Dan Somes via Crowdrise
April 18, 2015
BENEFITING: SHAWN THORNTON FOUNDATION INC
ORGANIZER: Shawn Thornton
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
I began running just over two and a half years ago in an effort to get in good enough shape to run a 5K with a group of friends and finish it without looking completely foolish. My path to becoming a member of The Shawn Thornton Foundation Team for the 2015 Boston Marathon is one that was meant to be. Parkinson's and cancer have both had an impact on my family, and my Dad in particular.
I was at Fenway Park on Patriots Day of 2013. It was an exciting game with Mike Napoli hitting a walk-off wall ball double to win the game. As my friend and I headed toward Kenmore Square, I paused to watch the runners go by as they were striding closer to their goal. It seemed so unattainable to me, running a marathon. Little did I know that I would aspire to run that race in less than twenty-four hours’ time. As the afternoon unfolded, my friend and I found ourselves unable to get on the green line to get back to our vehicle. We heard something about a bomb, but it was all happening so fast. Our journey continued on foot as we hoped to get to Park Street to get a train to Alewife. What we saw in between as we walked was the chaos unleashed by people who wished to do harm. Runners were being stopped a mile shy of their epic achievement. Public safety and first responders scurried on bikes, in cars and by truck to assist those in need. People sat in the middle of the public garden in tears, exasperated that their phones could not reach loved ones. I was thankful to be safe and hoped that no harm came to those who were at the center of it all. We all know how that came to end.
It was that day I decided to make it my goal to run this race. My first attempt to qualify for 2014 fell well short. Injury kept me from finishing the race at a qualifying time. In July of 2014, my second attempt to qualify fell short by just over two and a half minutes. After processing the disappointment, I came to the conclusion that fate would not have me take this route to the Boston Marathon. Determined to run, I wanted to find a cause that would drive me. It had been less than a year since my Dad had informed my brother and me that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's in its early stages. My wife and I had learned her Aunt Cinda was also dealing with her own diagnosis and the impact of its disease. Here was my sense of purpose.
I searched for charity teams and found Thorty’s Team. It was a perfect fit.
Not only would I be running to benefit research for Parkinson’s, a disease which was hitting home for me, I would run to benefit cancer research, another cause which has also impacted us. I could easily think of so many people I love who have been lost or impacted. We had lost my Mother-in-law, Dodie, to cancer in 2004. So many family members and friends had been lost or impacted by this disease in forms like lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, esophageal cancer, testicular cancer and pancreatic cancer. So I decided to express my interest in running for the Shawn Thornton Foundation.
As I began the process of completing the application in early October, my Dad delivered the news that he had been diagnosed with early stages of Prostate Cancer. If I needed another sign that this was the team for whom I was supposed to run, I had it. My Dad continues his treatment and will recover. Yet, he will still need to continue his battle with Parkinson's. My hope in running for this charity and team is that the money I raise and the miles I run will help people to gain the treatment or help someone find a way to cure these afflictions. Maybe, it's helping people to educate themselves and detect things early. Maybe it’s finding new and progressive treatments to help keep these diseases at bay while quality of living is maintained.
So I run for Dick and Irene Somes, my parents, who have both been impacted in recent years. I also run for my Grandfather Rudy, Mother-in-Law Dodie, Aunt Cinda, Uncle Pete, Dave, Jack and so many others. Your donations memorialize those we have lost and help help who are still here fighting. I am proud to blend my passion for running with a sense of purpose grounded in a desire to help those who deal with Parkinson’s and Cancer. Thanks for your support.