I was fortunate to compete in my seventh Ironman distance triathlon last November in Tempe, Ariz. As has been the case for all my Ironman races, I have paired my personal athletic journey with fundraising for one of Doernbecher’s very important programs. The past three years I have raised money for the Doernbecher Pediatric Dentistry Program, which provides much-needed dental care to the children of Oregon.
Oral hygiene in children remains a huge public health problem in our country, and the program at OHSU Doernbecher is working hard to help through direct care, research and education of the next generation of pediatric dentists.
Every year, I am reminded of the dedication required to prepare yourself for the 140.6 total miles traveled in an Ironman swim, bike and run. This effort pales in comparison to the strength and determination shown by our staff, patients and parents here at DCH.
While I have many personal reasons for putting myself through this every year, the fundraising I am able to accomplish truly completes the experience for me. I am grateful to be healthy enough to compete in these amazing events, to have the support of family and friends, and to work in an amazing place like Doernbecher where I am inspired daily by those around me. To those who think an Ironman is out of reach, I will simply say life is too short to wonder if you can do something, the real fun is trying!