Turning 40 for me was unique compared to others turning 40. 40 was the age my dad died. He left me when I was 14. Right before I started high school.
Pancreatic Cancer is why he left us. It took the doctors a long time to determine what was wrong with my dad. He had severe back pain. They were puzzled. After many rounds of tests they found a tumor on his spine. After additional tests, they realized it wasn’t JUST a tumor, but he had full blown cancer. Pancreatic Cancer. There was no chance for him to live, it had spread throughout his body. It was too late. I spent that Summer with my mom and sisters in and out of the hospital. From the time he was diagnosed to the time he passed it was 3 short months, but it felt like forever. We said goodbye on a few occasions, but my dad wasn't ready to let go. He was a fighter. Hank didn’t want to leave his girls. But one day in August he lost his fight. He left us and my life was forever changed.
The years have passed. I still miss him. I wonder how life would be if he was still here. At times I still feel the grief. A simple moment can fill my head and heart with emotion. My eyes suddenly swell with tears. I am reminded of why I live life with a full heart and passion.
In 2015 I became involved with Project Purple when I decided to run my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon for this amazing charity. Today I am a proud ambassador for them. Being involved with Project Purple allows me to fight against the disease that took my dad from me. It has also helped me heal by providing me with a family of others who have had their lives turned upside down because of pancreatic cancer.
This November I am thrilled to be taking on my second marathon, the NYC Marathon to honor my dad Hank Dolan running again for Project Purple. I am thrilled to be running this marathon on the East Coast to celebrate the life of my dad with my friends and my family. My goal is raising $10,000 for Project Purple this time around.
Project Purple supports the vital research of doctors in the top pancreatic cancer facilities in the U.S.. Along with the goal of finding a cure and early detection methods for this disease, we also seek to improve the quality of life of those currently battling pancreatic cancer. We do this by helping patients with their medical, pharmaceutical, and everyday living expense.
I appreciate you taking the time to learn about my story and Project Purple. I am grateful for your support and donation.
With love, Janine
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