FRANK FUMICH'S LATEST CHARITY

 

#CLIMB4HOPE

#CLIMB4HOPE

CLICK HERE TO HELP THE CAUSE

The mountain climb:

 

On Jan 9th, I'll begin a 7-10 expedition to climb Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, which is the highest mountain on the continent, and my 5th of the 7 Summits (the highest mountain on all seven continents).

The charity effort:

 

 

In September of 2015, my nephew Jason was diagnosed with Leukemia and I also learned of a little boy named Jack Rollins who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Because of Jason and Jack, childhood cancer became a major focus of mine. When visiting Jason during his treatments at John's Hopkins, I saw many other younger children there and witnessed their struggle firsthand. I also came to understand how badly a hospital stay can affect these young patients mentally, making it that much harder to physically fight their illness. When I learned of my friend Len's charity called Hopecam, it seemed like a perfect fit to try and help keep these young fighters connected to their family and friends...and defeat the isolation they go through, while stuck in the hospital. So I'm hoping through my extreme climb in Antarctica, I can shine a light on this need, and help raise the funds necessary to equip 10 young cancer patients, all of whose families could not afford this cost.

Located only 660 nautical miles from the South Pole, Vinson Massif (16,067') is the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the renowned "Seven Summits." The climate on Mount Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap's high-pressure system, creating predominantly stable conditions but, as in any polar climate, snowfall and high winds are quite possible. During the "summer season", November through January, there are 24 hours of sunlight. While the average temperature during these months is about −30 degrees, windchill temps can hit -70 and colder, making conditions dangerously frigid.

 

Climbed for the first time in 1966, Vinson still sees very few visitors and remains a pristine and majestic peak. To reach this remote area of the world, we fly from Punta Arenas, Chile and land on the blue ice runway of Union Glacier. A short flight then brings us to Vinson Base Camp at the foot of the Branscomb Glacier in the Ellsworth Mountains. From here we ascend the Branscomb Glacier and climb the headwall on Vinson, setting up two camps along the way. Summit Day is one of the most spectacular of any big climb in the world: as we ascend from our High Camp, the views of the immense ice sheets which surround the Massif gradually come into view. The EXTREME cold, and low air pressure, which makes the altitude seem about 2,000 feet higher than it actually is, makes this a very challenging endeavor. The final steep push up the summit ridge is exhilarating, and finally standing atop this remote summit a climber looks for miles in all directions onto a landscape virtually untouched by humans.

PREVIOUS CHARITIES

 

#352COLDMILES4JACK

#352COLDMILES4JACK

CLICK HERE TO HELP THE CAUSE

On March 11, 2016 I'll be embarking on the toughest running race of my life The 6633 Ultra. (www.6633ultra.com). I'll be running 352 miles from Eagle Plains, Yukon in Canada, to the Arctic Ocean where the temps will be well below zero. It's considered one of the toughest and most extreme races on the planet with only about a dozen people ever to have finished. And I will be doing this to raise money and awareness for Jack Rollins.

JACK'S STORY

Since the age of 2, Jack Rollins has been bravely battling Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma Cancer. Jack also has an amplified gene, which makes an already terribly aggressive cancer, even MORE aggressive. While other healthy children his age are doing things that all kids do, Jack has been in and out of hospitals for more than half his life. Neuroblastoma is very aggressive and needs extensive and invasive treatments. He's undergone many chemo treatments, many rounds of radiation, multiple Broviac placement surgeries, multiple bone marrow aspirations, numerous blood transfusions, tons of scans, colonoscopies, many hours of surgeries, many stem cell retrievals, multiple rounds of immunotherapy treatments, a fractured leg, nerve damage resulting in permanent "drop foot", many biopsies, and too many hospital stays to count---some weeks long, and some months long at WVU Children's Hospital in West Virginia and some at Sloan-Kettering in New York. Now, poor little Jack has relapsed again, and after not responding to his latest treatment, his parents have rushed him to Helen Devos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

All this time, his loving parents have provided all the love and support they can muster. His mother, Brooke, has taken a leave of absence from working at a lab in a local hospital in order to be by Jack's side 24/7 and be his constant caregiver. His dad works out of state as a Police Captain for the Dept of Defense and has also had to take leaves from work for as much as a month at a time. But in order to maintain their insurance, he still has to be away from home for extended times. They are good, hardworking people who, while losing much of their regular income to be with Jack and care for him, must still maintain their normal bills like we all do---mortgage, car insurance, utilities, food...all the while paying for extra expenditures due to his illness like extended stays in NY during Jack's treatments there (and now Michigan), food and gas for transportation back and forth. Their insurance still doesn't cover a lot of what Jack needs on a daily basis and even their constant co-pays are placing a heavy burden on them, financially.

These folks are proud people and don't want to ask for money, and in fact, haven't. Their friends and family have tried to help them by selling t-shirts and bracelets and setting up a donation page for them. They have only asked for prayers for their little boy. So many people have been so generous with trying to help and they are so appreciative of everything. I reached out to them on my own, after learning of Ryan's story soon after I was blessed enough to being able to help raise a lot of money for another young man named Ryan Diviney. I felt the pull to now try and help Jack, and hope that others will now, also.

 

Jack's parents have had to mentally endure the torture, worry, and helplessness while trying to care for their child. They have so much to worry about, let's try and help by taking just a bit of the financial worry off their chests.

Jack is a precious little boy, and we have NOT, and will NEVER EVER GIVE UP hope! Jack has always fought this battle with bravely, determination, and strength---like a true Superhero. His beautiful smile, warm hugs, and abundance of "I love you's" actually strengthens those around him, too. His parents are good, hard working people who love and would do anything for their son. Let's help them.

#RAAM4RYAN

RAAM4RYAN

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On June 16, 2015 I will begin one of the toughest races in the world: Race Across America. RAAM is a 3,000 mile cycling race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD in 12 days or less.

And I will be doing this to raise money and awareness for Ryan Diviney.

 

Ryan was attacked and beaten in 2009 while attending West Virginia University, suffering a severe traumatic brain injury. He currently lives in a vegetative and is cared for 24/7 by his father and family. As a WVU alum myself (Phi Kappa Psi fraternity member), also Northern Virginia resident, and as a father...his tragic story struck me hard...and I decided I wanted to help!

RYAN'S STORY

Ryan Diviney is a former West Virginia University (WVU) student who now exists in a vegetative state due to a violent assault that took place during the early morning hours of November 7, 2009.

 

Ryan was born on September 21, 1989 in Reston, VA. Described by many as the “All-American Boy,” he had a passion for sports, women, and dogs.

 

As a high school student, Ryan was elected and won Homecoming Court to represent his class as an underclassman at Broad Run High School (Ashburn, VA). A gifted athlete, he played both baseball (named to the Top 50 prospects in the state of Virginia in just his sophomore year) and football. Ryan was the first in the 45-year history of the school to make the baseball All-District team three consecutive years.

 

In the fall of 2008, Ryan began attending West Virginia University on a partial academic scholarship. At the time of his injury, Ryan was a sophomore with a 3.8 grade point average. During his first semester attending, he achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was placed on the President’s List.

 

Just after 3 a.m. on November 7, 2009, Ryan and two others were walking to a convenience store adjacent to the WVU campus when they encountered a larger group. Words were exchanged, and the conversation quickly became heated. Ryan was pushed and began walking backward, hands raised, to get away. Both of Ryan’s companions were assaulted; one of them, Bryan McLhinney, was rendered unconscious, his jaw broken.

 

As Ryan backed away, some from the larger group ran him down. WVU student Jonathon May approached from Ryan’s blind side and punched him in the face, knocking him unconscious. The punch lifted Ryan off his feet and he struck his head on a raised grate when he fell, causing damage to his brain stem and frontal lobes. At this point, 19-year-old Austin Vantrease, visiting from Newark, Delaware, approached Ryan and kicked the unconscious man in the head as if he were “punting a football,” according to witness testimony. May, Vantrease and the others from the larger group then ran, hiding briefly behind a dumpster before fleeing the scene. When paramedics arrived, Ryan was bleeding from the ears and suffering seizures. His breathing was shallow, slow, and labored.

 

Much of the encounter was captured on the convenience store’s video surveillance, which showed Ryan trying to escape.

 

Ryan suffered a fractured skull, a broken jaw, and bleeding of the brain. At Ruby Memorial hospital (Morgantown, WV), Ryan’s parents, Ken and Sue, were told that Ryan’s only chance of survival involved the removal of a portion of skull, approximately one-third, to allow for brain swelling. They consented to this procedure even as a priest was summoned to administer last rites. Ryan’s chances of surviving this operation were less than 50 percent. Ryan was also given only a slight chance of surviving the next three days, as his brain continued to swell.

 

Ryan barely survived, though his life in the first year after the attack remained tenuous as he endured repeated life-threatening episodes of neurological storming (also called “brain storming”) for 12 to 18 hours a day. His core body temperature swung below 92 degrees and as high as 109.8. His heart stopped twice, and he endured nine surgeries. As he no longer blinks, his eyes have been sewn shut to prevent further damage; a procedure called Tarsorraphy. He is cared for at home, full-time, by his father in Ashburn, Virginia.

Race Across America

On June 16, 2015 I will begin one of the toughest races in the world: Race Across America.

 

RAAM is one of the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. It's seen as the pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but in the greater sporting community as well. There is no other race in the world like RAAM – it is THE world’s top endurance cycling event! RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength, sleep deprivation, and pure guts – there is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather...and no other event that tests the spirit from beginning to end.

By the numbers: The race starts in Oceanside, CA and finishes 3,000+ miles away in Annapolis, MD, crossing 12 states, and climbing over 170,000 vertical feet (4 Ascents of Everest)! RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France and racers must complete the race in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour De France. To finish within the allocated time of 12 days, riders typically ride for 20+ hours per day, covering about 250-300 miles... and sleep only a couple hours each day! RAAM is one CONTINUAL STAGE, similar to a time trial. Even when sleeping, the clock is still ticking!!! And drafting is NOT ALLOWED!!!

 

"A journey to the edge of human limits. How much can you jam into a human brain? How far can you push yourself past feelings of exhaustion? We test physical endurance with a bike race that makes the Tour de France look like child’s play."

 

I'm doing this race for Ryan Diviney and his family.

#DC2BOSTON

DC2BOSTON

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Frank was especially moved because as a runner, he knew how easily he could've been there running, and how his family could have been the ones hurt or killed. Frank was especially moved by the death of little Martin Richard, because he has young twins girls himself and couldn't imagine that kind of loss. So he decided he wanted to do something to help and make a statement...that nobody was going to scare us and stop us from doing what we love, whether it's running, or just living in a free society without worry of being attacked by people that want to kill freedoms. So he did was he does best...RUN.

 

Frank decided the next weekend, right at the time the bombs detonated the week before, he was going to start running. He would run one marathon for each for the three victims killed, back to back to back non-stop...78.6 miles. His initial goal was to raise money for the family of Marin Richard, because his sister had lost a leg, and his mother an eye...and they would surely have serious medical bills to pay.

 

Frank put out a call on social media for friends to either join him physically in person, or wherever they lived. They could run a marathon, or 10 miles, or even 1 mile...but to support and share his effort. He had a friend start a fundraising page and join his effort and began their campaign to raise funds.

 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. - Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson