BENEFITING: AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE NORTHEAST
ORGANIZER: AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE NORTHEAST
EVENT DATE: Nov 01, 2015
Please support me as I run the NYC Marathon to raise money for the American Lung Association. The fight against tobacco use and lung disease is truly a marathon. For me it started in 1977.
When I was 7, I had a singular goal--to help my Dad quit smoking. My favorite strategy was honed in our living room, where we watched football together. When a big play distracted him, I'd grab the pack of Kool cigarettes sitting beside him and sprint to the bathroom as if I were running for a touchdown. If I made it, I'd quickly run the cigarettes under cold water and break each one in half. Then I flushed them down the toilet. There was no crowd to cheer for my ritual of destruction, but I believed it was the right thing to do. I couldn't understand why quitting was difficult for Dad--a Marine, a gifted athlete and a tough-minded judge—who had amazing physical strength and willpower. In retrospect, my runs were surely not successful due to my speed or clever timing. Instead of chasing me down, Dad calmly accepted it because he wanted to quit. When he finally succeeded in quitting, I thought my work in tobacco control was done, but that's not how tobacco works. Damage had already been done, and two decades later, cancer cut his life short. I work in tobacco control again, now as a lawyer with NYC's Department of Health.
It saddens me that Dad never met my wife Karen or his grandson Emmett, but I trust that he's watching us and supports this cause. The fight against tobacco and cancer is not a sprint; it's a marathon, and Emmett's generation depends on our efforts. If I can run with a fraction of my Dad's legendary strength and your support, we can't lose.