Richard Harper week 20 of 30 done!!!...

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Week 20 of 30 DONE!!! I am doing a 30/30 challenge where I run at least 30 miles per week for 30 consecutive weeks. The personal challenge wraps up the day before Memorial Day; therefore, I am dedicating each week to a military hero who we can thank for the freedoms we enjoy in this GREAT country!

Week 20 is dedicated to Jerad Gaines. Jerad is friend of mine I met while in the Air Force. We served together in the Air Force Honor Guard performing full honor military funerals in Arlington National Cemetery and then at the Pentagon in a public affairs capacity for a couple years. Jerad is still active duty with the Air Force and has continuously been recognized as one of the very best at what he does. In his current acquisition career field he was recently singled out as THE Outstanding Non-Commissioned Officer that is best at what he does for the entire Air Force Materiel Command!

What truly amazes me is that he serves in this top notch caliber while facing a potentially daunting future.

In 2008 Jerad was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP is a degenerative eye disease which gradually reduces the field of vision down to pin-holes and eventually blindness. Jerad continues to serve our country in uniform and has recently returned from being deployed to the middle-east. He heroically (that's how I see it anyway) balances his military commitment with raising a beautiful young family all while living with the realities and unknowns of this disease!

Jerad has an amazingly supportive wife and 3 beautiful kidos; 4yr old twin girls and a 1yr old boy. One of Jerad's biggest fears with this disease being hereditary is that there's a 50% chance it will be passed on to his children.

From the information I've read on this disease, it appears that science is on the brink of a cure. This is why I feel that more than ever, every little bit helps and yours could be the next dollar that funds the research to the point of a real cure!

Please help me reach my goal as I "Race to Cure Blindness” at the American Discovery Trail Marathon September 5, 2011!

Here’s a link to my fund raising site!

Thank you so much for your support!


  • Micah M.
    Micah M.

    Wow!! Keep it going Thats some great dedication

    almost 8 years ago Like

  • Monica

    2/3's of the way done Richard! That is awesome!

    almost 8 years ago Like

  • Ilona M.

    You are such an indomitable force, Richard -- and one with the kindest of hearts. I'm so happy to support the journey you're on to help your friend and all those who have to deal with this disease.

    almost 8 years ago Like

  • Avery

    You and your friend both sound like amazing men! Kudos to you both!

    almost 8 years ago Like