For those who are unaware of his legacy, (which is most of the FOX 29 blog community), I would like to introduce you guys to a true warrior in every respect. I would not be doing you justice if I didn’t give you the chance to learn of this man and his mission.

Jon Blais, a.k.a. Blazeman was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in May of 2005 and won the hearts of millions five months later when he became the first ALS patient to race and finish the grueling World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii while being filmed by NBC Sports. Jon’s race became more than a race. Jon’s race symbolized not only his battle with ALS but also the battles of generations before him and generations to follow. Jon knew just attempting the ironman would make a statement to his disease and to everyone watching… actually finishing the race would make a statement to the world. Well Jon finished that race. Jon finished that race with more style, class, dignity, and honor than I can even attempt to explain.

The following year, the disease had advanced to the point of forcing Jon to watch the 2006 race confined to a wheelchair. From his chair he watched and cheered his friends who were racing in his honor and who were racing to continue to raise awareness for Blazeman’s cause. And on May 27th, 2007, the triathlon community and mankind as a whole lost a true hero as Jon passed away at the age of 35. In two short years he became a powerful voice using the sport he loved to help promote awareness and raise funds to find a cure for his disease through The Blazeman Foundation.

Besides his long time passion for the sport of triathlon, Jon was also an avid mountain climber, hiker, and a gifted and insightful writer. He took his gifts into the classroom where, as a teacher, he inspired many special needs students to reach their potential and realize their dreams.

Like many others, I first learned of Jon and his cause while watching the NBC telecast of the Ironman triathlon. Although I never had the opportunity to meet Jon personally, I did have the honor and pleasure of corresponding with Jon and his support crew and family. I have since developed a fond friendship with his parents and am also proud to call myself a “Blazeman Warrior”. We can all rest assured that Jon’s efforts will continue on and thrive with the same passion and commitment that Jon intended.

Following is a message from Jon:

“Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal. This is it… your life. Face your fears and live your dreams. Take it all in. Yes, every chance you get.

And by all means, whatever you do…Get it on film”.… Jon Blais

For more information on Jon and his mission, visit and


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