Saturday, March 5, 2011


Wes Leonard, 16yr old , Michigan student/athlete

As I went about my morning routine of watching ESPN yesterday, I heard another heart wrenching example of life ended all too soon.  Wes Leonard was 16yr old truly a student athlete and All American kid who had just hit the game winning shot in a basketball game and soon collapsed on the court.  He had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died on the court due to an undiagnosed enlarged heart.  In my journey through life, I’m always in search of answers to the “why” questions. I do believe god has a plan for all of us, however sometimes I struggle with the rationale behind unfortunate life ending situations.

As many of you know I went through my own challenges and fortunately I’ve come out of it all with a positive health outcome. I’m now back to coaching, swimming, biking, running and skiing. It feels amazing to be free again to live an inspired life! I feel truly blessed to be able to share passion for health, fitness, and life with others. I’m thankful, yet reminded daily about how precious life can be.

Recently, my uncle David recently went in the Dr. with a bad cold only to find out it was more serious, his health began to worsen by the day and after weeks of hospitalization, drugs and sedation he wasn’t improving. It saddens me to say he passed away this week. I realize as does my wonderful aunt Rita that he’s in a more peace place, but it again leaves me wondering “why”. He was husband, father, grandfather and cancer survivor. I don’t feel we should live our lives in bubble, although with family members diagnosed with repeated cancer battles and pulmonary distress, I often think how much should an individual be expected to perservere through in life? It truly inspires me to see the will and courage that some people display through their individual life journey.

Uncle David with his grandson Sawyer!

I now have a different perspective of life and faith relative to my own journey. I’ve always believed life is
worth living to the fullest. If you want to do something in this journey through life you should do it sooner than later in order to live life with no regret.

As most of you know the early detection of potentially life threatening heart conditions is near and dear to my heart. I'm now part Ironheart Racing Team and looking for ways to raise awareness to help prevent and protect people through early detection.

This is happening all too often, and as many of you know, this is something that I take personally as I was one of the lucky ones as they caught my heart issues last June after I began coughing up blood and feeling dizzy.  The only reason they caught my heart condition was through an echocardiogram considering I didn't have a heart murmur. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the sudden onset of an abnormal and lethal heart rhythm. SCA is the leading cause of death in the U.S., afflicting over 300,000 individuals per year (more than breast cancer and AIDS combined). SCA is also the leading cause of sudden death in exercising young athletes.

I'm trying to do something about it and I need your help. On May 21, The Ironheart Racing Team will host the Ironheart Classic, a 4 mile fun run/walk and an 8 mile run to benefit the Nick of Time Foundation.

With your help, the Nick of Time Foundation will continue to educate and assist students, parents, teachers, coaches and community leaders by providing free youth cardiac screenings, on site assessments, readiness drills and educational resources in an effort to reduce and prevent sudden cardiac arrest. Schools are responsible for a dense population of children and adults, and are frequently the site of sporting events and other community gatherings. Studies suggest that up to 1 in 25 schools will have a cardiac medical emergency on school grounds each year.

Just last week, the Nick of Time screened over 200 students at South Whidbey High School. Of those, 9 were found to need further monitoring and 2 students were identified as needing immediate follow-up due to a potential life-threatening cardiac abnormality (and are now being seen at Seattle Children's Heart Center. Similar results were seen at their screening at Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Auburn High School and numerous schools in the Seattle Public District. Bottom Line: The Nick of Time is saving lives. One of these could be that of your own child, neighbor, nephew, niece or friend.

I encourage you all to take a quick look at This will give you a snapshot as to who the Nick of Time is and why they do what they do. Because these are free screenings, they run on donations and fundraising. This is where the Ironheart Classic and Nick of Time needs your assistance.

There are a number of ways to help:

Pass the registration link and/or this email to all of your active friends, family and colleagues. We need their help also.

Can't make it, but would still like to make a contribution? There are two ways, either at  or your can donate directly through Ironheart Racing at . All donations are tax deductible.

I wish I had the answer to why young people like Wes Leonard and hundreds of other young student/athletes are taken from us all too soon, although I do feel that this is another example of why organization like Iron Heart Racing Team ( ) and Nick of Time Foundation are so important in early detection.
 Remember to enjoy the journey by maintaining your faith, positive outlook and passion for living life. I continue to learn the importance of living an inspired life and giving back by inspiring others.  The older I get the more I realize that life should be lived and not taken for granted. 


Are you living an inspired life?  Are you enjoying your journey?

Thanks for reading!


leerless said...

Thank you so much Scotty for your kind words about David. He always loved you and thought you were the salt of the earth. You were the finest example of how a life should be lived and appreciated! I am trying to live as you say and enjoy the journey of each day....even the saddest most difficult ones laid out before us. I love you much!! Aunt Rita

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

I am sorry about your uncle. I just was reading some blogs and came across yours. If you don't mind...I am going to repost or add a link from my maybe more can read. I never knew about that foundation.