In September of 2012 I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. I wanted to run the 2013 Boston Marathon (again) after turning 40. However, cancer put a wrench in this plan. Due to undergoing two rounds of chemo/radiation, and 2 surgeries over the next 16 months, this goal had to be put on hold. My cousin Stephanie ran in honor of me for DFCI in 2013, and my friend Paul ran the Phoenix Marathon for me, but this year Stephanie and I will be crossing the finish line in Boston together.
Stephanie and Paul ran for me in 2013. I will be running for my dad this year. In July of 2013 as I was in the hospital recovering from my second cancer surgery, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has undergone treatments, met with many complications, and is still fighting today.
Most recently I lost my college buddy Garry to stomach cancer. He was a great support system to me as we battled our terrible diseases together. His attitude always raised my spirits and his outlook on life was inspiring.
I am honored to be running for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF). Joe is a cancer survivor and was one of the first people to reach out to my family when I was diagnosed. Joe's foundation raises money to provide financial and emotional support, hope, and a reason to smile for cancer patients and their families. I believe in the mission of this foundation and its "UpBeat" cancer attitude in helping people fight this ugly disease.
This will be my sixth Boston Marathon, but this one will have the most meaning to me. Cancer has changed my life, and my outlook on life, in a way I never imagined. Many of you have supported my family in different ways over the past 16 months. I am grateful and blessed to have such amazing family and friends.
JAF's UpBeat effort alleviates the financial burdens of those fighting cancer and puts the focus on caring for their loved ones. Please consider making a donation. No amount is too small and any amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you if you choose to join me and support the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and all that it does to help families struggling with cancer.
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