MMRF Race for Research: Chicago 5K Walk/Run 2014
Race for Research:
Chicago 5K Walk/Run 2014
Spirit of Hope Honoree
The MMRF will honor Eli Coustan at the September 21, 2014 MMRF Race for Research: Chicago 5K Walk/Run.
Posted: August, 2014
Eli Coustan’s uncle, Brad Coustan, has been living with multiple myeloma for almost two years. Eli was motivated to get involved with the MMRF so that he could help raise awareness and funds to cure multiple myeloma to save his uncle. Eli is the co-captain of the “Bradstrong Chargers” with his grandfather, Harvey Coustan.
Brad has always drawn people to him and has a big circle of friends. He has also always been a talented athlete and very competitive. These have been the two defining characteristics of his response to his November 2012 multiple myeloma diagnosis. By regularly publishing his Bradstrong Blog, http://bradstrong.me, Brad has broadened his community of supporters and let people into the day-to-day progress, setbacks, challenges and difficult treatment choices associated with battling the disease. He also organizes an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the MMRF called Bradstrong Golfs Against Cancer.
In Brad’s blog, it is clear that he has a fierce determination to do what it takes to both keep his life as normal as possible while battling myeloma and that he will find a way to prevail. Multiple Myeloma is the opponent and Brad doesn’t intend to lose. Eli has not yet displayed Brad’s love for sports, but he has shown early signs of sharing his Uncle Brad’s determination.
Last year, when Eli was six, the Coustan Family participated in the 2013 MMRF Race for Research in Chicago. The Coustans heard about the race the night before the event via Facebook. They pulled together a team and showed up the next morning. Eli loved being part of a big group of people running and walking, having fun and helping to make a difference in the fight against cancer. He was excited about his family making a much bigger impact for this year, and started clamoring to send out a “save the date” back in March 2014.
Eli has spent countless hours over the last several months with Harvey figuring who they could invite to participate. Eli constantly asks people to join his team and come to the race – and, if they cannot attend, he follows up by asking them to donate. He created a special email account to organize his email exchanges with the MMRF and Harvey, and also so that he can track donations easily. To supplement his team’s fundraising, he and his Aunt Beth are planning a four-hour Lego fundraiser in October.
The MMRF is so grateful to Eli and the Coustan family for their unyielding support and their tireless resolve to remain optimistic and hopeful. Eli also decided on his own that he would prefer to have his friends and family donate to the MMRF rather than give him presents for his seventh birthday in August. Whenever anyone asks why he is fundraising, he always gives the same simple response, “I want to help save Uncle Brad.”