Running NYC Marathon for Mom
Organized by: Joel Diaz
EVENT DATE Nov 01, 2015
I moved from Paterson, New Jersey, to Orlando, Florida, in 2005, to pursue a career with the Walt Disney company. This was the toughest decision I have ever had to make as an adult. It was particularly tough because I was moving so far away from family, especially my mother.
As far as sports and athleticism was concerned, baseball was the only sport my mother was familiar with. I began running to start taking control of my life and to challenge myself. In 2009, I joined the Hunter's Creek Running Club and went from training for a 5K/10K to wanting to run a marathon, something I NEVER thought possible. The more I ran with the group, the more I fell in love with running. I'd have phone conversations with my mother, and she was happy that I was happy but didn't really comprehend the sport of endurance running.
In 2010, I signed up to run my first Marathon, 26.2 Miles, none other than at Disney! I was beyond excited but secretly nervous. The training was tough. The Florida summers are brutal. Sometimes, I was waking up at 3 a.m.just to go run during the cooler time of the day. When the day came in January, 2011, I would test my training and face my fears. I finished just under 5 hours. I was so happy! That evening, I called my mother to tell her all about it. She still didn't understand but was happy, nonetheless. I knew I needed to SHOW her.
The New York City Marathon is a popular marathon, and several members of my run club were signing up for it. Now that I knew I could complete a marathon, I was confident enough to sign up for this one, out of state. I signed up for the 2012 NYC Marathon lottery. Hoping to get in, this was my moment to SHOW mom what all the hard work and training I was doing was all about. I knew this was the only way as she was closed enough to go watch me run it. Unfortunately, I didn't get in. I tried again for 2013 and was unsuccessful again.
I still kept my head up and continued running and completing other marathons until the unexpected happened. Mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My world was shattered. I could not believe it. It was so unexpected. Just seeing her lying there broke my heart. There was nothing I could do. Doctors gave her less than 6 months to live. In 6 weeks, she was no longer with us.
I miss my mother every day and know she is watching over me. I try to make her proud in everything I do. I have signed up for the NYC marathon every year and not gotten in through their lottery system. Something I feel I must do is run the NYC marathon, in her honor. I would like to run it as if she were there in the audience. I know seeing me crossing the finish line would have made her very proud, and she would finally understand why I enjoy running so much.
I am running the NYC Marathon in 2015 in honor of my mother. While doing so, I am raising money for the charity Project Purple because it's a non-for profit organization with a mission to raising awareness and funds towards finding a cure towards Pancreatic Cancer. Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th largest killer of all cancer killers and the least funded of the top 10 cancers. It is also the only cancer in the top 10 killer with only a single digit survival rate after 5 years. Thank you so much in advance for your donation and helping me do something that I must do.