Thank you for taking the time to come to my page and get a better understanding of why I am running my first Boston Marathon.
8 years ago I started running. Growing up overweight and insecure, my activity level was low. I would purposely go to the nurse anytime we had to run in gym class or beg my mom to let me stay home from school those days. As I grew up, with the support of my family and friends, I made big changes in my life and shed the weight that I hid behind for so long. It was empowering, I became addicted to challenging myself. I felt losing weight was one of the hardest obstacles I have ever had to overcome. If I could do that, I could do anything.
In January 2017, we received the earth-shattering news my father had cancer. I'll never forget the way it felt to hear those words, to see the man I had looked up to my whole life have the look of sadness and fear. As a family, we vowed to enlist the best doctors possible and fight this together.
Mass General Hospital played a critical role in my father's battle. When one treatment wouldn't work, they had creative and innovative ways to give my father more days. They cared about his quality of life. We will be forever grateful for everything they did for him.
11 months later he lost his battle and I was forced to say my final goodbye. My father had the best spirits he could while going through treatment and through his struggle he would often tell me he couldn't imagine a child having to combat this. As a grown man it emotionally paralyzed him, made him so very sick and forced him to stay in bed for days hoping to sleep off the symptoms. While he was only 57 at least he had the opportunity to enjoy a good portion of his life, unlike so many children that have to fight these same illnesses every single day.
While my dad was sick I continued to run, he was my motivation. I remember telling him I signed up for my first marathon. Me, the overweight child that dropped out of every sport he signed me up for was going to run 26.2 miles. His first response was, "Is it Boston?!". It wasn't. He was supportive none the less but I logged Boston as a goal for the future, for him.
The pain of losing someone you love never goes away but reliving the memories helps you get through your days. When I learned that I was accepted to the Mass General Hospital Boston Marathon team I was truly speechless. This is a huge challenge but one that I am ready to crush for my children, for myself and for my father.
Together with my family, our goal is to raise over $10,000. These funds will help to support the pediatric cancer program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Funds raised are directed to cancer care, research, and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients.
Thank you for reading my story and thank you for your support.