Believe...Pick a stronger word than Hope...Cure.
2008 Giant Steps Award – A Hero Amongst Us(NCAS) http://grfx.cstv.com/.../sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/NSAD.pdf
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In a short time, Jon became an invaluable member of the Ironman family, opening eyes and hearts to
the seriousness of ALS. After his participation in 2005, he returned to the 2006 event in a wheelchair to
cheer on a fellow triathlete who was racing on behalf of the ALS cause.
Jon Blais passed away on May 27, 2007. He had a profound affect on everyone he met and even those
he hadn’t. From his outlook on life and the wisdom he exuded while battling ALS to his passion for
Ironman, the impact will last for a lifetime.
A HERO AMONGST US
JON “BLAZEMAN” BLAIS
Ironman Jonathan “Blazeman” Blais was and will always be known as the “Warrior Poet.”
On May 2, 2005 while teaching and finishing a master’s degree in Education, Jon was given what he
called a death sentence. He was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) more commonly
known as Lou Gehrig's disease. According to statistics, this motor neuron disease progressively and
relentlessly destroys bodies over a two to five year period. The reality is that now, 70 years after former
baseball legend "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig was walked off field at Yankee Stadium, the world has only one
FDA approved drug that clinically fails to do anything beyond extend suffering.
On October 15, 2005, Blazeman, number 179, finished the 27th annual Ford Hawaii Ironman Triathlon
Championship: 2.4 miles of ocean swimming followed by 112 miles of cycling and concluded with 26.2
miles of running through the lava fields of Kona. Having already lost movement in his hands, he was
unable to grab water bottles to hydrate. He instead used a tank with a long straw to drink from.
Prior to being diagnosed with ALS, Jon was an avid triathlete and shared his passion for triathlons with
activities such as mountain climbing and hiking. Jon applied his love for the outdoors to his profession,
teaching students with special needs. Two years after his diagnosis in May of 2005, Jon founded the
Blazeman Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and fundraising for those
battling ALS. The foundation continues to grow and has expanded this year to include Team Blazeman, a
group of athletes called "Blazeman Warriors" who have committed to raising awareness and funding a
search for a cure for ALS, so others may live.
The World Triathlon Corporation announced that all domestic Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and Iron Girl
events will reserve Jon’s race number 179 for athletes racing for a charitable cause. The race number
was made famous by Jon Blais, who made Ironman history in 2005 by becoming the first athlete with
ALS to complete the world’s toughest endurance event.
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