If ever there might be a chance to use a marathon as a metaphor for life, it would have to be the courageous journey of Adam Hyman.
From his early childhood, he’s been battling a rare disease called Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, a condition in which the body produces too much acid and can leave major organs in shambles.
For decades, Hyman fought the brave battle but finally a couple years ago his kidneys began to give out. His first love, running, suffered and the thought of running another three-hour marathon seemed impossible.
But then came a godsend in the form of Hyman’s former classmate at George Washington High School, Mike Green.
The two happened to be a match for a transplant and that’s exactly what took place last summer.
Yet did anyone think it was going to be something that easy?
No, Hyman was administered anti-rejection drugs but they took a toll as well.
He wasn’t even able to go to work at his job working with kids getting over illnesses of their own at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
Finally, just weeks ago, things took a turn for the best. The right medication was found, Hyman saw improvement and then, on Monday, he was able to return to work.
This time it looks like Hyman might be reaching the finish line to a trek which has been much longer than 26.2 miles.
“They (the doctors) were puzzled and frustrated about what was going on,’’ Hyman said. “Until we found out it was the medicine. It literally took six weeks until I had the (original) medicine out of my body.’’
The doctors went back to an old reliable drug, cyclosporine, to help with the process.
“Things are better,’’ Hyman said. “No fevers, I’m on three times a week injections to help with my immune system but if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.’’
In a perfect world, Hyman would have had the operation and been out doing everything he loves in a few weeks. That, however, is not how things have ever gone. Life has thrown him nothing but curveballs.
“It (a smooth treatment) never seems to be the case with me,’’ he said. “There always seems to be a glitch to see how much I can handle. They say they only give it to the people who can deal with it.
“So I figure they’ve given me so much (in the way of adversity), what’s a little bit more? It makes you want to achieve things more and appreciate life a lot more, for sure.’’
There have been times these past few months when things were about as bleak as they’ve been, going back to the days of having to be stuck on a dialysis machine.
“There were many times when I said to myself, ‘how much more can I take?’ Being at home, in the hospital . . .I mean, enough is enough already,’’ Hyman said. “I can only take so much.
“It was pretty frustrating.’’
As for running, he’s been training on a pretty regular basis now and no setbacks.
“I did sign up for Broad Street (10-miler in May),’’ he said. “I’m keeping that as a goal. I’m not going to run sub-one-hour (like he once did) but hopefully just finish it.’’
The former Newtown resident, who now lives in Philadelphia to be closer to CHOP, maintains strong ties with the Bucks County Roadrunners and other running friends in this area.
“They’ve all been great,’’ Hyman said. “They put up a post or put up a private message like, ‘hope you’re doing well. Hope to see you soon.’ I would like to get up there when I can.’’
Maybe Hyman ultimately will get rewarded for his persistence and patience.
“I’m getting back to normalcy,’’ he said. “I have another stab at life again and so, yeah, I want to make the best of it.’’
>Ciervo stars at Millrose Games
One of our top masters runners, Rob Ciervo, was at his best last weekend at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City.
Ciervo ran the anchor 400-meter leg of the Philadelphia Masters 50-plus team in the 4 x 400 relay event, which finished second to a team (Southwest Sprinters) that set a new indoor world record (3:37).
For Ciervo, his time of 57.63 was his best since his grad school days at Temple University.
The Philadelphia Masters 40-plus and 60-plus teams were victorious in their age groups.
The races, which formerly were held at Madison Square Garden, now call the New York Track Armory home.
Bucks County Roadrunners Winter Series Half-Marathon, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com