One of the leading causes of death to date, cancer has claimed the lives of nearly 200 million people since 1990. Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within 5 years of diagnosis is estimated to be 44 million. Almost all of us have either been affected or known someone who has been affected by this terrible disease.
In the spring of 2001, my father was diagnosed with stage IV gliblastoma multiforme, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer. In the 22 months following his diagnosis, I witnessed his rapid decline from a vibrant father to a wilted cancer patient. He lost his hair, had a massive scar etched into the side of his head, and gained weight from the barrage of steroids used to keep his brain from swelling. His physical appearance is hard to forget, even 16 years later. Back then it was difficult to comprehend the permanence of what was happening to him. Despite losing my father so young, I have held onto vignettes of memories from our life together. He instilled in me the importance of family and community. Those who knew him well saw that his key to facing adversity was through his connection to the people around him. He met this unexpected twist of fate head on, surrounded himself with family and friends, and didn’t allow the illness to paralyze him or taint the time he had left. Looking back now, I am inspired by the strength of his spirit throughout his 2 year battle with cancer, and am motivated to make a lasting impact for others struggling through this disease.
On April 20th, 2020 I will be running the Boston Marathon with team BIDMC in my father's memory. My fundraising efforts will go towards the hospital's Cancer Center, where gifted physicians, outstanding nurses, and dedicated staff form a team that is committed to breakthrough treatments delivered with kindness and respect.
Please help me reach my goal of $10,000!