by Frank Fumich (from Facebook)
There’s only 12 more Mondays before RAAM (Race Across America) begins. On June 16, I’ll begin a 3,000 mile bike race across the country for Ryan Diviney. Ryan was attacked and beaten to within an inch of his life [by Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May, both from Newark, Delaware] 5-plus years while attending WVU. He survived but lives in a vegetative state and needs 24/7 care by his family.
So to prepare for this race, about 6-plus days a week, I train somewhere between 2-6 hours each day… and it’s only going to increase. It’s tough to juggle that, work, and family… and each night when I stumble up to bed I’m thinking to myself “how in the hell I’m I going to bike 20 hours a days for 12 days straight, when I’m this tired now?”
It’s a scary thought really.
The doubt in my head is like a massive weight on my chest. Honestly with all I have going on now, if it wasn’t for Ryan I probably would have put this race off for a year. But I’ve committed to doing this for Ryan. I’m also trying to practice what I preach when I say “life’s too short to wait.” And if something would happen to Ryan while I put this off, I’d never forgive myself…so NOW is the time.
But when I’m having these doubts, I just remind myself what Ryan’s dad Ken Diviney and their family are going through.
No matter how exhausting, overwhelming, and time-consuming the training is, or how brutal 20+ hours a day on the bike will be during the race, the fact of the matter is that I’m incredibly blessed in life and I CHOOSE to do all this. But Ryan and his family certainly didn’t choose to be in the situation they’re in, or choose to lose their son for all intents and purposes. They didn’t choose for their son to come back from college like this. And I only have to do this for 3 more months.
Sure there will be the “next thing”, but once again it’s because I choose to do it. Ryan’s dad Ken, has a body more sore and worn down than I mine. He’s got to manhandle his fully grown 25-year-old son around ALL day, from one machine to another, clean his mouth and teeth multiple times a day, feed him, change his urine bags, give him a shower each night. Every muscle in his body is sore and exhausted everyday. This stuff isn’t a stupid race to him. He’s not doing it for the challenge or for medal at the end.
He’s doing it out of commitment and LOVE for his son.
And he can’t even look into his son’s eyes, because Ryan’s eye lids are sewn shut. Now that’s love…doing this day after day after day and seeing nothing in return. So when I drag my ass upstairs each night and start to think how the hell am I going to do this, I think about Ryan and his family. And I thank God how lucky I am. We should all be thankful because so many people have it so much worse.
A little housekeeping here… My main FirstGiving fundraising page will be created soon and then we can begin the real fundraising part for Ryan. In the mean time the t-shirt page is still up and folks can start supporting now with a t-shirt buy. We blew past the 100 t-shirt goal yesterday and THANK YOU so much for that!!!! I’ll keep it open another week but close it out before the original closing date so folks can get them, since they don’t send until the campaign is closed. But it would be awesome to hit $2,000 before I close it!! Let’s do it!!!
Here’s the t-shirt link again and please buy and/or share. Thanks so much for the support!!
Carla Liberty says
God Bless You, Frank. What an incredible thing you are doing for Ryan and the Diviney family.
Jessica Hogan McQueen via Facebook says
I love your commitment on this but worry that you will be depriving yourself of minimal levels of restorative sleep that will impair your judgement and cause serious injury. I know you are “walking in Ken’s moccasins”, but I don’t think Ken would feel better if there were now two in a hospital bed because of the @$$&!#s that sent Ryan to his. I am guessing your time off of work is self-limiting this feat and pray that somehow you can give yourself a few more days.
I will get a tee next week when I’m more “affluent.” Just paid the rent & utility bill so I’m slightly broke! I wondered how things were going with Ryan & the family. I haven’t heard in quite a while. You are always upheld in prayer inc. at our weekly Prayer Table. Know that Ryan FEELS your love. As I’ve said many times, Ken & family, we never know what someone w/a brain injury understands both on some deep, perhaps primordial level, but also what s/he hears, processes. Ryan certainly feels your love and no one would do what you do if you did not love your son more than life itself.
Frank, good luck & God bless to you. It sounds like an awesome undertaking. God be with you on your journey. Please keep us posted.
PK & Tim
Many who could, would do what you are going to do Frank. Even though we may not be physically riding with you, just know that in spirit thousands of us will be riding.
Frank,thank you for everything you have been and continue to do for Ryan and his family. You are a special person and here is the cool thing, Ryan attracts extraordinary people like you — people whose reach extends way beyond their own lives. It is people such as yourself who are willing to go that extra distance who increase and sustain the hope of the Diviney family — and you are a tremendous inspiration to the rest of us on Team Diviney. I am prayerful that your dedication and commitment to helping Ryan through this horrible ordeal caused by Vantrease and May will motivate others to help as well.
You have seen how hard Ryan works every day and all the sacrifices his family makes to give Ryan every chance possible to heal from these traumatic injuries. Ryan needs people who are willing to remain committed to seeing him through this nightmare. He is depending on his parents and beautiful sister and friends, but he also desperately needs the help of anyone who feels moved to get involved.
Every day is a painful struggle for the Diviney family and yet they press on, setting on example for all of us to never give up (as your T shirt reminds us!). The ultimate sacrifice a person can make is to lay down their life for someone they love, and this is exactly what Ken and Sue have done. I do not see how anyone can be aware of Ryan’s suffering and not feel drawn to lend a hand however possible. Our world has become a me, myself and I kind of place, but it refreshes my soul to know that when the chips are down, there are still people like you who will come forward and say, “I will help you.”
On behalf of Team Diviney, all of us thank you, and we are praying for strength, good health, encouragement and fortitude as you undertake this tremendous race for Ryan. May you always remember our gratitude and appreciation for everything you are doing. Your actions and contributions to the Diviney family will forever be in our hearts.
I thank God for you.
Paula, you captured my thoughts on this, thank you!! Well said!!
Jacqueline Reda Pontarelli via Facebook says
Love this cause…your doing a great thing!
Misty Graff Coryell via Facebook says
Got my shirt – love supporting this cause!!!!
Gail Doyle says
Like you said,once race is done ,that’s it for you ,till next one ,Ken and family’s is never over.But Team
Diviney and people like you keep Ryan relevant and will never give up hope for Ryan’s healing.
Best of luck to you and ,like Ryan, we’ll be cheering you on,Thank you again for a great post
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
I love everything about this, including the T-shirts!