BENEFITING: LAST CALL FOUNDATION INC
ORGANIZER: LAST CALL FOUNDATION INC
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
For those that know me personally running is one of the last things on my mind and definitely not something I would consider fun! I ran a lot while I was in the Marine Corps and that is where I left running and also where I met one of my best friends. I met Michael Kennedy, (Mikey Fresh as I called him) back in 2005. The first time we met Mikey was just finishing an intramural football game and the first thing he did after the game, even before taking off his football pads was replace his helmet with his very worn Boston Red Sox hat. I walked straight over to him and asked him “are you from Boston? Or do you just like the Red Sox?” He responded proudly “Damn right, 02131” and from that moment on we became what I would consider one of my best friends. Mikey had a way about him, he was a genuine person who put others far before himself. Mikey was there for me at some of the MOST challenging times in my life! We saw each other through deployments, relationships, surgeries, my pregnancy, moving cross country, and finally meeting each other back in MA. Even before Mikey got out of the Marine Corps, he would tell me how he was moving back to Boston to become a Boston Firefighter. That he did, and how proud he was! I was so happy he did exactly what he said he would do. Even though our lives always went different directions we always found a way back to each other. Mike made it a point to surprise me with gifts or cards on my birthday, random long winded phone calls, or visiting me anytime we were within driving distance of one another.
One thing Mikey did was call me when he would get back from a big fire or call. I actually never knew there was a fire in Boston since I lived out of state, but he would still call or text me to let me know he was okay. As I saw it on the news, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings; the first thing I waited for was the call from Mike. Hours later I received a text from Mike saying he was really shook up but he was okay. On March 26th 2014, I just got off a plane in Chicago and in my taxi I heard of the fire in Boston. I waited and waited for Mikey’s call. That call never came. Attending Mike’s funeral and seeing how many people came out to support and recognize one of the bravest men I have ever met, was an experience I will never forget. Mike has impacted and touched so many people’s lives! It’s a true honor to call him my best friend, brother, Marine, hero.
I have decided to take on the challenge of running the Boston Marathon to support the Last Call Foundation which was born of the determination to ensure that tragedies such as the one on March 26, 2014 never happen again. The mission of the Last Call Foundation is to provide funding, education and research to advance the safety needs of the Boston firefighting community. LCF is committed to enhancing the ability of the dedicated firefighting professionals to effectively and safely fight fires and protect the public. The Last Call Foundation was founded by Kathy Crosby-Bell in honor of her son, fallen Firefighter Michael Ryan Kennedy, who along with Lieutenant Edward Walsh died battling the nine-alarm fire on March 26, 2014 in Boston’s Back Bay. This tragedy highlighted the unique challenges facing Boston’s firefighters. The Last Call Foundation is committed to identifying and addressing these challenges to enhance Boston firefighters’ ability to safely and effectively fight fires and protect each of us.
I never would have thought I could do a marathon, but Mikey always believed I could. I am running to honor Mike, and raise awareness and money for LCF, I truly hope that not just Mike’s death, but the life he lead will inspire others to do more. He has forever changed my life.
See you on April 20th, in Boston!