BENEFITING: PROJECT PURPLE
ORGANIZER: PROJECT PURPLE
EVENT DATE: Nov 03, 2013
My father, John Fehling, passed away on December 16th. This past Sunday was our 1st Father’s Day without him, exactly 6 months after he died, and it would have been his 70th birthday.
Maria and I married on September 8th. I clearly remember Dad looking rather pale that day. He seemed awfully cranky for the day of his youngest child’s wedding and was having a hard time getting around. Fast forward 3 weeks. Maria and I landed in JFK after our honeymoon in Italy and immediately received THE call from my sister. My family waited until we got home to tell me, but Dad saw a doctor while we were away and he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. He must have known something was wrong, but he waited to confirm it until after the wedding so as not to put a damper on the greatest day of my life.
That was the type of guy my dad was – selfless. The man worked 2 jobs for most of his adult life to provide for his family. He coached us in every imaginable sport, was always involved with Cub Scouts or whatever other activities we participated in, helped with school projects, and got us through college (even though I did my part to put that in jeopardy a few times with some of my crazy stunts). He was always there to have a catch, go for a bike ride, play a round of golf, or drive down to Baltimore to teach me statistics one busy college weekend when I just wasn’t getting it. He did everything for me, and I can’t help but feel I didn’t give enough to him. I still regret not taking him up on his offer a couple of years ago to go to the Carolinas the following week to play golf. He was semi-retired at that point, and I was working like a lunatic then, so taking a week off with less than a week’s notice wasn’t really feasible, but now I wish I had. I don’t think we golfed together again.
My father was a big, tall, and strong man who was weakened beyond belief by this disease. What it did to him between my wedding and when he passed only 3 months later was terrible to witness. I can’t imagine how he must have felt. Pancreatic Cancer is a monster, and nobody should ever get it again.
As an adult I learned that I love to run. I’ve done 2 NYC marathons and can’t wait for my 3rd this Fall. Dad was there for my 2 previous attempts to cheer me on near his old high school in Brooklyn. I know if he was still here he’d be there this year to cheer me on again. Team Project Purple has allowed me to join them in their fight against Pancreatic Cancer, and I am honored to run this one for Dad. I failed in my other attempts to break 4 hours by a few minutes each time, but I am committed to doing so this year. Since I already qualified for the Marathon this year, I don’t need to raise money to get in the race. But I want to raise money to help find a cure for this disease. Please join me by contributing anything you feel comfortable with to help the fight against Pancreatic Cancer, and thanks for letting me tell you a little about my Dad.