My father, George W. Dougherty, Sr. has been in a knock-down, drag-out fight with multiple myeloma for about a decade. He was first diagnosed in 2006 and was able to achieve remission in 2007! The myeloma returned this past fall and he's been going through one round of chemo after another for almost a year.
The cancer has been tough on my dad and my mom, but they've been champs through it all. All the trips to the University of Arkansas Medical Center (where he got his initial treatment), Emory University Hospital, and the oncology clinic in Athens, GA have been a grind over the years, but their spirits have remained strong.
A testament of their spirit is their work with the Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia (http://www.cancerfoundationofnega.org/) that they helped establish in 2006. Both of my parents have been tireless volunteers and advocates for the foundation. My father continues to serve on the foundation's board and was the board president for many years. The foundation raises money through fundraisers (I'm especially fond of the Tri to Beat Cancer) and helps chemo patients pay their bills while in treatment. The foundation provides over $100,000 of support to patients every year. My parents aren't wealthy in financial terms, but they have a wealth of energy and experience they've been willing to share to help others.
Throughout this time, I've been healthy as a horse. I've run dozens of half-marathons, 10 milers, and triathlons ... but I've never run a marathon. So on May 7, 2017 I will honor my parents' spirit and my dad's fight against cancer by running the Pittsburgh Marathon.
Please support my efforts to honor my dad, my mom, and the fight against cancer by donating whatever you can.
George W. Dougherty, Jr.