This One is for You, Dad.
June 10, 2017
My name is Katelynn Walsh. I am 28 years old, from Long Island New York. I am running my very first full marathon in honor of my hero: my dad. See more
This One is for You, Dad. My name is Katelynn Walsh. I am 28 years old, from Long Island New York. I am running my very first full marathon in honor of my hero: my dad. My father, Gerry Walsh, was a firefighter for the FDNY for 20 years. His job was his passion. He was so proud to call himself a firefighter, and he loved every aspect of what he did. On September 11th, 2001, our lives changed forever. After the horrible terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, my dad rushed to the scene. He spent months there, after the buildings fell, searching through the rubble. A few years after this tragic day, my dad became very sick. He was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer in which the doctors attributed to breathing in toxins at Ground Zero. Just as any brave man would, my dad battled his disease for 4 long years. He spent countless weeks in hospitals. He required weekly blood transfusions. He received a bone-marrow transplant, which ultimately did not work. In the end, my father lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on November 11th, 2014. This was the darkest day of my life. Anyone who knows me will tell you, my dad was my best friend. I was always the ultimate "daddy's girl." Before my dad got sick, he was an outstanding athlete. He used to play every sport and he ran half marathons. As you can image, my dad was extremely excited when I started taking up distance running after college. He loved to talk to me about training, and he would come to all my races for support. I used to love seeing him cheer for me as I crossed the finish line. It felt so good to make him so proud. After I lost my father, it was really important to me to keep running. I wanted to keep making him proud. After completing close to 10 half marathons over the past few years, I decided that it was time to take my running to the next level. It is time to run a full marathon. After I decided to commit to this task, I wanted to find a charity to run for that embodied who I was running for. This is why I chose Team Answer the Call. Giving back to families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice helping others, like my father, is really important to me. I am honored to be a part of this team. I am looking forward to running and representing all of the families of heroes. What is more, I am looking forward to running for my hero. I love you dad. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ NY Police and Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund, Inc. wrote - The mission of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund is to support the families of New York City Police Officers, Firefighters, Port Authority Police, and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. When these brave men and women make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our city, we believe it is our civic duty to support the families these heroes have left behind. Our mission is to reassure these families that will never forget them or the sacrifice made by their loved ones. We currently provide annual financial assistance, host special gatherings, and offer a network of support to approximately 600 families. Our goal is to raise enough funds to enable us to increase the annual support we provide to these families.