I will be running in the NYC marathon this year in honor of my sister Patty Lawlor, and to raise money for Gilda's Club, a fantastic organization that provides FREE emotional, mental, physical and spiritual support to those suffering from cancer and their loved ones. The organization has touched me very personally as well.
In 2011, (about a year after the posted photo of us was taken) my sister and best friend Patty was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Our family was devastated, and of course, the most devastated person was Patty. She was such a strong and positive force, but even (or especially) strong and positive people need support: Patty found it in Gilda's Club Westchester. In a 2014 member spotlight feature, she wrote: “I had, and still have, good support from my family and friends, but I often felt I had to reassure them that I would be fine. Here I can talk about things I wouldn’t discuss in front of my family because I wouldn’t want to upset them.”
I know first hand what that meant to her. Tragically, Patty lost her battle with breast cancer in 2014. Feeling paralyzed by grief, I visited the Gilda's Clubhouse in downtown Manhattan and joined a bereavement group, where I found support for two years, and made several friends, whom I consider among my closest. One of them is my dear friend Andrew, who is also part of the Gilda's Team. We are going to have a great time making out way through the five boroughs together on November 3 - come out and say hi!
My sister Patty was an athlete and runner for her entire life, and participated in several NYC marathons. I've posted a picture I took of her one marathon year when I waited on First Avenue to cheer her on (and be ready with her water and Twizzlers.) The other picture is of her in the 2000 marathon, running with her good friend Diane. Their time was impressive: 4:57.
Those who know me well, know that I've always said the only reason I could imagine running would be to catch a bus. Well now, I have a new reason, and a good one. While I don't imagine that I will even come close to Patty's finish time, I will be thinking of her, every step of the way.
Please support me in supporting Gilda's Club, in Patty's honor. xoxo
PS Donate $75 or more and I will send you an 8.5” x 11” signed print of my drawing of the 2013 NYC marathon from Long Island City (pictured.) Thank you!
Gilda's Club NYC's Mission is to support, educate and empower cancer patients and their families. Our free Comprehensive Cancer Program includes Support Groups, Educational Lectures and Healthy Lifestyle Workshops for everyone impacted by cancer – men, women, teens, and children.
Want to join the Gilda's Team? Have Questions? contact Michelle Ramlochan @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-647-9700