Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual Run4Don will be held as a VIRTUAL 5K & 15K from September 19th-26th, 2020.
In January 2008, Don Chaffin, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or what is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Weakened by ALS, Don continued to preach at the Zion Church of Christ throughout 2008 and into 2009, delivering his final sermon from a motorized chair and aided in breathing by oxygen tanks. Even after he stepped down from the pulpit, Don refused to quit preaching continuing to deliver daily words of wisdom through his Facebook page to the hundreds who quickly began following him.
Don went on to walk the streets of Heaven on January 17th. For those of you who knew him, you understand what an amazing impact he has had on so many lives. His entire life has been dedicated to giving to others. Now it’s our turn to honor Don’s life by giving to others as he gave.
On July 4, 1939, baseball great Lou Gehrig stood before the crowd in Yankee Stadium and delivered his memorable farewell speech. Just weeks earlier, the Mayo Clinic had diagnosed Gehrig with a rare neurological disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – a disease that today embraces and honors his name and his jersey number – 4.
In his speech, Gehrig could have chosen to talk about his great athletic accomplishments. He could have been angry or selfish about the physical abilities that were being taken away from him by this crippling disease. Instead, he simply chose to talk about how lucky he was. He thanked his teammates, coaches, fans and even his opponents. He talked about his many blessings, and the strength and courage shown by his loving wife. In his darkest hour, he still proclaimed, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
Just a few days after that famous speech, another great man, Donald Chaffin, turned 1 year old. Little did anyone know the connection these two men would share more than seven decades later.
In January 2008, Donald Chaffin was also diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic with ALS. And like Gehrig, he turned the attention away from his life’s accomplishments and focused his message on how lucky and blessed his life has been.
He continues to thank his friends, his family (both physical and spiritual) and recognizes the strength and courage shown by his loving wife. In his darkest hour, he still proclaimed, “When things don’t go our way, we can feel sorry for ourselves or we can be thankful for what we have. I choose to be thankful.”
Today we recognize and pay tribute to both of these great men with the Run 4 Don.