50 seconds which is an improvement of my 2008 London time of 3 hours 37 minutes and 10 seconds and NY is a much tougher race with lots of elevation and rollers along the way.


I would like to thank my incredible surgeons, medical professionals and physical therapist for making this race possible and more importantly for my health. I also want to thank my amazing friends and family for all of their support throughout all of my injuries and six major operations. A special thanks to my amazing heart surgeon (Dr. Mihaljevic) and to the folks at the Cleveland Clinic and at Intuitive Surgical. I would not have been back in the gym three weeks post open heart surgery to close my Atrial Septal Defect and been able to run in the NY City Marathon less than six months post open heart surgery without their help and the support of my family and friends! 


When you have a minute, please check out this great article about me and Ben’s Friends


I am very excited about my result at the New York City Marathon but more importantly about raising money for an amazing cause, www.bensfriends.org. Some might say my story is inspirational but I would beg to differ. I am just one of the 6,000+ and growing inspirational stories associated with www.bensfriends.org and its 20+patient communities. As a result of Ben’s Friends, I continue to meet amazing and inspirational people with rare diseases. My new friends and fellow BF members, Ben Munoz in Texas and Alan Thomas in Wales, are great examples. In 2006, Ben Munoz suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage (AVM). He created an online support community (www.avmsurvivors.org ) so that he could connect with other patients. The support he received, and later, gave within that community led to the founding of Ben's Friends. In 2000, Alan was diagnosed with the rare condition, Cerebella Ataxia. Despite having this condition which impacts his coordination and requires him to be in a wheelchair the majority of the time, he does everything and keeps a positive attitude about life. Ben, Alan and the 6,000+ members of Ben’s Friends are my inspiration and I hope you will help us with a sponsorship! 


In June 2010, I got involved with Ben’s Friends because I have two rare conditions, Atrial Septal Defect (www.asdsurvivors.org) and Von Willebrand’s Disease (www.livingwithvwd.org). There are only 120 Americans with the combination of ASD and VWD, but I can connect with them via Ben’s Friends. I was diagnosed with VWD when I was six years old and with the congenital heart condition, ASD, in December 2009. There is no cure for VWD but mine is very manageable. I no longer have ASD thanks to Dr. M and the Cleveland Clinic. I want to reiterate how grateful I am for my health, my family and friends, my amazing medical team, my support network and for Ben’s Friends. Thank you.


For those who want to learn a bit more about my experience with ASD and VWD. www.bensfriends.org/stamler


Please contribute what you can and more importantly, spread the word about www.BensFriends.org and my story so that people with rare diseases know there is a place where they can find support and information.


Ben's mission for www.BensFriends.org - To ensure that everyone with a rare disease has a safe place to go everyday and connect with people like them. Ben's Friends is a network of patient communities meant to provide a supportive, social community for patients, survivors, and relatives.  Most members make the community part of their daily internet routine.  Community members are more than occasional visitors. They become members of a family. You can hear Ben’s story in 90 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/user/bensfriendsorg#p/a/...


Ben's Friends is a mission-driven organization, committed to ensuring that everyone in the world with a rare disease has a safe place to go and connect with others like them.  Currently nobody at Ben's Friends takes a salary and 100% of all proceeds are going towards creating new communities and helping members with the support that they need. Special thanks to the folks at IndieGoGo for helping organizations like Bens Friends that are not 5013c but are trying to change the world.

Team on This Campaign: