A Little Hero Recovers from Heart Surgery to Run Like Superman


Editor’s note:
For 2-year-old Thaddeous McKenzie, the Baltimore Running Festival was just a fun day when he got to run fast with a bunch of other kids. For his mother, Jennifer McAnany, and others who formed “Team Thaddeous,” it meant a lot more.  

By Jennifer McAnany

(as told to Amy Katz)

I felt my son grip my hand tightly as he wiggled in anticipation of the race. He was restless, but only because he was excited to run in the Kids Fun Run at the Baltimore Running Festival. I looked down at him, beaming with pride. I could think only about how truly blessed I am to have a healthy child who is living life to the fullest and being a normal 2-year-old.

When I was pregnant with my son Thaddeous, I wanted the best care possible for my baby. Because of complications, I was already considered a high-risk pregnancy, so I went to see Dr. Geoffrey Rosenthal at University of Maryland Medical Center. At 20 weeks, doctors found a heart defect and diagnosed Thaddeous with Tetralogy of Fallot. In this heart defect, it is difficult for the heart to pump oxygen properly, causing the child’s lips, tongue, and fingers to turn blue from lack of oxygen. The most common treatment for TOF is usually open heart surgery, and this surgery usually must occur within the first few months of life. It was scary for me because we wouldn’t even know how bad the defect was until he was born.

The day Thaddeous was born was very nerve-racking for me. He was born at UMMC – where they were prepared to perform open heart surgery on him immediately, if he needed it. As soon as he was born, the nurses came and assessed him. I was thrilled when I learned little Thaddeous was well enough to be able to go home from the hospital with me when I was released two days later. He was monitored every couple weeks and seemed to be doing okay.

About 11 weeks later, when we went in for a genetics appointment with Dr. Julie Kaplan at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (part of the UM Medical System), she noticed that Thaddeous was looking a little blue, demonstrating one of his heart-defect symptoms. They had to immediately transport us from Upper Chesapeake hospital to the UM Medical Center in downtown Baltimore. It was a horrible weekend because his oxygen levels would drop every so often and he wasn’t scheduled to have open heart surgery until Monday morning. This is when we started calling him our little Superman because he pulled through his surgery and came out of it as our little hero.

Thaddeous McKenzie recovers after surgery. He's now a healthy 2-year-old.

Thaddeous McKenzie recovering after heart surgery at University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. 

 

The full-heart repair was a success and Thaddeous recovered fairly quickly. He was doing great. So when I heard about the Children’s Heart Program Running Team in the Baltimore Running Festival on Oct. 12, not only did I sign up to run – I signed up our little Superman. He even had his own bib number. And then several family members and friends signed up. As “Team Thaddeous,” we raised money for the program to be able to help other young patients and families.

Ready, Set, GO! The buzzer went off to signal the start.

Thaddeous ran as fast as he could, trying his hardest to keep up with the other kids and pulling me along with him. He was having a blast in his Superman shirt with his cape blowing in the wind, and I felt so glad he is still on the mend.

He will still have to have yearly check-ups for the rest of his life, but he is living life like a normal 2-year-old. He has his hiccups at times but what 2-year-old doesn’t? He walks, he plays, he kicks the ball and does everything he wants to do. The sky is the limit for him now.

As we crossed the finish line, still hand-in-hand, I once again realized how thankful I was.  He wouldn’t be able to be here running this race beside me for the Children’s Heart Program if it wasn’t for all of his doctors, nurses, and everyone who helped him get where he is today. I did the race for Thaddeous and to give back to the program that had helped us. It was like everything came full circle, and I can’t thank everyone at the University of Maryland Medical System enough.

Go to the Team Thaddeous page to see more photos of Thaddeous or to make a donation to sponsor his team’s fundraising effort.

Team Thaddeous

Team Thaddeous after running to raise money for the Children’s Heart Program and, below, with Dr. Rosenthal (third from left).

 

Group picture with Dr. Rosenthal

 

Nurses Run for their ‘Heart Kids’

By Jen Arrington, MS, RN, CPN, and Kristen Fantel, BSN, RN, CEN

On Oct. 12, 17 nurses and friends of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) will be running in the Baltimore Running Festival to raise money for the UMMC Children’s Heart Program. When people ask us why we run, there’s one easy answer. We run for patients like Brandon Kerrigan and all of the heart kids that we care for everyday.

When Brandon celebrated his 15th birthday on Aug. 16, no one had any idea that two days later he would be fighting for his life. Brandon was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, and went into cardiac arrest while being flown from Easton to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. Once Brandon was stabilized, his family was told that he would need a heart transplant. Since his arrival to the PICU, Brandon has been determined to get strong while he waits for his heart. He charms the nurses and staff with his bright smile and Nerf guns, just trying to be a normal 15-year-old, while cooped up in the hospital. You can see how charming he is in this picture of us with him at the bottom of our team page.

Brandon is only one example of a patient we are running for. We care for many cardiac patients in collaboration with the Children’s Heart Program. This program provides comprehensive cardiac care for children with a wide range of conditions — from rhythm abnormalities to childhood hypertension, from heart murmurs to serious birth defects requiring complicated heart surgery. While we care for these complex patients, they quickly become a part of our unit – we offer an encouraging smile to their parents in the hallway, we say our silent prayers. And on good days – we dodge Nerf guns as we enter the patient’s room.

The strength and resilience of these children, who battle against all odds, is simply inspiring. As nurses, we are often left with the feeling of wanting to do more. We carefully assess these patients for any changes in condition, we give medications, we advocate for their every need, and we attempt to play and create normalcy whenever we can. But we want to do more.

This is why we decided to run as part of the Children’s Heart Team. We don’t have a miracle drug and we can’t take away the heartache in the eyes of the parents of these patients. But we can run.

As with all of the patients we care for, the teamwork involved in the care of these patients is also inspiring. The team includes Nurses, Doctors, Child Life Specialists, Respiratory Therapists, OR and Cath Lab Staff, Rehabilitation Services – and many, many other people who deserve to be celebrated.

This strong team work was the inspiration for our fundraising efforts. We created a T-shirt that recognizes this team effort, and we are selling the T-shirt around the hospital in order to raise money for the Children’s Heart Program.

In addition to the shirt, we are also hosting a fundraiser at a local restaurant. Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Blue Hill Tavern in Canton. The restaurant will be donating 20% of its proceeds from the day to our cause. Schedule a lunch with your co-workers, dinner with your family, or join the PICU nurses for Happy Hour – and help an important cause.

Want to join us in our effort to do more? Contact us! Maybe today we can give back a little bit of the inspiration that we have received from these amazing children.

To make a donation: http://www.ummsfoundation.org/picuheart

Arthritis and Joint Problems Sideline NFL Pros and Weekend Warriors Alike

Robert Sterling, MD

Robert Sterling, MD

By Robert D. Sterling, MD
Associate Professor of Orthopaedics

Ouch! As you can imagine when you see a player get sacked, years on the football field can take their toll! A 2008 University of Michigan study of retired NFL players found that, compared to the general public, these former football greats have a very high rate of diagnosed arthritis. Their joints are, plain and simple, just worn out. So of the older retirees in this study, almost 25 percent have had at least one joint replacement. The vast majority have had knees replaced. Hips replacements are less common.

So as some great athletes take to the field this Super Bowl XLVI weekend, some of us former “great” athletes may be wondering if that creaky knee or aching hip needs a possible replacement. When is the right time to see a doctor about it? Listen to your body, and it will tell you: If you are experiencing pain, swelling or stiffness in one of your joints, now is a good time to get checked out.

During your evaluation, we will get a full history of your complaints and examine your joints to figure out why you are having pain. This history and physical exam is often followed by an x-ray to look at your bones. The first steps we try for treatment of arthritis usually involve exercise, weight reduction, knee braces, and medications to help your pain.

Whether you want to get back on a field or just back to playing with grandkids, diagnosis and appropriate treatment of any joint pain should be the next step in your training program.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics at 877-771-4567.

Race Bandit Turns Legit: Dozer the Dog Gets an Official Role in the 2012 Maryland Half Marathon

 A new 8-mile race-within-a-race called Dozer’s Dash has been added to the 2012 Maryland Half Marathon in honor of Dozer the Dog, a Goldendoodle who made national news after accidentally joining the runners at mile five in the 2011 Maryland Half Marathon.

Dozer passed the finish line wet and muddy during his first race, but he was sporting a newly groomed ‘do when he came to the Medical Center Thursday, Dec. 8, to kick off registration for the fourth annual Maryland Half Marathon. The race benefits the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

The actual race will be Sunday, May 6, 2012, in the Howard County community of Maple Lawn. Maple Lawn is located in the Fulton area of Howard County.

“We’re looking forward to returning to Maple Lawn, which proved to be a challenging, fun course for runners. This half marathon is designed for those who enjoy running with a purpose, since 100 percent of the net proceeds benefit the Greenebaum Cancer Center,” says Michael Greenebaum, race co-chairman. ”When we started the race in 2009, a goal was set to raise $1 million for the cancer center by 2012. To date, the event has raised close to $750,000, and we hope to realize this goal next year.”

“By introducing Dozer’s Dash and revamping our Marlene’s Mission fundraising program to allow for expanded participation, we are offering new twists that keep the race fresh for runners,” said Jon Sevel, Maryland Half Marathon co-chairman.

Dozer’s Dash will begin at the five-mile mark, where Dozer made his now-famous entrance into the race in 2011. Male and female runners having the lowest times in this leg of the half marathon will be awarded medals of honor and named Top Dog of Dozer’s Dash.

Dogs will be permitted to join Dozer at the race that morning to cheer on runners along the course – as long as they’re accompanied by an owner and on a leash. For the safety of the animals and those running in the race, however, dogs will NOT be allowed to run in the 2012 Marathon Half Marathon or Dozer’s Dash. Not even Dozer himself.

Also new this year is a more-inclusive “Marlene’s Mission” fundraising program, named in honor of Marlene Greenebaum, a two-time cancer survivor and the inspiration behind the race. Runners who raise $2,500 or more for the Greenebaum Cancer Center will be recognized as part of this elite fundraising program and receive incentives as a special thank you for their efforts.

Ever notice the race has moved to different locations in Maryland? There’s a method behind that. At the 2012 race, the County Cup will again be presented to the county executive representing the ‘home’ county of the first Maryland resident to cross the finish line. Adam Callaway, the 2011 top finisher who ran the course in 1:18:51, helped Baltimore County reclaim the Cup from Harford County in 2011. Baltimore County was the inaugural recipient in 2009.

“The Maryland Half Marathon is one of the state’s premier races, and we are honored that it will return to Howard County in May 2012. The race brought runners from around the state and elsewhere to our beautiful county, and allowed us the opportunity to showcase the Maple Lawn community. We are pleased to be part of this effort to support the great work being done at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center to fight cancer,” says Ken Ulman, the Howard County executive.

This year’s event also will feature a Kids Fun Run and Kids Zone as well as live music. The half marathon starts at 8 a.m., and the Kids Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Registration is $75 for the half-marathon and $15 for the Kids Run. The Kids Zone is free.

Race Co-Chairmen Michael Greenebaum and Jon Sevel started the Maryland Half Marathon in 2009, combining their passion for running with a desire to help the cancer center, which is named for Greenebaum’s parents, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum.

Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., the cancer center’s director, says, “We’re extremely grateful to all the runners and volunteers who make the Maryland Half Marathon so successful each year. The money that they have raised has been crucial to helping us provide outstanding care for our patients and to continue our research into new ways to fight cancer. We can’t thank them enough for their generous support.”

A number of cancer survivors and members of their families take part in the half marathon each year, along with doctors, nurses and other members of the cancer center staff. Cancer survivors give medals to all those who finish the race.

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, is ranked in the nation’s top 25 cancer centers by U.S. News and World Report. The cancer center offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types of cancer and has an active cancer research program.

For more information:

Maryland Half Marathon

Greenebaum Cancer Center

Dozer the Dog’s Facebook page

Dozer’s Fundraising page

Mitral Valve Repair Lets Marathon Runner Boogie at Son’s Wedding

By Nick Papas

I had just completed the 2011 Pittsburgh Marathon. It was not my best time. There was no personal record that day. It was a day marked by a continued struggle with a chronic heel injury.  But there was something more serious brewing in my body that day. It was a particularly strong flare-up of my mitral valve pain. I was so familiar with the pain. It had been diagnosed and studied throughout my life. I had mitral valve prolapse. 

 So, I brushed off the chest pain as I slogged through the marathon and finished.

Then a couple hours later, as the marathon and half-marathon runners of our family celebrated with extended family and supportive friends, I shared my personal marathon experience with my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Beth Ann. My tale included the throw-away detail about my old familiar chest pains. No big deal. Or so I thought.

 Beth Ann, a medical student, was not as flippant as I was about the little detail of chest pain.  She pulled out her stethoscope and diagnosed me on the spot as having mitral valve regurgitation. She strongly suggested that I see my PCP. I was stubborn and a bit incredulous. I didn’t rush.

 Eventually my heart acted up in such new and painful ways that I was compelled to go to my doctor. This set into motion the chain of events that lead me to Dr. James Gammie at UMMC.

An initial link in this chain was me doing my homework. I read the scientific papers. I consulted with knowledgeable, trusted people and friends.

 I had to make my decision: Was I, a man who loves to be active by running and biking, going to be happy taking drugs? Would I be satisfied watching my body get weaker and weaker while my heart became more and more sick?

 Ultimately, the decision was a no-brainer.

 I took action right away, partially because I concluded that it was the right thing to do and partially because my son’s wedding was just around the corner. I wanted to be healed enough to dance at my son’s wedding.

My surgery was performed at UMMC on September 6, 2011. Noah and Beth Ann were married October 8, 2011! I am happy to say I danced! I danced quite a bit! My wife, Patty (in the photo with me), and I had a great time.

 I am grateful not only to be alive but to be living. I am optimistic that with my newly repaired, healthy heart I will be able to enjoy the coming years with my family and to live these years actively. 

In the future, look for me in the 2012 Baltimore Half or Full Marathon. I’m the self-proclaimed, 52-year old, poster “child” of UMMC Mitral Valve Repairs!

 

 

Passion for Kids Leads Children’s Heart Director to Keep on Running!

By Dr. Geoffrey Rosenthal, Director, Children’s Heart Program


Running is my passion.  I haven’t skipped a day of running in four years and have been known to run even while injured, powering through a stress fracture or more recently, cracked ribs.  On most weekends, it’s not uncommon to find me running.  Ideally, I’m participating in a marathon or half marathon.

People always ask me what motivates me to run each day.  I do it for the children.  I run because I know we can do more to make life better for those touched by childhood heart disease.

When you’re running for 26 miles, you have a lot time on your hands.  There’s time to reflect and time to talk to other runners.  It’s also a great time to promote my other passion – the University of Maryland Children’s Heart Program.

I always wear my Children’s Heart Program t-shirt on race day, whether I’m at the Baltimore Marathon or the Boston Marathon.  Some of the best conversations begin with a comment about my shirt.  People share stories about how congenital heart disease has touched their lives.  It is a powerful reminder of how many people are impacted.  Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 110 infants born each year.  Congenital heart disease is also the most common cause of infant mortality from birth defects.

On October 15, 2011, I will run in the Baltimore Running Festival and proudly wear my Children’s Heart Program shirt.  But on this day, I won’t be alone.  140 runners will also be wearing the shirt to help raise awareness and funds for our program.  Our running team has members, ages 4 to 57, participating in a wide range of events, from the Kids Fun Run to the Baltimore Marathon.  They come from not only Maryland, but Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

Since last year, the University of Maryland Children’s Heart Program has grown to include a total of seven pediatric cardiologists, a cardiologist who specializes in adult congenital heart disease, and a pediatric heart surgeon.  Together, the team specializes in fetal diagnosis, management of heart rhythm problems, interventional cardiology, management of congenital heart disease in adults, pediatric cardiovascular thoracic surgery, and neonatal heart surgery.  We’re joined by specialists in nursing, quality improvement, nutrition, social work and other fields.  We’re building an expert team whose talents will help children with congenital heart disease live longer and lead more active lives.  We have set out with the goal to ensure that no child will need to leave the state of Maryland to receive needed care for heart problems.

To support the University of Maryland Children’s Heart Program Running Team, visit: www.ummsfoundation.org/pedsteam

Multiple Myeloma Patient Returns to Active Lifestyle and Raises Awareness for Cancer Research

By Bob Viti

Thurmont resident Bob Viti  is a husband, father, competitive triathlete, high school educator and soccer coach. Bob was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2007, had a stem cell transplant in March 2008, and is now on maintenance therapy. He is in complete remission and back to the active lifestyle he enjoys. Bob and friends work to raise awareness for cancer research by Bob’s doctor, Ashraf Badros, MD, a member of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

My survivor story started Aug. 6, 2007, when I was informed by my family physician I may have a blood-based cancer.

Prior to this, my symptoms began shortly after I took a fall while coaching soccer. Thinking I was just dealing with a sore back, five days later I completed an Olympic distance triathlon in Columbia, MD, and a half iron man triathlon (Eagleman) three weeks later in Cambridge, MD.  As the summer progressed the pain in my body continued to intensify to the point where I was sent for the blood work I learned of on Aug. 6.

On Aug. 7, 2007, a friend and I met an oncologist in Frederick, MD, who told us that with the data we had shared, he would bet his house that I had multiple myeloma, which has no cure.  On Aug. 14, 2007, my friend and I traveled to The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore to meet with Dr. Ashraf Badros.

He confirmed my diagnosis and I decided to follow his treatment plan, which called for a combination of Dexamethasone and Revimid.  In October, we traveled to Boston to get a second opinion at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Having gathered data, opinion and hope from them, I decided to continue with the protocol that I had already started with Dr. Badros. By December 2007, my cancer numbers had dropped drastically to the point that I was very near, if not in, a complete remission.

With that, we started preparation for a stem cell bone marrow transplant, which I had on March 31, 2008. Thirteen days later, I was released to go home to continue my recovery and was given permission to attend the 2008 Columbia Triathlon as a spectator. I am happy to report that I was a participant in the 2009 and 2010 Columbia Triathlons.  I currently train between six to 13 hours per week, and have not done any events due to other demands., which include helping to care for my father who suffered a major subdural hematoma last August and grieving the accidental death of my oldest son.

Despite these adversities that my family and I are living through, we have been blessed with an incredible amount of love and support. We try our best to find the positives that are there if we look for them, and have learned first hand the healing power that comes from giving forward.

 

Dozer the Marathon Dog Goes National!

Dozer, the loveable, race-running Goldendoodle, is becoming quite the celebrity! If you recall, Dozer is the dog who spontaneously joined more than 2,000 runners in the Maryland Half Marathon held May 15, 2011, to benefit the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC).  Dozer escaped through an invisible fence in his yard and joined the runners at mile 5 of the race.  Since then, Dozer received an official race finishers’ medal from event co-chairmen Michael Greenebaum and Jon Sevel.

The outpouring of support for Dozer has been unprecedented! His story was recently featured on ABC’s World News Tonight, which helped him raise an additional $6K for cancer research. That brings his fund raising total to just over $23K since race day!  So far, his official fundraising page has received over 280 messages, and over 650 donations. Dozer now has his own Facebook page and, since the story aired, he has gone from 3,000 to more than 15,000 Facebook fans!

The money that Dozer is raising will be used to fund two important areas of cancer research at UMGCC, a clinical trial to test a possible new treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer and research on health disparities in cancer.

Check out Dozer’s recent appearances on the Fox News Channel , WJLA-TV, and CTV News (Canadian TV) or see a complete list of his news appearances.

Lymphoma Survivor Calls Running Maryland Half Marathon “Therapeutic”

Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Ament was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma in April 2010. He did six rounds of chemotherapy (CHOP) and finished treatment at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in August 2010, under the care of Dr. Aaron Rapoport. Jeff (in green shirt and headband, right) trained and ran in the Maryland Half Marathon on May 15, 2011 with Team SubLIME, a group of runners sporting lime green shirts for lymphoma awareness. Jeff sent the following letter of thanks to the race organizing committee the day after the race.

Dear Maryland Half Marathon Team,

First of all, I want to thank you, along with everyone who volunteered their time yesterday. I have nothing but respect and admiration for all of you.

It was my first half marathon. Although tough (a lot of hills!), it was perfect from start to end. I’ve always known that the race benefits the UMGCC; however, I’m not sure I realized how important my participation was until I reached the finish line. As I approached the final turn, my family cheered me on, tears in eyes, and my kids joined me as I finished the race. It was truly therapeutic.

I needed this more than I thought. It brought a sense of closure and accomplishment. On one hand, it reminded me of what I went through last year. On the other, it reminded me that I now have a responsibility to help others, like me, realize how important these events are.

There are a lot of places that treat cancer patients, but there are none that treat them like UMGCC. I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life, but none more significant. It’s nice to know that you are in the best hands available. Thanks, Dr. Rapoport. This time last year, I had just finished my first round of chemo. Running a half marathon was incomprehensible.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing there are people like you fighting for people like me. Although my time as an active patient at UMGCC has come to an end (hopefully for good), I still have regular scans and visits. UMGCC will always be a part of me, and I look forward to next year’s race!

Thanks Again!

Jeff Ament

More Posts on the Maryland Half Marathon

Team SubLIME

Running with Dozer: Fellow Maryland Half Marathon Runners Share Their Thoughts

Dozer is a 3-year-old goldendoodle who recently achieved quite an accomplishment — he joined the more than 2,000 people running the Maryland Half Marathon on May 15, 2011. He became a last -minute entry when he escaped through an invisible fence in his yard to join the runners passing by his house, which was near mile 5 of the race. Since then, Dozer received an official race finishers’ medal and has raised more than $10,000 for cancer research at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center via his runners’ page. Dozer also has his own Facebook page, where he has already gained over 600 fans.

So what was it like to run with Dozer? Some lucky runners share their thoughts.

Kristin: “I was extremely happy to be running beside you. Thank you Dozer for supporting me during my run and supporting those who are affected by cancer. Maybe we will run together next year?”

Brian: “I saw Dozer when I was running and we became running partners for about a mile. I would sometimes look down to see how he was, and he’d look right back up at me with a big doggie smile on his face! It was great to have a four-legged running partner. It really was great having man’s best friend as a running partner. It made the mile go by so quickly that I didn’t even notice the distance.”

Natalie: “I ran with him for a couple of miles around mile 8 or so. He had a smile on his face the entire time. It seemed as if he was the happiest dog on the earth. He looked just as he looks in the video clip of him crossing the finish line.”

Linda: “Dozer, it was an honor to run the Maryland Half Marathon with you for such a great cause!”

Katherine: “I was the girl who crossed the finish line with him and encountered him several times during the race. Around mile 5 or 6 he was first spotted running along the side of the road in the opposite direction. Everyone had a good laugh at the random dog. About a mile later he was in with the pack, running alongside us.

After that I did not see Dozer for a good amount of time. It wasn’t until the end of the race when I began to sprint that I saw him. At that time we ran and crossed the finish line together. He provided entertainment for us all!”

Brian: “I was running next to this little guy for at least half a mile! I took some pics of him on my phone! It was so awesome because I would look down and this little guy would just look right back up at me like “Yeah, we’re runnin!!” He was my running buddy for a bit. He was so great!!”

Nancy: “Dozer, I saw you at mile 7 and you rock! Thanks for helping to raise money for our patients.”

Julia: “I was cheering and saw Dozer at mile 8 (where I thought he was running with someone), mile 10 (where I started to have doubts that he was running with someone) and at the finish (where he was still running, and kids were trying to catch him, at which time I knew he was a race bandit). Dozer is a natural-born runner! I’m glad he found his way home. I love Dozer!

Rhonda:” I ran alongside that dog quite a bit of the race. He was so excited to see so many humans running!”

Anonymous: “Dozer ran at least 3 or 4 miles of the race near me. His pace was a bit faster than mine. It was such a nice distraction. He truly did have a smile on his face the entire time. It must have been like doggie heaven for him. I’m pretty sure everyone knew he was a bandit, but no one cared.”

Beverly from New Mexico: “I was waiting for my daughter by the last turn at the finish line and here you came. What a great job! You look like you didn’t even break a sweat. Run Dozer run!”

Fleet Feet Cheerers and Runners: “We saw him at mile 5 and he spent some time running back and forth. We couldn’t get him to sit still to check out his collar. We were glad to see him finish, and even more glad he made it home. We also believe he ran way more than the half marathon with all that back and forth. Rock it! Maybe you could join one of our training programs next year.”

Cathy: “You go pup! I was there live at the finish and witnessed this historic event.”

Deb: “Dozer, you gave me a much needed boost of energy when you ran by me around mile 10. I was wondering where your family was and I am so happy you are home. Thanks for giving all of us runners that day something to smile about on that hilly course!”