This morning, my 93 year old friend passed away from colon cancer. She was a dear friend of mine, filled with wit, charm and positivity. Aside from colon cancer, she also had MS, so she was confined in a wheelchair. She had so loved to dance with her late husband and to host dinner parties at her home, so her paralysis could have debilitated her spirit, but instead, she said, “I can’t do anything about it, so I’m not going to worry about it.” She knew I was training for the NY Marathon and would occasionally ask me how far I had run. Last week, I told her about my 15 mile run and she shook her head in jest and said I was crazy. We laughed together.In April of 2003, my father passed away from colon cancer. He was retired military and always had the stoic nature of a soldier. When he was 70 years old, he became the “Sit Up King” at Ft. Lewis, WA for completing 5,000 sit ups in one go. He was also the “Push Up King” for 500 pushups. He beat out all the young GIs. But the one thing he couldn’t beat was his cancer. He was diagnosed in January, and after a couple of operations, chemo and radiation, he took a quick turn for the worst and struggled as the cancer metastasized to his liver, lungs and bones. Today I have decided to run for the colon cancer charity as I have been touched by this disease, which is one of the most common forms of cancer in the US. If you’re over 50, please ask your doctor about a colonoscopy, and if it runs in your family, ask your doctor if you need one earlier.
The last time I tried to run a marathon was March 2003. I was trying to train while I was my dad’s caregiver. I got half way through the LA Marathon and had to pull out in defeat. This year, I hope I can complete the NY Marathon for my dad, my friend, for anyone who has had, has, or will have cancer or knows somebody who will.
Please check out my charity page here and consider donating to this or one of the other charities http://www.crowdrise.com/katjohn