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Operation Run For Their Lives – 9/11 Campaign 2020

September 11 @ 9:11 am - 6:22 pm

Help us stop Veteran and First Responder suicides!
(Accepting Pledges and Donations through 18 Sep)
My name is Dustin Canestorp and I’m a Marine Corps combat Veteran that suffers from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and survivor’s guilt. There have been stretches of my life where a day didn’t go by that I didn’t think of killing myself. I discovered ultra running in an effort to discover new coping skills to deal with my demons and helped establish the Bravo Alpha Initiative, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit.
My introduction to running goes back to my childhood, was normal everyday life while serving in the Marine Corps, but it wasn’t until my post military career when running became a calling for a higher purpose… to save my life.
I was at Raleigh Brewing Company (RBC) in Raleigh, North Carolina on 11 September 2019. I found myself lacing up my running shoes and started running on a treadmill at 9:11 AM for the next 9 hours and 11 minutes. I ultimately completed 44 miles. This year, on the same date, at the same start time, for the same duration, I will find myself across the street from RBC at Meredith College. I won’t be running but supporting a fellow ultra runner who is the daughter of two Veterans and her name is Rachel Zeilbor. She will start running ovals on Meredith College’s track the morning of 11 September. Her objective, to surpass me.
Rachel has not run a race longer than 31 miles and she will be attempting her longest run distance to date. To be honest, I think this fearless runner can do it. I believe she can complete more miles then what I did last year and I’m asking you to pledge any amount you can. Raleigh Brewing Company will be webcasting it live through their Facebook page so you can follow along. You can also stop by their location day of the event after she has completed her run at 6:22 PM. Join us as we hoist a pint of beer in celebration and meet this unpretentious woman.
Additionally, please show your support by recording a video of yourself running or walking up to 9 minutes and 11 seconds long and posting on your personal Facebook page or streaming as a Facebook Live segment on your profile anytime between 22 August – 18 September 2020. Please hashtag #OperationRFTL. If you can’t contribute financially, then we ask for your nonmonetary support and ask that you share this campaign liberally (OperationRFTL.com) with all your friends, family, coworkers, etc.
This fundraiser is to raise money for the Bravo Alpha Initiative (BAI). Their mission is to support Veterans and First Responders in their efforts to recover from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and prevent Self Destructive Actions (SDA). In 2007 the Veterans Administration (VA) published a report that stated that Veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day. Since that time the statistics have changed and in 2019 the VA updated their report and announced the number is now 31.2 suicides per day. That is over 1 per hour!
BAI defines First Responders as police, fire fighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Many Veterans that leave active duty in the military find a lot of familiarity in the domestic uniform services of First Responders. There is no over arching organization that governs First Responders nation wide. Statistics on First Responder suicides are highly under reported. However, through research the following statement is true… there are more First Responders that die by their own hand than in the line of duty! Think about that for a minute, it is a staggering fact.
This is an epidemic of epic proportions and we are asking for your monetary and non-financial support. The scars of our Veterans and First Responders may not be visible but the pain is real. This is OUR pain, this is YOUR pain and TOGETHER we can turn these obstacles from an obstruction to “The Way.”
You can find out more about Bravo Alpha and the work they do by visiting them online at BravoAlpha.org


September 11
9:11 am - 6:22 pm
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Raleigh Brewing Company
3709 Neil St
Raleigh, NC United States
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