BENEFITING: Parkinson's Foundation INC
ORGANIZER: Parkinson's Foundation INC
Mileage Tracker: 25
My name is Austin and I will be running the New York City Marathon with Team Hope to benefit the National Parkinson Foundation on November 5, 2017! I am extremely honored to run with a team that is raising money to fight a disease that hits so close to home.
Parkinson’s disease has been in my life for as long as I can remember. My grandpa, a former collegiate football player at Colgate, was diagnosed with the disease when I was very young. My two younger brothers and I used to run to him after not having seen him for a while and he would scoop the three of us into his arms and lift us into the air. You know how all adults seem SO tall and SO strong when you’re little? Multiply that feeling by 3x. Slowly, the cureless disease took its course, but my grandpa took a plethora of pills every day and endured two highly invasive operations to fight it. The most menial daily tasks – eating, writing, and holding anything – became more difficult and he eventually lost his life due to complications from the disease. To this day, I still think of him as one of the strongest people I have ever known.
I’m also running the marathon with my Aunt in mind. My aunt was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s a few years ago. Despite losing mobility and strength on one side of her body, she still manages to take her rambunctious pit-bull on a walk everyday single day. For context, I don’t think I have ever won a tug-of-war with this pup. Her love for learning, ability to know the answer to almost any trivia question, light-heartedness, positivity, and indefatigable spirit both surprise me and inspire me everyday.
I’m incredibly humbled and super excited to do my part in finding a cure for this disease. Anything that you can contribute to my run would be GREATLY appreciated!!