BENEFITING: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
EVENT: 2016 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 18, 2016
We Run in Memory of our Dad Bill Walsh!
On January 22nd 2016 our Dad passed away at Spaulding Cambridge after a long battle with Guillain Barre-Syndrome.
During the first week of August, Dad was diagnosed with a very rare and serious autoimmune disease that affected the peripheral nervous system known as Guillain Barre-Syndrome. Guillain Barre, or GBS, occurs when the body attacks its own nerves to fight a bacterial infection. It literally destroys them. We soon discovered that this debilitating disease originated from Campylobacter, a type of food poisoning. Overnight our Dad went from being a healthy man, traveling the globe with mom, practicing law, and playing golf at least twice a week, to being paralyzed from the neck down. In addition to the paralysis, Dad had to have a tracheotomy and be put on a ventilator to breathe because his respiratory system was also affected. This meant that not only was he unable to move, he was also unable to breathe, speak, or eat. Dad’s mind and mental awareness were fully intact..while he was trapped inside his own body for nearly 6 months.
Why am I (Bridget) doing this? I have never run a marathon before, tho I always wanted to, but was afraid that it was an impossible feat for me. When Dad was first admitted to Spaulding in September, I discovered the address to Spaulding Cambridge was exactly 26.2 miles from my home. I knew that was a sign and something I needed to do for my Dad. I especially want to do this for the amazing caregivers who work tirelessly at Spaulding and so lovingly cared for Dad while he was a patient there.
Billy is joining me in the cause and this will be his third Boston Marathon....Together we will run for Dad's memory. Watching Dad fight every day for 6 months to regain his body and his voice was all the motivation we needed. Though Dad did not recover from his illness, the staff at Spaulding did so much for him and we would like to help Spaulding help current and future patients.
We have many months of training and fundraising ahead, a daunting task, but nothing compares to what our Dad endured throughout his 6 month battle. We are doing our part to train and we ask for your help in meeting our fundraising goal.
Bridget & Billy