We received a message on Facebook from a gentleman named Mike, a Boston College fan, who had a very touching message to share about a guy he never met…named Jay McGillis. Rather than paraphrasing and not doing the message justice, here it is:
“Hi. I don’t know who will eventually read this but I’ll write anyway. My name is Mike. I’ll be 32 on Friday but more importantly I’ve been a lifelong Boston College fan. I can remember as a young kid being a fan of Jay McGillis because he played so hard and with such heart. Not only that but my Dad who I obviously looked up to had great respect for Jay too and told me how awesome he was. Over the years I have thought about Jay often. I can’t explain exactly why but I’ve never forgotten him.”
“On Memorial Day weekend this year I will be competing in the Scottish Highland Games. At this specific games one of the events will be the “farmers walk” for distance. 150 lbs in each hand, just walk as far as you can. My sister (Kate) is currently running a campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Washington DC area and to do my part out here in San Diego I will be taking donations for the distance that I can walk during the farmers walk event. I am not writing to ask for money or anything. I only want “you all”, Jay’s family, friends or whoever to know that whether I decide to carry his picture with me or a copy of his poem or whatever, he will be on my mind as much as my family members who have been effected by this cancer. I promise to bring my best just as I know Jay would. Thank you for your time.”
We shared this message with Jay’s family and they were so very touched by Mike’s efforts and the fact that Jay’s legacy lives on.
Tomorrow, Mike will be doing the “farmers walk” in the Scottish Highland Games. In the Farmer’s Walk, Mike will pick up two weights, each weighing 150 lbs, and walk around a series of pylons. The winner will be the athlete who walks the farthest. Please join all of us at the Jay Fund in wishing Mike Baltren the best of luck as he competes on Saturday – we are thinking of you, Mike, and we’re confident you will do your best! We’re proud of you, and like Jay’s family, we too are very touched by your memory of Jay.