Families came in their pajamas in the middle
of the night. Cancer survivors showed up to support John and
praise his efforts.
Two and a half is the number of hours he slept
during the three-day marathon in order to achieve his goal.
But the number he is most excited about
is the estimated $15,000 the event raised for the Ovarian
Cancer Research Fund in honor of his sister, Alana, who died
from the disease five years ago.
"Our goal was really outreach and funding," said
the South African-born John. "The record for theLongest
Consecutive Massage Treatments was almost of second
interest to me."
"She fought a great battle, and days before
she passed away, we talked about how to honor her memory,"
said John, 53. The longtime Montclair resident partnered with
the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in 2005 with a goal of raising
$100,000 in his sister's honor. He's about a fifth of the
Participants in the world record attempt
for the Longest
Consecutive Massage Treatments were asked to make
a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund directly or
to sponsor a time slot for someone else to get a massage during
the marathon. John asked any participant who tipped him to
send the money directly to the research fund.
Touch Project is a testament to Costa's deep commitment
to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the memory of his
sister," said Dr. Eliza Chin, an Oakland physician who is
president-elect of the American Medical Women's Association.
"I feel privileged to be part of this monumental endeavor."
The South African-born John, who has
been living in Oakland since 1991, only does massage part
time. The chief financial officer for a software company and
father of two sons, ages 15 and 18, took up massage after
being laid off during the dot-com bust.
Last year when he and his wife transformed
a former cell phone store on Mountain Boulevard into a studio.
which in Swahili means "resting place," the studio features
an African theme and is entirely made of green materials,
including natural corkboard tile floors, nontoxic paint, bamboo
cabinetry, natural slate tiling and sensors for lights and