Matthew Manning via Crowdrise
April 02, 2015
I am running the Boston Marathon for the Cancer Fund at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in honor of my dad who passed away on September 27, 2014 after a brief but courageous battle against cancer. I chose to support the Cancer Fund at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in hopes that others afflicted with cancer will have the best resources, guidance, cutting-edge treatment and care to win their fight against this disease. I have committed to raising a minimum of $5,000, but my higher goal is to raise $7,500 with your love and support. Information on Beth Israel’s Cancer Center can be found here.
I want April 20, 2015 to be an extended tribute to the husband, son, brother, uncle, godfather and friend that my father was to so many. On that Monday my wish is that through my running we all remember his love for life, family & friends; amazing sense of humor and his kindness and strength.
My dad and I went through a lot together over the past 4 years with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Roughly 4 years ago he ended up in the intensive care unit with sepsis and nearly died. Seeing my dad so vulnerable was the spark that led me to choose a healthier lifestyle and to exercise regularly. Since 2010, I have lost 50 pounds through diet and exercise. I also subsequently went on to run several road races, half marathons, sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and two 70.3 triathlons. In fact, I raced my first half ironman in mid-June shortly after my dad told me he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. When I showed up at a Father’s Day celebration the next day I brought my medal to show him. When I told him about the race I could see the pride and joy he was taking in my accomplishment. This was the first time many of our family members were together after learning he had been diagnosed with cancer, and it was an emotional day to say the least. Despite his sobering reality, all that my dad wanted to talk about was the details of the half ironman: the distances, what was the hardest part, would I do it again, would I do a full ironman, etc. He was delighted for me and beaming with pride for his son. I will never forget that Father’s Day as it was one of the last times I feel like my dad was himself.
During my dad’s treatment at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center I visited him, sat by his side and tried to offer as much support as I could, but anyone could tell he was frustrated and had a tough time fighting the disease. The chemotherapy treatment and cancer not only affected his body, but also his mental state of well-being. As he went in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation clinic, as his son, I often felt helpless because I couldn’t do anything to truly ease his pain and suffering. That was when I had the idea to run the Boston Marathon for him.
I originally wanted to run Boston to give my dad that same happiness he had on Father’s Day. I wanted to do for him what he could not. I hoped to give him something on the horizon to look forward to. But now that he has passed, I want to run Boston to honor, remember and cherish him. Each of the 26.2 miles will be a memorial to one of the greatest men I have ever known. My dad showed his love through pride and his pride always motivated me to push myself. I know he will be proud when I run the Boston Marathon in his honor.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and considering a donation. The love and support of my family, friends, co-workers and others has meant so much to me during this difficult time, and without this support an already challenging time would be inconceivably difficult. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.