Home > Uncategorized > Father’s Day Triathlon

Father’s Day Triathlon

[as seen on www.asbestos.com]

written by Tim Poztak for Abestos.com

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Larry Davis is scheduled for surgery June 27 at the University of Maryland’s Greenbaum Cancer Center — his fifth surgery since an original diagnosis of mesothelioma.

The prospect of another dreaded hospital stay left him searching for a distraction.

His daughter found just the right thing: Competing in a Father’s Day Weekend Triathlon, which includes a 14-mile bike leg, a 5-kilometer run and a 250-yard swim.

It isn’t exactly the typical activity for a mesothelioma patient, but Davis is far from typical.

He has lived much longer than expected. He has shunned many of the traditional treatments to fight his cancer, alienating some doctors along the way. He has worked tirelessly to promote mesothelioma awareness.

What’s more, his father died from the same cruel disease many years ago.

“It (the triathlon with his daughter) is a Father’s Day gift for both of us,” Davis said from his home in Pompano Beach, Florida. “It’s almost too good to be true, especially after everything I’ve put her through (since my diagnosis). It gets pretty emotional just talking about it.”

5-year Mesothelioma Survivor

Davis, 66, and daughter Courtney Davis, will be in Smithfield, North Carolina, this weekend for the triathlon. That’s almost five years after his diagnosis, which left him with little hope, especially after a first surgery almost killed him.

Mesothelioma, caused by an exposure to asbestos, usually comes with a life expectancy of six to 18 months. According to one recent study, only 7 percent of mesothelioma patients in his age group live five years after being diagnosed.

“I’m an enigma in a lot of ways,” Davis said. “This thing (mesothelioma) is like going to a casino. To win, you have to be very lucky. It’s designed for you to lose. All you’re trying to do in the fight is make the odds a little more in your favor.”

Living by Exercising Hard

Davis has been religious in his commitment to stay active, despite malignant tumors developing in the lining of his abdominal cavity.

He runs an estimated 25 miles a week. His biking has improved considerably — in part because of his participation in other mesothelioma fund-raising events — and he took 6 a.m. swimming lessons for a month just to prepare for this triathlon.

“I was a runner. I’ve always run. Swimming just isn’t my thing. I might be the only one in the race this weekend wearing water wings. I’ve become proof that a rock can swim,” he said. “The triathlon has taken my mind off the surgery, and it has forced me to become healthier and physically stronger for the surgery.”

Taking Charge of Cancer Doctors

Davis wasn’t always healthy enough for such endeavors. Two months ago he spent a week in the hospital because of complications from his mesothelioma. And the first year following his initial surgery was difficult. He checked into and out of hospitals with multiple complications.

“The health care side of this has been a nightmare,” he said. “There are too many doctors out there — some so-called authorities — who don’t really know what they’re doing, using treatments from the ’70s that just don’t work, copying someone else’s failures.”

Davis finally shunned traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments suggested by doctors and instead turned to vitamins and minerals, including fermented wheat germ and mushrooms, to build his immune system.

“I would have been dead long ago, if I had listened to some of the medical professionals and the treatments they suggested,” he said. “I’ve learned the hard way that there are some pain medications, even some anesthetics, that (do) more harm than good.”

Mesothelioma Volunteer of the Year

He credits his physical exertion – the running, walking and swimming – for some of his successes, making him stronger, both mentally and physically. He was also lucky. He still runs his own home business — Extreme Eyeware — and takes his wife sailing on his boat when he can.

He helped organize the South Florida Miles for Meso Run/Walk, which held its second annual event in February. He spends countless hours raising money for mesothelioma research and lobbies elected officials to ban the use of asbestos, along with the export and import of all asbestos products in the United States.

He will be in Washington, D.C., June 23-25 — days before his scheduled peritoneal surgery — for the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, where he will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award, along with Linda Reinstein, founder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

For now, though, he’s focused on the Father’s Day triathlon with his daughter. It was, after all, her idea.

“There is nowhere else I’d rather be on Father’s Day than with him in a triathlon,” Courtney Davis said from her home in North Carolina. “With this next surgery, we don’t know what’s around the corner for him, but he’s always been a fighter. And he’s not about to give up this fight anytime soon.”

This entry was posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 9:37 am and is filed under Alternative Mesothelioma TreatmentFloridaMesotheliomaMesothelioma DiagnosisMesothelioma TreatmentNorth Carolina. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 8, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming so I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much ….
    Asbestos Removalists Perth

    • July 8, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      Thank you. I do have to say it was written by Tim Poztak at asbestos.com and I don’t want to take credit for his work. Some of the photos are by Raymond Pheiffer Photography. But again, thank you for reading and and commenting!

  2. August 5, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    This guy has done well to stay alive for so long after diagnosis. Typically after being diagnosed with an asbestos related disease people only have months to live.

  3. September 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    It’s sad to see people suffering from asbestos disease, but on the other hand it’s good to see them getting some support from the community.

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