Archive for June, 2011

16
Jun
11

Brian Boyle Teams Up with American Red Cross and 311 for National Campaign

World Class Triathlete Brian Boyle is Out for Blood

311 lends music for Red Cross Public Service Announcements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Red Cross will feature Brian Boyle, a blood recipient and Ironman tri-athlete, in a new series of public service announcements with the soundtrack provided courtesy of music group, 311. A video public service announcement can be viewed at www.redcrossblood.org/ironheart

Brian J. Boyle of Welcome, MD, was in a near-fatal car accident in the summer of 2004, requiring 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments during many operations. Boyle lost 60 percent of his blood and died eight times during his miraculous recovery. When he emerged from a medically-induced coma, doctors predicted that he may never walk or talk again. Today, Boyle is a competitive marathoner and Ironman tri-athlete and also published a memoir of his journey back to life entitled, Iron Heart.

 “When I needed it, the American Red Cross was there with 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments that saved my life in a situation where time was of the essence,” said Boyle. “Amazing medical care and volunteer blood donors helped make my recovery possible. By giving just a little bit of their time, blood donors helped give me the chance at a lifetime. This is a great opportunity for me to give back and remind our communities of the real need for blood donations,” said Boyle.

Iron Heart public service announcements (PSAs) featuring the songs Time is Precious and Down, by 311, are now available for media outlets, including radio and television stations. The Iron Heart PSAs were created to raise awareness about blood donations and encourage people to schedule a Red Cross blood donation this Summer.

“Brian once told us that our music inspired him to do great things. We’re proud to lend our music for this special cause and to help share Brian’s message in a unique way,” said Nick Hexum of 311.

In addition to the public service announcements, Boyle continues to find success competing in marathon and triathlon events. During races and triathlons around the country, Boyle wears the Red Cross logo while competing to honor those anonymous blood donors who helped in his recovery. On June 12, 2011, Boyle competed in his first race of the 2011 season, the Eagleman Ironman 70.3 in Cambridge, Maryland. Finishing in a time of 4:38, Boyle qualified for the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship to be held in Las Vegas on September 11, 2011.

“This is a dream come true for me and a very emotional experience. Just a few years ago the goals that I set for myself included blinking, talking, and standing on my own without assistance. After going through the whole recovery process, to even finish a race like this is so meaningful, but to actually qualify for the world championship is practically beyond belief,” said Boyle.

Media contact: Mike Baisey, Communications Manager, American Red Cross
GC&P Blood Services Region:

baiseym@usa.redcross.org, 443-986-5275, 410-764-6386

15
Jun
11

2011 Eagleman Ironman70.3 Race Recap

2011 Eagleman Ironman70.3

On June 12, I participated in the 2011 Eagleman Ironman70.3, which was my third time competing in this event (2008, 2010, 2011).  It was my first race of the season and also my first race in the 25-29 age group, so the thought of qualifying wasn’t even on my mind since I was at the bottom of this new category.  The only goal that I had was to set a personal best by beating my time from last year – 5:02.  And, I told my coach, Ashley Halsey, that if I was feeling good on the bike, I would try and go after my 2:18 bike split from last year. 

For the past two times that I competed in Eagleman, I had bronchitis, so it was a confidence boost just to even start the swim without having to worry about any breathing problems.  Even though wetsuits were not allowed in the swim, I was able to get into a nice rhythm early on.  I didn’t think the currents were that bad this year going out and I was able to focus on technique and what I was going to do when I made it back to the transition area.  At the halfway point, I kept reflecting back to the moments of panic that I had last year when I had nonstop visions of wanting to drop out of the swim due to all the physical complications.  And when I was 200 yards away at the finish line, it was refreshing to really pick up the pace and then make it out of the water without severe cramping in my legs. 

Moving through the transition area and making my way onto the bike course, I felt a surge of adrenaline as I started out on the 56 miles.  The first few miles I was able to get my legs locked in and conditioned to pedal hard for the next two hours.  The great thing about this course is how flat it is, but the downfall to this is the wind.  I kept my eyes on the road and was focused on keeping my MPH over 25 for as much as I could, and at certain parts of the course I was able to get to 30 on some of the straight sections, which was an awesome feeling.  All the hours on the bike for the past few months really paid off when I made it back to the transition area in a time of 2:15. 

With all the time spent training on the bike this year, my coach really focused on getting a lot of brick workouts incorporated into my routine as well.  As soon as I got off the bike, I found my running legs pretty quick and was able to set a 7:15 mile pace, which I initially thought was a mistake because last year I was lucky to hit 9.  With all the running I’ve been doing this past year, both on the road and on the trails, I was so pleased to have made such an improvement in my speed, endurance, and form.  At the halfway point, I began to realize that if I kept this pace, I could possibly make it back to the finish with a 1:45 half-marathon split.  This became the goal and as I kept that strong pace, without fading our slowing down on the way back (something that has always happened to me in the past), I surprised myself when I crossed the line with a 1:42 run split and an overall time of 4:38:13 – qualifying me for the Ironman70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas this September. 

These endurance races like the Ironman triathlons and marathons have personally become more much than challenging athletic events, they have become a lifestyle.  What started out as a way to complete my recovery has now become a way to show my appreciation to the people who have been a part of my journey back to life.  Crossing the finish line at any event is my way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years – my parents, family, friends, coach, doctors, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, rescue workers, blood donors, triathletes, swimmers, cyclists, runners, and the list goes on and on.  

This is my fourth season competing in Ironman triathlons and I’m so lucky to have received so much encouragement and support from the multisport and running communities and to have earned a spot to be on the Timex Multisport Team.  

Just to even make it to the starting line at these races is a gift, to finish is so meaningful, but to qualify for a world championship is something that I honestly had my doubts about.  But then again, when you compete in a sport with a motto that “Anything is Possible”, it’s only right to believe in the impossible. 

To everyone who has been a part of my journey back to life, Thank You for always believing in me.  We are on this journey together and I’m so grateful for your support.  

Swim – 35:35

Bike – 2:15 (24.77 mph)

Run – 1:42 (7:51/mi)

Total – 4:38:13

07
Jun
11

5th Annual Red Cross Tiffany Circle Summit in Washington D.C.

Sharing my story at the 5th Annual Tiffany Circle Summit

Ever since I joined the American Red Cross in 2007, I have participated in many blood drives, athletic events, donor/volunteer appreciation ceremonies, and speaking engagements on behalf of the charitable organization. On June 6, I had the privileged opportunity to speak at their 5th Annual Tiffany Circle Summit in Washington D.C.

Founded in 2007, the Tiffany Circle is a society of women leaders and philanthropists from 75 different communities across the country who commit a minimum of $10,000 a year in support of Red Cross work. The summit is an opportunity for members to share their best Red Cross practices, allowing others to implement these new ideas in their communities. Tiffany Circle members have raised more than $32 million for the American Red Cross in the last five years

I had the honor to present my story with supermodel and Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet member Niki Taylor. Just like me, she was also in a very severe car crash several years ago and had a miraculous recovery. We took turns discussing the work that we do with the American Red Cross, sharing our personal stories of our emergency treatment and how we both needed many blood donations to survive during our time of need.

Brian with Niki Taylor: supermodel, Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet member, blood recipient

Also in attendance at the Summit were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Grammy-winning musician Wynonna Judd, legendary vocalist Michael W. Smith, author and Good Morning America contributing editor Lee Woodruff, whose husband, Bob, was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq for ABC News. In addition, inspired by the generosity of the American people in response to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami, Mr. Tadateru Konoe, who serves as the president of both the Japanese Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The women of the Tiffany Circle follow in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders who have helped the Red Cross serve the American public in times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training and countless other community assistance services. They personify virtues at work in the Red Cross Movement: hope, mercy, faith, charity, truth and fortitude.




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