UH philanthropist and lymphoma survivor adds Boston Marathon to list of accomplishments

Kevin Goodman poses for photo before his big race in Boston.

All that hot yoga at Bikram Yoga in Shaker Heights certainly helped prepare Kevin Goodman for the scorching heat he encountered during the Boston Marathon. As temperatures soared above the mid-80s, and the humidity climbed well beyond a comfortable level, Goodman focused on the task at hand. He wanted to finish the race, not only for himself, but also in honor of those battling leukemia or lymphoma, and to thank the many donors who had pledged their support to him.

Goodman, 49 and a resident of University Heights, raised more than $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. His TNT team, with which he trained for the April 16 marathon, raised more than $1 million. Because the team dramatically surpassed the collective minimum of donations, 90 percent of the total funds raised will directly benefit blood cancer research and support programs. On June 21 in Boston, Goodman will be honored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the John Engdahl Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of individuals who have raised more than $10,000 for the charity.

It is indeed a philanthropic endeavor of grand proportions. But Goodman’s runs are also proof of the power of healing and recovery—Goodman himself is a lymphoma survivor.

Back home in University Heights, Goodman, a Heights High alumnus, is often seen loping through the neighborhoods, seemingly just another runner enjoying a solid workout. His almost daily runs, though, are not just about physical and mental endurance. They serve as training for the marathons in which he participates in order to raise awareness and money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“It isn’t just about me; it’s about all of us,” he said, referring to those who have been diagnosed with these cancers. “It’s about research and treatment and finding a cure.”

In late March, Goodman invited co-workers, friends and others to a fundraiser at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights. The wine tasting event raised $2,000 for Goodman’s team. That’s $2,000 in about two hours.

“I’m always humbled by how kind people have been to me during my battle with lymphoma,” Goodman said. “The ongoing generosity of the community in response to my desire to raise awareness and funds for leukemia and lymphoma research is overwhelming.”

As managing director of business development for BlueBridge Networks, a data storage and disaster recovery IT business in Cleveland and Columbus, Goodman must stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations in the industry.

It is a job that finds him in the office well before 8 a.m. and sometimes has him working on weekends. Yet this husband and father of two finds time to remain active in the community. He is a volunteer with American Red Cross and Cleveland ARC, in addition to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and maintains a six-day training routine that includes running, hot yoga and personal training sessions.

Seemingly tireless, Goodman appears to gain energy from his many professional, personal and philanthropic activities. His boundless energy no doubt helped him conquer lymphoma six years ago. He now puts that energy to work in his efforts to help others battling the disease.

For Goodman, his step across the finish line at the Boston Marathon was just one more step he said he wants to take to help others win their own personal races. His next event will be the Greater Cleveland Triathlon on August 5.

To learn more about Kevin Goodman’s TNT running team, or to donate, visit http://pages.teamintraining.org/noh/grcletri12/kgoodman.

Diane DiPiero Rodio

Diane DiPiero Rodio, a resident of Cleveland Heights, is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in many local and national publications.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 1:53 PM, 05.15.2012