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Thalassemia Care Walk For Ian 2011

Walk This Way, To Find A Way on Sunday, May 1 for the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation: Thalassemia Care Walk For Ian 2011 hosted at the Student Recreation Center at Bloomsburg University from 1p.m.-4p.m

The first meeting of the semester for Dr. Ganahl’s Public Relations Cases and Problems course was typical; the final fifteen minutes led to a greeting game. That’s where the students learned about the opportunity to help Tara Maziarz and to partake in her incredible mission fueled by love.

At first she only mentioned Thalassemia and didn’t elaborate, spare an interesting comment, “my boy friend had it.” It gave the impression that he got better but the next meeting is when Tara shared Ian’s story with her classmates. When she stood at the front of the class to tell of her fiancée’s death from a genetic blood disorder called Thalassemia, there was an obvious astonishment across the entire room. Asked when Ian passed, Tara would respond, “December” and jaws would drop further. Following such a devastating loss, she returned this semester with only one goal, to raise awareness and participation in a walk for a cure to the disease that claimed Ian’s life.

She spoke of her boyfriend Ian Wiles, a baseball player who courageously endured his battle with Thalassemia each day until it took his life at 25. From the countless blood transfusions and participation in research studies to visiting hospitalized children suffering from Thalassemia and vowing to continue to make a difference in their lives, Ian was a true coping visionary. He was a rhythmic guitar player for a band called “The Red Eyes” and his songs are now being used for an album that the band is set to produce in memoriam. Ian’s pursuit of a normal life led to a loving relationship with Tara that will never be lost and is now the driving force behind her effort to help beat Thalassemia. The Care Walk is her chance to continue their mission and honor Ian’s memory with the official title mentioning that on May 1 this walk is for Ian.

It’s now over two months later and Tara Maziarz’ brilliant campaign has created a firestorm of the class and other campus media spreading her message, story, and ultimately her goal to achieve maximum participation for the Thalassemia Care Walk 2011 on May 1. Her joining of forces with the class, which adopted the campaign to promote the walk as a final project, has yielded an incredible awareness across Bloomsburg University about Thalassemia and the walk to raise money for the cure.

At a thousand locations across the country, the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation is hosting similar walks, all on May 1. For the walk held on Bloomsburg’s campus, online registration is extremely simple at www.cooleysanemia.org. Registration fees are $25 per person, or $50 for a group of four, and can be done at any time before May 1. If registration is done before March 31, those individuals receive a Care Walk t-shirt. Meeting at the Student Rec Center, the walk will be held from 1p.m-4p.m on Sunday, May 1 and there will be a route around the entire Bloomsburg campus.

Tara Maziarz is asking people to, Walk This Way, To Find A Way at the Thalassemia Care Walk 2011 and Bloomsburg University has been granted the special opportunity to honor the courage of a brave young woman who has decided to make a difference in the lives of individuals suffering from the genetic disorder that stole her fiancée. Each donation and sponsorship that is made at the walk makes every day that Ian fought, every hospitalized child he visited, that much more meaningful. It will make all of the days of preparation that Maziarz has put before her own education an inspiration to the community. Two amazing individuals, one incredible mission; May 1 is the chance to honor Ian and Tara’s outstanding integrity.