Hi, My Name Is (What?) My Name Is (Who?) My Name Is Eric Guldberg.
Who Am I?
Well, as you can probably tell from the title my name is Eric.
Ann Arbor, MI is home for me!
I will be finishing up a Business Management degree this fall at Hope College, which is a little school on the west side of Michigan. I have been an avid athlete my entire life. I played football for 6 years, track for 2 years, basketball for 2 years, wrestling for a year, and lacrosse for 6 years including two in college!
If the formatting of this blog isn’t great I apologize. Still getting used to this so bare with me people. Anyway, when I’m not doing athletics I can be found fishing, hiking (of course), camping, disc golf, and working out. If it’s active you, can probably find me doing it. I wouldn’t be a 22 year old though if I didn’t love to game, and of course binge watch Netflix. Dexter has been my current obsession.
I will start NOBO on March 25, 2017.
Now that you and I are acquainted let’s get to the real question here…
Great Odin’s Raven! Why Am I Walking Over 2000 Miles!?
When I was a freshman a few years ago, I was on a plane to Texas for a series of lacrosse games over spring break. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a Senior who was reading this book called “A Walk In The Woods”. Sound familiar? I listened for a long time as he told me about what the Appalachian Trail was and the story line of the book. Once we had landed, I got on my phone and learned all I could about the A.T via Google. It was love at first site. I knew I had to do this and I knew what I had to do it for.
Let’s rewind a few months earlier.
It’s January 2014, and my father had just drove me 2 hours from Ann Arbor, MI to Holland, MI and dropped me back off at school after Christmas vacation. At this point I didn’t have a car yet so I was in that awkward hey-i’m-a-legal-adult-but-can-I-get-a-ride phase. The week went by fast and now it was Thursday. By lunchtime I was in an anxious mood. I had gotten a call from my mother explaining that my dad had a few small facial seizures that morning and that she was taking him to the doctor. I went about my day and now it was Thursday night and I was sitting in a room with a few guys, some I knew pretty well and others I didn’t. I got the call. My father had a Grand Mal seizure while on an MRI table. He was being put in a medically induced coma and was being admitted to the ICU. I had to get home, but how?! I have no ride. I told the guys what had just happened and that sat in shock. Then a split second later, Alex, a guy who lived down the hall who I didn’t know very well told me to pack a bag, we will leave in 10 minutes. My roommate jumped up and said I’m coming too! Now getting to Ann Arbor was no easy task at this time of year and especially not on this night. For those of you who have been to Michigan during the winter, you know that it snows and it snows a lot. Thanks lake effect. It’s midnight, the temp is subzero, and the snow is just pouring down heavy as can be. It’s a total white out. But wait! That’s not all! Alex’s old Explorer is rear wheel drive, and his driver side door wont latch and the window is stuck down. So we put on all of our snow gear, tied the door shut with a bungee cord, and set out. It took us almost five hours to get to St Joe Hospital in Ann Arbor. I rush into the ICU to find my dad, my hero, my superman like this…
I sat beside to him for days, barely sleeping and forgetting to eat. I sat and watched the machine breathe life into my dad’s lungs up and down, up and down, up and down. My dad lay still, almost lifeless. I cringed when I would hear somebody start to crash down the hall.
Several days and one brain biopsy later we found out. It’s a low grade Ogliodendroglioma brain tumor. Okay cancer, not what we wanted to hear, but hey at least it’s not a high grade. So, what happened next??
He went on to do several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. The tumor couldn’t be removed surgically because it was just too risky. However, the chemo and radiation was able to shrink the tumor to a manageable size. With regular checkups and maybe one more round of chemo and radiation in the future, the prognosis is pretty good. He still deals with short term memory issues and is physically limited, but he’s alive . Living. Laughing. Smiling. That’s all that matters to me.
I am hiking the A.T to raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society. Who are they? Well, feel free to check out their website, but basically they’re an awesome none profit who works to benefit brain cancer research and help those who battle brain tumors. I’ve set a very ambitious goal of $10,000 and I’d love to hit it. However, any amount of money raised helps. If you would like to donate please check out my fundraiser page.
As all of you know, hiking the Appalachian Trail costs a lot of money. Now, I am saving as much as I can, but I am also a poor college student. Also, I’ve done a lot of camping, but I don’t have any appropriate gear for a thru hike so I’m basically starting at ground zero as far a gear goes. For this reason I created a GoFundMe to help with the personal expenses. As explained on my fundraiser page, any excess money donated to my GoFundMe will get donated to the National Brain Tumor Society. If you would like to donate please visit the link below…
If you have read this whole thing, thank you for listening. Sorry, I know that was a lot, but there was a lot to be said. I hope you enjoyed this first post of mine, at least enough to read the next one. Until then, good day sir (or ma’am)…I SAID GOOD DAY.
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