Rob Swartz was an accomplished runner and triathlete when he was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder — a disease that led him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where he endured numerous tests and brain scans, met with neurologists, and underwent a brain biopsy. Doctors concluded that he had Chronic Microglial Encephalomyelitis, a condition he shared at that time with just six other people in the United States.
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The disease causes swelling of nerves, which then causes the body to shut down system after system. Rob went from participating in as many as 14 races in one year to being confined to a walker for three months.
Rob joins Heather in the studio to share his story. Today, he has fought his way back to the active lifestyle he and his wife have always enjoyed together; this spring he ran the River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids as well as the Charlevoix Half Marathon.
Following his diagnosis, Rob started Team Lucky Seven, a non-profit organization that enables athletes to help raise funds for research of neurological disorders. Rob and Heather talk about this organization and its role in the race Rob founded in his town of Boyne City — the Boyne City Triathlon. This race takes place over Labor Day weekend each year. Rob shares all the details of this Sunday, Sept. 4 event (sprint and Olympic distances offered … And food trucks at the finish!) A race discount code also is shared during the show for MRG listeners.
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*If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher. Clicking this link will automatically download the shows to your iTunes account. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out his work here, and if you like Michigan craft beer like me, tune into the popular Short’s Cast, a show he produces for Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Mich.

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