From Cancer to Breaking New Limits, Meet Brian Thomas

Have you ever heard of the celebrity Brian Thomas?  He has 1500 friends on facebook and a few hundred twitter and instagram 10641213_736890929760706_6260987468785261679_nfollowers.  He has his own foundation like all the other celebs do.  I mean 1500 friends compares to Justin Biebers 76,000,000 friends on facebook.  Wait what?  1500 to 76,000,000?   Ok I get it, Justin Bieber is a famous singer that is pretty good looking, at least that is what many women think hahah.  I think Brian is a pretty good looking guy to, but I doubt the dude can sing, but I would call him a celebrity, here’s why.  Brian is not famous, he probably doesn’t care to be famous, but he lives life like a super hero.  I would bet Brian would not care too much to get recognized himself, but he would want people to know his mission, which is a pretty amazing one.

Brian has been a runner all his life and became an educator to influence the lives of children. He has Run ten marathons, one ultra marathon, ran from MI to FL in 2002 to raise funds for a private school for children with Cerebral Palsy and 10639587_771896776218_4593598645383897447_nautism, and has run the Keys100 with his other Road Warriors Brandon and Ramiro in 2009.

He never thought his influence would lead to the next big adventure. He was asked to mentor and train two young men for the last four years to run across the United States.

Brian has been a teacher for the last Nine years. The last five have been at Okeeheelee Middle School in Florida. He is one of the founders of a boys mentoring program, The Bridge. He is also the boys track and field coach. He is a recent recipient of the Dwyer Award, an award recognizing teachers in Palm Beach County that dedicate their time and energy outside of the class room. Brian says “I am here to take that dedication to the fullest extent1932221_10205350210223551_7490795048344640782_n and to show our state, the country, and the world that there are living and breathing super heroes”

But here is the real story of why Brian is Without Limits.

Brian was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. A rapid decline in health, surgery and chemotherapy left Brian weakened, sickened and near death.  A runner since age 14 in his native state,Michigan, Brian now could barely walk to the end of his driveway. But he fought back, one step at a time, gradually to longer walks, then short runs.  “I had to learn how to walk down to the end of the driveway, then I would come in and sleep the rest of the day. It was exhausting,” Thomas said. “Then I got to the point where I could walk to the end of my street. There was a lot of walking and sleeping.”

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Thomas said it was an excruciating process.1377540_10204866540081655_5419235225815324959_n

“Sometimes I paid the price. I would walk a quarter of a mile too far, then for three or four days I couldn’t leave my chair,” he said. “It was a slow, slow process.”  “You just have to be OK that sometimes you’re not going to be OK,” Thomas said. “Sometimes you need to take a nap, and skip the run, but know you’re going to get back to it. You’re going to get back in there, because if you can’t do what you love, life is not worth living.”  “Battling cancer and being on chemo is very much a mental state. You see the people who have given up, and you see the people who have decided to fight, and it’s a conscious decision,” he said.

Thomas started immunotherapy with four 90-minute intravenous infusions of the drug ipilimumab given three weeks apart. The second drug is a capsule that he takes daily.1604526_774455014488_6949820485095705738_n

Thomas began to feel stronger on immunotherapy, and switched his training method to build up his frequency first, without the mileage and intensity. He ran every other day, gradually adding a mile or two.

In May, he had a 15-mile day. In June, Thomas completed a 31-mile race in the mountains of South Carolina wearing a shirt emblazoned “Without Limits.” “That’s when I broke free of my limitations,” he said.

Over the summer, he beat one of fastest guys on his team. In August, he ran 85 miles in 24 hours. Now he runs 60 to 90 miles a week. In June 2015, he plans to run cross-country again.

“I feel like an animal. I feel like a road warrior. I feel tougher than when I ran cross-country the first time,” he said.
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After all of this Brian Thomas isn’t one to focus on himself, his 501C3 Corporation The Road Warriors helps raise money for people that cannot afford the pricey cancer treatments through running.  This is a true story of Without Limits which is why Brian chose the Without Limits brand to signify his mission.  It was Brian’s choice to display the words WITHOUT LIMITS on the front of his Road Warriors Corp T-shirts with a picture on the back of BRIAN HIMSELF as the HULK Fighting cancer.  Without Limits is certainly proud to partner with the Road Warriors and help Brian and his mission!
“My goal is to use what I’m really good at, which is to run long, long distances, and motivate people to help others in our local area finance their live-saving treatment … It has been an adventure, and I’m all about the adventure.”

 

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