SF Marathon 2014 Dedicated in Memory of Roar Eikenes - 03/26/2014

Team Parkinson will honor the memory of Roar Eikenes this July 26-27, 2014 at the San Francisco Marathon.  John Ball will run the race his honor.

John and Roar


October 16, 2013

Edna and I received an email from the brother of a good friend today, telling us of his death from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. Our friend, Roar Eikenes, lived with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade and served as an advocate for the Parkinson’s community in Norway. We met in 2006 when he ran the San Francisco marathon for Team Parkinson. In the following year he ran around the world for Team Parkinson, completing marathons in Moscow, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro and the Great Wall of China before finishing his 50th marathon with us in the LA Marathon. In 2009 he invited me to run a half marathon with him in the mountains of Norway and after the race we toured the country--visiting several care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and even conducting a press conference for the Parkinson’s Society in Oslo. He was a superb host and a great tour guide, as well as a wonderful example of living well with PD.  His upbeat spirit was infectious.

The last time Edna and I saw Roar was at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City. He had travelled to New York with a Parkinson’s group from his home in Larvik, Norway.  He had already been ill with cancer for more than a year and the treatments had reduced his once vigorous frame to a somewhat stoop-shouldered, scaled-down version of his previously robust self.  In spite of his precarious health, he brightened up tremendously as he talked with Edna and me, and he and I went out for a run that afternoon.  He was momentarily full of enthusiasm, although I could see an alarming change in his gait and stride length. I wanted him to be well and fully in remission, but knowing what little I knew about the cancer he had, I doubted it would last.  He worked hard at recovery and gave himself time to see his grandson, and time to say goodbye.  Edna and I consider him a good friend to Team Parkinson, and want to run in his honor at the next San Francisco Marathon, the site where he first ran for our team.    

He was a great inspiration to all of us in the Parkinson’s community, especially to those of us who knew him as an athlete and saw him finish his 50th marathon in Los Angeles despite suffering with an impacted tooth.  His commitment and willingness to endure such pain will always remain bright in our memory. We will miss him very much.

Please support me as I run in Roar's memory.

John Ball