Man Fights Scleroderma with Pogo Stick
When I met James Reoumelotis, and his brother Chris, James was on his pogo stick at the Orange County Fair. I had never heard of Pogopalooza but after watching gravity defying stunts, I understood what the exitement was all about.
The atheletes and support teams of Pogoplooza, had clearly heard of scleroderma. The Emcee (Will Weiner was one of them ), was not shy about sharing what James was doing. James was going to break a world record, and he was going to do it to make a lot of noise about scleroderma.
I was amazed by James’ determination. The support of his big brother Chris didn’t surprise me, because I have a brother just like him. Someone who will drop what he’s doing to fly far from home and walk beside me calmly while inside, he is stressed to the max- worrying about my health. I felt lucky to be in the presence of such an amazing team.
James and Chris, were not alone. During the 10 hours I was there, I saw every extreme pogo athelete grab a stick and jump the track with James. All the while, the Pogopalooza Emcee made sure everyone within earshot had heard of scleroderma.
Like any patient with a chronic illness, those they love walk beside them on their journey, but enduring that journey is up to the patient alone. Like many patients, James had people beside him, but it was he, and he alone who had to endure, to cross the finish line. And cross the finish line he did, to a roar of cheers of those who walked beside him.
Last year, after 14 hours, 32 minutes and 598 laps, James broke the record for distance on a pogo stick: 23.22 miles. And yes, he is in the Guinness Book of World Records.
July 26, 2013, James will be breaking another record at Pogopalooza 10, so that scleroderma patients may endure. He is raising funds for
As a patient with scleroderma for 20 years, I am still here because of the research done, made possible because of the work by people like James, and those who walk beside him.
Donate, so that scleroderma patients may endure for remission, a stable condition and eventually, a cure. Donate, so that more patients will cross the finish line of scleroderma survival, to a roar of cheers by those who love them.