An Open Letter to Miles 2 Give

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By Tony Ferlenda, SFA CEO

Tomorrow you will complete your courageous and compelling run across the country.  Congratulations!  Your journey has been an incredible thing to witness.  And you have incredible stories to go along with that journey.  Along the way you’ve received an education, you’ve educated others, and you’ve made an impact that you may never completely understand.  You’ve said that the highlight has been the people that you’ve met.  The patients, survivors, families, doctors, nurses and strangers on the street. That’s when you really feel the impact.

You think you know, but you have no idea.

Tony and M2G
John McKay, Landon Cooper, Tony Ferlenda, and Ryan Priest

I’ve used the analogy that Miles 2 Give has been like a pebble in a pond…sending ripples of hope, awareness, inspiration and love across the country.  But the ripples in the pond eventually come to an end.  The impact sooner or later can no longer be seen or felt.  That’s where the analogy ends, because the impact that you’ve made has been far more powerful than a pebble.  You’ve seen the effect that you have had on people, but you will never know how many lives you have changed or exactly how you have changed them.  The little boy on crutches who saw you as superheroes may someday become a doctor.  The little girl undergoing chemo may someday run across the country to raise money.  And the parents who are just trying to get through the day, received just enough encouragement to work up a quick smile.  Even the people that you never had a chance to meet (and there are thousands) who followed your exploits on social media, have been changed in some small way.  Maybe they’d never heard of sarcoma.  Now they have.  Maybe they know sarcoma first hand, but felt depressed and alone.  You’ve given them hope.  And those lives that you’ve changed, they, in turn, will change others.  More ripples.

Landon and Tony running
SFA CEO Tony Ferlenda puts in some miles with Landon Cooper.

You think you know, but you have no idea.

Your mission is ultimately to raise money for sarcoma cancer research.  Every day in this country 40 people are diagnosed with sarcoma.  Every day 15 people die from it.  Sarcoma is categorized as a “rare” cancer and therefore gets very little attention and funding.   The patients who may someday benefit from the research that you help to fund probably won’t know you, or you, them.  The same can be said for their families and friends.  Of course, one medical breakthrough could lead to others.  Then the impact can be multiplied many times over.

The point is that the ripples are never ending.

We are proud and pleased to know you and work with you.  It has been our honor to be your partner on this journey from the very beginning.  And we can’t wait to see what the future brings!

SFA Staff with M2G
The SFA staff joins Miles 2 Give, Team Mathias & family, and the Green Drakkoman Foundation during M2G’s time in Virginia.

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