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88D Alumni Brett Reichert, now 42, is returning to the water after a 27 year break from swimming. From 1977 – 1985, Reichert was regularly featured in his local newspaper as an up-and-coming age-group swim champion. He once held state YMCA records in 3 individual events and in 1982 garnered 2 gold medals at the State championships. Reichert recalls those years, “it seems like all I did back then was swim and eat…morning and night. Mom got me to the ‘Y’ for the 6am practices 4-5 days a week; then, I’d walk to the YMCA after school for the 5-7pm practices. I think my hair was constantly bleached by chlorine. Maybe that’s why I have none today!”
By age 15, Reichert had begun focusing on other activities, but never lost his passion for swimming. That was about the same time he saw “Up With People” for the first time in his hometown, Thomasville, GA. There, sitting near the back of the auditorium, he discovered a lifelong interest in the world around him. Today, he is Associate Director of International Student Services for Clayton State University, just outside Atlanta, GA.
About a year ago, he read an amazing autobiography on the career of Dara Torres, the 41 year old mother who won 2 Silver medals at her 5th Olympic Games in 2008 after making a 3rd come-back to the sport.
“Well, I never had that kind of talent, but the story inspired me to make a difference on a level I could achieve. ” Today, Reichert reveals losing friends to Leukemia and Lymphoma and coming to understand the personal struggle of current survivors. “Blood cancers are a sinister league of indiscriminant diseases that can strike anyone”. Reichert began wondering what he could do to help. Then, his mother turned 80 and announced she was going to college with her sights set on a degree by 85! “The family was dumb-founded.” Today, at 81, she’s a making steady progress on her goal! Reichert says there was little excuse not to take on a major personal goal of his own, back in the water. “I guess endurance runs in our family!”
Reichert announces he will compete in the 2011 Rev 3 Olympic Triathlon in Knoxville, TN as a fund-raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Team-in-Training”, requiring a 1.5km swim, 40K bike ride and a 10K run, back-to-back. Training has begun. Participants commit to raise money and awareness in return for sponsorship, mentoring and logistical support by LLS. “I want to raise $100 for every birthday so far, or $4200”. This winter and spring, I’m hitting the pavement and pool in honor of the real champions, survivors of Leukemia and Lymphoma. Reichert says he’s learned a lot so far. “I’ve definitely slowed down, but hope to speed up a bit by May 15, 2011. Mostly, it’s inspiring to learn that the work of “LLS” has helped increase the 5-year general survival rate from 13% in the early 70’s to nearly 56% today”. Reichert also credits “Up With People” for helping raise his awareness of issues, needs and causes. “I was intrigued by the show, but it was the service component of UWP that had a deeper, long-lasting effect on me.” Those interested in following Reichert’s blog or contributing securely online may visit: : http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/knoxtri11/brettreichert <http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/knoxtri11/brettreichert> or http://killlltraining.blogspot.com <http://killlltraining.blogspot.com/>
Date: Nov. 15, 2010
From: Brett M. Reichert
Contact: 912-220-7512 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni news: births
92A: Stefan Nilsson and his wife Ikuko are pleased to announce the birth of their son Akira on 29 June 2010. Stefan, who lives in Tokyo, Japan since 2004, is an executive director at J.P. Morgan Chase.
99C: Helma Kranz and her husband Matthias welcomed their first son Timo Jonathan on July 28th, 2009. We are estatic and it was probably the best reason ever to miss mommies 10-year reuion... Thanks for all the well wishes!
Thank you and my regards,
Helma & Matthias Kranz