On July 8, 2007, my kind, thoughtful, and funny friend Sean O'Neill was running the Utica Boilermaker. Six miles into the race he collapsed due to a cardiac arrthymia, and died. He was 24 years old. It was unbelievable to me that this could happen to someone so young, so vibrant.
I ran the Boilermaker twice before Sean died, and have run six times since. Because of him, the race has been forever changed for me. Whenever things start to get tough during the race, I think about him. I feel him with me, cheering me on, helping me up Valley View Road, urging me toward the finish at the Utica Brewery. Since Sean died, I have always run the race in my "I Run For Sean O" shirt, as I will this year.
This year I get to pay Sean an extra honor by running for the Every Heartbeat Counts team, as part of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory's efforts to screen as many people as possible for gene mutations that could lead to cardiac arrest.
Please help me to commemorate a truly amazing person, who is still thought about, and missed every day, by considering a donation to the Every Heartbeat Counts Boilermaker 2015 Charity Team.
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