On January 7th, 2020, Neil Ellwood Peart—primary lyricist of the rock band Rush, superlative drummer, the consummate autodidact—died of glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer. Rush fans continue to mourn his passing on a level which is unprecedented; as just one example, electronic billboard tributes have recently been spotted in different US cities, featuring an image of Neil seated at one of his massive drum kits and bearing the legend, "Farewell To The King: Neil Peart 1952 - 2020".
Three days after Neil's death, bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson issued a statement on social media that read in part as follows: "Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil's name." After grieving for many days over this terrible loss, I have decided that this is exactly what I'm going to do. On April 26th, 2020 at 8 am Eastern Standard Time, I will be running/walking/limping/Finding My Way through the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
Consider those whom we've lost to cancer, those who are currently fighting one or more of the many different types of this disease, and their families and friends. I can't think of a single person in my sphere upon whom cancer hasn't had an impact. How about you?
Although I'm raising these funds in honor of Neil, I'm also doing so for everyone whose lives have been affected in some way by cancer.
By the way, 13.1 miles (the distance of a half-marathon) converted to kilometers is 21.08241. Fellow Rush fans, I might run a little bit past the finish line to hit 21.12!