For a very good cause

Aaron has worked for me for the last couple of years. He is a great guy, and one of the best staff members I have had. He has been taking time off to train for the NZ Ironman which is a 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and a 42.2km run all in a single day, all within a 17 hour time limit.

Why would anyone do this?

Aaron is competing to raise money for people who have the terminal genetic lung disease, cystic fibrosis.

After the break you can read all about why Aaron is doing this. You can also download and read his diary here (600k word doc).

Most importantly you can go here and help Aaron make his target.

The causes don’t get much better than this, in my book.


Please read this following email. It is the reason why I have had to take the last 4 weeks off work to organise. It is a life-changing experience. I have worked at polling now for two and a half years! Unfortunately this next semester is my final semester at Uni, and so I will be leaving Curia at the end of this year. In the meantime, please read the following – it is my way of making a difference to people less fortunate than myself.

I am writing to you today to inform you about a challenge that I have set myself of which you can play a major part in helping me succeed. You may think I am crazy, and I probably am, but I have set myself the goal of completing one of the biggest events in New Zealand’s sporting calendar. And that is to train to successfully complete the New Zealand Ironman. The Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and a 42.2km run all in a single day, all within a 17 hour timelimit. The event day itself on the 4th March 2006 is 255 days away, to me that is not a lot of time, and no i havn’t counted, the website has an official clock counting down to the second.

Why am I doing this? There are ultimately two reasons. The first is to achieve something that I once thought was impossible. The second is that I was one of the lucky ones who recovered from a serious medical condition 5 years ago which saw me go through two very painful lung operations. It was a turning-point in my life, and I learnt a lot – I am now a different person. And by doing Ironman I want to make a difference in the lives of young New Zealander’s not as fortunate as myself, and that is people who have the terminal genetic lung disease cystic fibrosis (CF). By raising funds for CF i will gain the reward of seeing smiles put on the faces of young New Zealand’ers who will sadly, one day, lose their battle to CF. The average life expectancy of a New Zealander with CF is about 29. By raising funds for CF, it is my way for making a difference, and if it takes an Ironman to make a difference, then Ironman it is. Having suffered from a lung condition myself, I have experienced many things that someone with CF would. All funds I raise will go towards getting these young NZer’s involved in sports and other activites which will increase their fitness, improve their health, and as a result increase precious longevity.

I am lucky enough on this journey to have the support of Tracey Richardson, and I am in close contact with Tracey with this campaign of mine. Tracey herself has two children with CF, and both are at such an advanced level of their illness that there is a grim chance that they may not survive to see adulthood. Cameron, Tracey’s eldest, is already 13. Tracey therefore faces a very serious risk of losing both of her CF affected children. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for a parent to realise that one day CF is going to take their children away from them. In 2004 Tracey completed Ironman, from scratch, raising money for the charity she created Breath4CF. She is a huge inspiration. You would have seen her on TV documentaries, in magazines, and more recently on the Special K Triathlon TV advert. She is a hero, however because she needs to give more time for her family, she no longer competes in Ironman. I am therefore doing this for her, her children, and her charity to continue the hard-work that she has done in changing the lives of so many New Zealand families who battle day-to-day with the realities of CF.

How can you help? In these very early stages of my campaign, it would be most benefical if you could assist me by creating awareness of my journey and my quest to raise funds for NZ families with CF. As such I encourage you to forward this email on to your address book, and encourage people to email me so that they can be added to my mailing list. Secondly, you can direct people to my webpage which, as from last week, is up and running. On this site is more information, a training diary, and means for donations to be made. Thirdly, I encourage you to think of some fundraising ideas which I may be able to incorporate into my campaign closer to Ironman day. Fourthly, add my webpage to your favourites and check back regularly to track what progress is being made with both my training and fundraising.

I have included my first Ironman diary as an attachment for you to read. Please read it and pass it on. Until now, I have been reserved about telling people about this journey as the challenge is very daunting, and I have had to get medical checks, and get through an initial phase of base training before the goal can even feel slightly achievable. I am now ready to commit myself, and I am ready to tell people. By telling people I am further committing myself to the challenge.

I look forward to having your support along this incredible journey that I am undertaking, to complete the legend that is Ironman! Tracey is 100% behind me (as you will see by her generous donation on my webpage) and I am 100% behind her charity and this challenge.

Ka Kite Ano

Aaron Fleming
Using my Breath4CF

‘The sweetest pleasure in life is doing what other people say you cannot do’

March 4 2006 7am Taupo
Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional; The Finish Line is 226km Away! See you there!

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