When I say old, I mean old in the nicest of context. In this case, old means 20 years ago old with absolutely no relation the the actual age of the person in question. In fact, it was 20 years ago that I first met Greg Dommisse. It was summer of ’94 and I was in the midst of switching schools to James River High School for the opening year. As you can tell by the following pictures, neither of us would have been considered old in ’94 (sorry Greg!).
Greg had volunteered to be the assistant basketball coach to Chuck Collins and I’ll be honest, he looked more like a college student then a basketball coach. However, I was quick to find out that Greg had a great attitude and work ethic towards basketball, and life in general. I didn’t realize it at the time but many of the things he and Chuck taught me those two years sweating in the gym are things that still stick with me today.
For a couple of reasons, I recently reached out to Greg to see if he wanted to grab drinks and catch up. The first reason was it had been at least 10 years since we had really crossed paths other than the occasional meet up at the Monument 10k or other Richmond sporting event. The second is that I had heard through the grapevine that Greg had come across some personal challenges for himself recently. For those two reasons I reached out and we were finally able to catch up before summer vacations started in full force.
Over a few hours and a few Sierra Nevadas, Greg informed me of his recent battles with Leukemia. Greg was recently diagnosed with chronic leukemia. What I didn’t realize before I met with Greg is that chronic leukemia isn’t something that you fight with traditional measures and then you win. Chronic leukemia is one of those conditions that Greg will be fighting for a long time into the future. He will go through good times and then bad, and when the bad times arise he will have to go through traditional chemo treatments.
So the last few weeks while I have been running, I have been reminiscing of those great few years from ’94-’96 and all the time Greg sacrificed to be in the gym to help guide individuals in a game that he enjoyed. Greg’s story has kept me going over the past few weeks through the long runs and the repetitive hill workouts (Thanks TNT coaches!). As I am pounding the pavement and sweating it out this summer, please consider a tax-free donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so that we can raise money to help find a cure for chronic leukemia and all other forms of blood cancers.
This week is for you Greg. You keep up the good fight and I’ll keep on running.