Some runners know Tommy Rivs (Tommy Rivers Puzey) from his success in long-distance running, but many know him as a successful and energizing coach. You might look at the name and put together that his brother is Oregon-based Jeff Puzey. The brothers, who grew up in Hermiston, Ore., are just plain great people – interesting (Tommy speaks four languages plus ASL and Puzey is bilingual), highly educated, dedicated, and liked by everyone who meets them.
You may have also seen Tommy Rivers’ name popping up on Twitter and other running sites lately, for a much sadder reason. After some breathing problems in mid-June, he sought treatment and was diagnosed with lung cancer – Primary Pulmonary NK T-Cell Lymphoma, a very rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma.
Since then, he has been receiving treatment, including chemotherapy, and under the care of some of the world’s leading lymphoma doctors in Arizona. If you hate cancer and want to act on that emotion, donate to the GoFundMe set up to help his family with medical costs. Tommy himself has also invited his supporters to contribute to a GoFundMe that is providing emergency assistance to the Navajo Nation through Ajooba’ Hasin (Families to Families). He’s the kind of person that fights cancer and still asks you to help others, and donations towards his medical costs that aren’t needed will be directed to Ajooba’ Hasin.
You can also turn your passion for running into a meaningful donation by signing up for the Run with Rivs, a virtual donation-based run. As a race director who has used this registration platform for a donations-only race, I can tell you that they have really low fees, so your donation goes to the intended recipient. Just sign up by August 9 and spread the word to help Rivers’ family.