Cyrus Rhode, a 60-year-old Waveland man, is lacing up his running shoes to help raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The retired Oceanographer hopes to generate more than $7,500 during the St. Jude Children's Hospital Marathon.
Rhode says he's training for the run of his life, and the lives of sick children.
"I feel, right now at the age of 60, I just want to give back to the world," Rhode said.
Giving back means giving up more than 10 hours a week to log 45 miles. Rhodes has calculated that his heart will beat 30,336 times while running the marathon. A quarter for each heart beat would raise more than $75,000.
"My heart really beats for the children of St. Jude. I really want to beat catastrophic illnesses that affect children. Help them find a cure through treatment and research."
Rhodes has no personal connection to the hospital that treats children with cancer and other illnesses. He just believes in the work it does, and the 19,000 children it's treated since opening in 1962.
"In '62, the survival rate was around 25 percent. Now it's above 75 percent, so there's been a three fold increase in the survivorship of cancer."
Pledges for his run won't be the only way Rhode will raise money for St. Jude. He will also hold garage sales this Saturday and next Saturday to generate funds.
"I'm taking things in the house that are really, really good actually, a metal sculpture above the fireplace on the mantle, things that are almost new."
He says with his feet, and your donations, we can all make a difference for children with cancer.
The marathon will be held in Memphis, December 6th. The garage sales will be held at the Rhode's Waveland home at 222 Nicholson Avenue from 8 til noon. For more information about the garage sales or to make a tax deductible donation contact Cyrus Rhode at 228-467-1351.
You can also make a donation on-line by logging onto www.stjudemarathon.org, and clicking on "St. Jude Heroes". Then click on "Sponsor a Hero", and type in "Cyrus Rhode". All major credit cards are accepted.