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Taming the Beast!

As many of you know, running has had to take the backseat in my life since May (when after Wy’east 50M) I could barely walk after months of severe back & leg pain while waiting on Veterans Affairs Healthcare approvals. Yes friends, it has taken VA 11 months to approve MRI’s for both my back/hip & leg.

As of April, I was fortunate enough to get Doctor Carolyn Clancy (Head Medical Director of the VA out of DC) involved with my healthcare team and following my healthcare progress (since being dropped by the VAHC system 3x due to “glitches” in the computer systems, this year by August). My healthcare got reinstated and I was put in contact with the Chief of Medical in Seattle, Randy Nordtmark who promised a "quick fix" and healthcare approvals on the way.

As of September, I was blessed to have gotten all of the imaging done at once due to her involvement. Since then, I have spent the last 2 months waiting to get in with my amazing spine surgeon. But when I met with him 2 weeks back, he informed me he only worked on the upper spines! So back to the drawing board I went. Not exactly sure of what I was dealing with yet, just finally KNOWING that I would be needing either steroid injections or immediate surgery, once I found a good (sports med) low back surgeon. Not the news I wanted to hear but definitely had expected as the pain has/had become so severe in almost a years’ time.

This injury, was just another sustained *& now found* due to my duties in Iraq as an Infantryman Truck Commander from 08’-09’. A little back history... In October of last year I began having issues pushed through my entire race season running for my Non Profit, Running for Combat Veterans, to help gain funds for those being forced to wait on healthcare from the Veterans Affairs.. Just like I was.

As the year progressed & I waited, I continued PT, chiro, medical massage & only did activities approved by my healthcare team to stay safe in the process. But over the months of waiting for care, my gait changed & I ended up with a deep fibula fracture & a fracture of the calcaneous (foot) halting all racing/running (May) just before the Bigfoot 200. This race was the race I planned on running to gain most of our RFCV funds for the year so I was devastated.

I have struggled with pain & therefore anxiety & depression since. Not knowing which direction to go with the Non Profit and/or how to get healthcare services for treatment faster, I have waited.. Month after month. I maintain fitness @ the gym, pool & hit the mountains 1x a week for my sanity and again, as instructed by my civilian healthcare team. I wait and pray. And have faith we will fix this damaged system in time with the corruption getting removed from the VAHC and the positive forces coming in!

Cheers to Tim Schäfermeyer and aWeSoMe wife and my running buddy, Angela for a lovely race & the opportunity to use my ONE allowed weekly mountain climb to support you, great friends & the Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC)!! The even was a wonderfully PeRFeCt event, thanks to YOU! Another HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers who spent their day working so hard to make this race a success. YOU are where it's at my friends! ❤


Blanchard 🐲Beast💥 3rd Place Female 1:34:40 . Photo Credit: David Robbb & Michelle Wrobbel @ Bow, Washington


**Please consider donating to our cause:…/cam…/running-for-combat-veterans

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