BENEFITING: AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE NORTHEAST
ORGANIZER: AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE NORTHEAST
In the winter of 2013, my brother Paul, 37 at the time, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. He fought a long hard battle for 18 months, before passing during the summer of 2015 at 39 years old.
Paul's illness and passing were difficult. Watching my older + only brother suffer and not be able to do anything about it was terrible. He persevered and tried to face each day w/ a smile, when the Dr's ran out of options, he tried to find his own. He was a fighter right up until the very end. I remember the day before his death, one of his Dr's came to his room and Paul gleamed up at him w/ hopefull eyes and asked 'so there's really nothing left you can do for me?' It was heartbreaking.
Once Paul passed, I started to form a relationship with the American Lung Association as a way to give back on Paul's behalf, with the hope that one day other families would not have to go through what mine has. Running in the NYC Marathon has always been a goal for me, but every year when Marathon season came around, I found myself coming up short on motivation to make the effort and run. Paul's passing gave me the motivation to not only run the marathon but to do it for a cause that has impacted the lives of so many.
I don't often talk about or show many emotions around Paul's sickness + death, in fact I may overcompensate in the other direction out of pure discomfort with the subject, to the point that may leave some wondering if it actually has impacted me at all. It of course has, and througout his illness/passing, I often turned to running to deal w/ how I was feeling, finding myself in tears midway through many runs.
One of Paul's fears was that noone would remember him when he was gone, or that people would too quickly forget. So running this marathon is my way of remembering Paul throughout another run and leaving a mark on the world in his honor.