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American Brain Tumor Association and the Chicago Marathon

I would like to thank everyone for their support. I was able to raise $1492, and over $140,000 was raised by all the runners! You may still make a donation for the next couple of months if you wish. Or else you can give directly to ABTA or pick a random runner doing it next year.

On February 26, 2005 my dad was forced by my mom to go to the emergency room after suffering an incredibly bad, unrelenting headache. The maternal care instinct was more heightened than normal, as my dad had surgery several years prior for an unruptured aneurysm in his brain. After some X-rays and examination, a growth was discovered on his brain. An ambulance ride to Rush Memorial Hospital and a couple of days later found my dad under the knife as doctors went in to attack the tumor. After a long and stressful operation, the surgeons successfully removed as much of the cancer as humanly possible. Post recovery from the serious operation, my dad had difficulty using the left side of his body and seeing with his left eye. Some physical therapy and a lot of hard work later though, he was able to restore much of his functionality. For over the past year he has been fighting the disease, not letting it control his life. Although he retired from Inland Steel after over 30 years of service, this just afforded him more time for fun. Through this struggle he has still found time to watch me compete in two marathons, take vacations with my mom to Las Vegas and Nashville, and enjoy retirement.

My dad encouraging me before Grandma’s Marathon

My dad encouraging me before Grandma’s Marathon. He stood for over five hours at the finish line waiting for me.

So in honor of my dad, I will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 22, 2006 raising money for the ABTA for research in the fight against brain tumors. This seems more than appropriate as it was at my dad’s insistence that I took up running. Entering sixth grade he “encouraged” me to join the cross country team to build endurance for soccer, which I played at the time. I begrudgingly complied and woke up early every morning for practice. Although I was always near the back of the pack, my parents were out there encouraging me at every race. I enjoyed that first season and running took hold as soccer faded. I ran cross country and track through middle school and high school, with my dad supporting and giving me sound advice (which as a typical teenager I ignored). I did not run competitively in college, but kept up the activity I had learned to enjoy. Since graduation I have actually jumped into the deep end completing three marathons, and doing my first couple triathlons this summer. I may have even learned to heed some of that advice my dad gave. There is a good chance I would have missed all of this if not for my dad’s prodding.

Relay for Life

My dad after finishing his survivor’s lap at Relay for Life

Stride to Save Lives

My parents at Stride to Save Lives

Whatever my time goals for the Chicago Marathon may be, I will consider the biggest success to be raising money to help fight this debilitating disease and see my dad congratulate me after crossing the finish line. Although my dad could not complete a marathon, his example of hard work, playing like you practice, and seeing things through has helped me in keeping the dedication needed for this sport. Those lessons might have some bearing for life in general too…not quite sure. And whatever struggles I face on the course that day, I know my dad is confronting a much more difficult opponent everyday.

My dad congratulating me after the St. Louis Marathon

My dad congratulating me after my much better race at the St. Louis Marathon.

Although I know everyone everywhere is always asking for your money, I implore you to consider supporting me in this cause. Whether a dollar or a hundred, any donation is greatly appreciated. This is also defiantly not any kind of scam because I never see any of the money. Any donations go straight to the American Brain Tumor Association without ever passing through my hands. To place a donation follow the “Make a Donation” link at the top of this page and then use the “Make a Contribution” box. If you so desire and have the means to do so, please also link to this page and spread the word about this. If you do donate, please drop me an email so I can personally thank you. Also, if I can get my site on my own server where I can place ads, any money made through that will be donated to this cause.

Thanks for your time, and whatever your decision on supporting this particular charity, find something out there that fulfills your passions that can improve the world, even if just by a little.