BECAUSE MY FEET DON'T NEED TO TOUCH THE GROUND...
Saturday, March 1st: Over two years ago I trained for an 18 mile run with my daughter, then in high school, and thought about crossing the finish line with her. My legs cramped that day and although I finished, I was way behind Erin. Today, home from college for spring break, and both training for a marathon - me running Boston, Erin the following week in Pittsburgh - we ran an 18 mile training run. We came to the end of the run together, and in the time frame I hoped for two years ago. Erin inspires me as I train, each and every day.
December 2019: I am proud to be part of the Expect Miracles Team running the 2020 Boston Marathon. I’m running the marathon in memory of those that have lost their battle with cancer, for those continuing to fight, and for those that may get this awful disease in the future. I’m running the Boston Marathon because although I am a two time cancer survivor, both my feet don’t need to touch the ground.....
As I train for the marathon many thoughts go through my mind – at my pace, you have a lot of time during the long runs! The most persistent thoughts are of those people, many very close to me, that have either lost their battle to cancer, or are still fighting. Those that have been lost include my grandmother (1982), my life long friend Chris' mom (1984), my good friend Fred's wife (1999), my wife's aunt (2000), my father-in-law (2007), my wife's aunt (2008), my brother-in-law (2017), and my wife's cousin (2019), as well as many other relatives and friends. Some have lost their battle due to the lack of a cure, while others to misdiagnosis or limited health care. Those who have survived continue to be watchful of any recurrence. All, as well as their families, have been impacted by cancer, whether it be emotionally or financially.
Of those that have lost their fight, two come to the top of my mind. My father-in-law was given misinformation after a routine physical exam. He should have been receiving treatment two years earlier than he started. After a lengthy battle, he fell one day, not able to get up. Jim was a big man, always with a smile on his face. And even on this day, carried out by four EMTs, you would never have known his cancer had gotten the best of him. Although he was completely alert and still full of life, Jim would never walk again. He passed away at 63 years of age after three months in a medical facility. If you knew Jim, you would know just how much of a loss this was to his friends and family. To this day I wish his grandchildren would have had the privilege to get to know him better – they would have benefited in so many ways.
And then there’s my brother-in-law. Doug passed away from pancreatic cancer after a two and a half year battle. Fueled by optimism that a cure would be found, he had the good fortune to have access to the latest (and experimental) chemotherapy, extending his life. Like my father-in-law, Doug was always positive. Both he and Jim fought their battles with courage, and never felt sorry for themselves. I visited Doug a couple of months before he passed away. While there, he asked if I could throw out the garbage. He explained that due to his cancer, he needed to keep both feet on the ground, shuffle if you will, or he would fall down. The trash cans were down two steps, so he couldn’t do it. A former runner, he told me that he couldn’t even run if he wanted to, since when you run there is a time when both your feet are not touching the ground. This always stuck with me.
I’m running the Boston Marathon because, unlike Jim and Doug, I can. I’m also running the marathon for two people still impacted by cancer. For my wife Meg, a breast cancer survivor, who still faces issues with courage and grace. And for Will, my good friend Billy's 10 year old grandson, who has battled multiple cancers since he’s been three years old, and continues to fight on today.
Please consider donating to my run, as Expect Miracles truly does make an impact.
And a thank you to my daughter Erin, who inspires me every day I train.