In Honor Of Eli Gradon

Joe Cohn

Member of Team eli - $72,804
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Eli Chilling WIth The Crowd - Me Miss You

Any organization that helps families going through cancer and other terminal sickness deserves our attention. I decided to play in this tournament with the hopes that some people out there find out a bit more about what RCCS does to help these families. I am not a fundraiser and want to help bring attention to RCCS and let you decide what you want to do to help. I am not asking you to pay for my tournament I am asking you to read a bit about what I have to write and do what you want to do with it.

If you ever had a medical bill small or large and tried figuring out what they bill was for the amount on the bill and called your insurance company, you probably got a big headache and wasted at least an hour. If you ever tried avoiding that before having the smallest of procedures by calling your insurance company and doctor first you probably got a headache wasted your time and still got a bill that confused you.

Imagine going through that with a huge multiplier while caring for a family member who is going through cancer treatment, or just trying to figure out where and which treatments to go through. Hopefully you will never have to.

The above is one of the few headaches RCCS helps with.  

I only heard of RCCS last year when I was asked to put together a hockey team for the tournament. Honestly, I was not going to do it until I heard that they are good people from a friend of mine who they helped. Right there I decided I am going to get involved to honor King Eli who was truly one of the coolest kids.

Eli was introduced to me in person in January of 2014. I had been training for the Miami half marathon for about two months, where the plan was to push the King in a wheelchair.  I figured I would make make Eli feel good and a part of something he couldn't actively participate in. But the exact opposite happened. Eli was there entertaining everyone around him. He was physically sick, but you could see the deep fight in him. The entire Saturday he was telling me how we are going to kick butt in the pushed wheelchair division and was in great spirits. He would go from person to person and talk for hours in the most entertaining way. He was mature way beyond his years and just someone everyone wanted to be around, child or adult.

Sunday morning, we got to the starting line of the Marathon and Eli says let's go we much break the two hour mark. We stopped at mile one for a bathroom break but then he would not let me stop the rest of the way, He high fived anyone and everyone. He made every single runner out there feel like a million bucks by yelling encouragement and rooting for them as loud as he could.

I remember crossing the finish line in just under two hours and Eli telling me how well we did. I knew how weak he felt, but his will to fight and the ability to enjoy the moment was unbelievable to witness.

To this day any time I want to give up, I just think of Eli and his will to fight. The fight he fought with a constant smile. I promise you this – we will be skating and backchecking just as hard in game 6 of the tournament as we were in game one and its not because of me, but because of Eli.

I know Eli will be right there with me, encouraging us on the ice.

RCCS really is that quiet kid that helps everyone without much fanfare. Doing what they are doing is not always seen, but is essential in helping those fighting serious illnesses in our community. We need to help them. Please go check them out and do what you can to get involved.

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