Cancer, only a six letter word. Yet a word that describes a disease that strikes so much fear and changes so many lives, both of those with it and those that love them. The thing about saying the word cancer is that most people associate it with the word death. Yet there are many fighters and survivors out there living with it.
My first memories of cancer in my lifetime was that of my grandfather dying when I was 10 of prostate cancer. Not sure I really knew then what he died of because he was 83 years old and as a 10 year old, to me it was part of that cycle of life that old people die and go to heaven.
The real reality of cancer came in 1998, when my oldest brother Fred was diagnosed with lung cancer. I wanted so much to help him beat it, but it was a short losing battle. He was only 57 and was in great shape, too young to die. I thought of the four of us siblings with all his bike riding he would life the longest. On my 58th birthday I went for a bike ride in his memory and to say I was still here.
Then in 2004, I was told I had prostate cancer and I was determined to beat it for myself and my brother because he never had a chance. I am still standing, although it has not always been easy. None of these are the reasons for me being here but more of a background of my life as it pertains to the word cancer.
What brings me here is Daryl Lynn Snow Wenzel.
A little background on cancer in Daryl's life, she lost her dad to brain cancer when she was only 17. Hence, the picture of her and her dad that is attached. I think it is such a wonderful photo.
In August 2005, I met Daryl Lynn Snow, little did I know where that would lead. Here I was blessed with this special lady, that was willing to over look the fact that I would have to deal with cancer the rest of my life and was willing to take a chance on me. We fell in love and she brought so much to my life. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in January 2008, such a life changing moment. The impact that it brought to her life and our lives was tremendous. In April 2009, we were married. We both knew our time together would be short as husband and wife. When you are saying in sickness and health and til death due us part, you are not thinking so much of the future but closure for what was and what might have been. Daryl was only 56 when she lost her battle in October 2009, much too young to die. Her dad left behind five children when he died. Daryl left behind four children when she died. They lost her too soon.
The past four years I have run the Chicago Marathon in her memory for Team Breakthrough. The first time was supposed to be one and done for marathons. That has not been the case. Now I will be hoping my aging body will hold up to allow me to do my fifth Chicago Marathon and praying that when I hit the wall, that Daryl, my brother Fred and her dad will give me the strength to keep going when it seems like I have none. They have done it in the past.
Why you might ask would you do this, 26.2 miles is just crazy and you have done this. It so many ways it is very true.
My reason is people, those with cancer, those battling cancer, those that are caregivers and those who have lost someone to cancer. As I sat and talked to people at the team lunch prior to previous years events, I have heard the stories of people who had lost someone to brain cancer, the battles and it made me understand that it really is not about 26.2 miles or the finisher medals, it is about trying to make a difference. I can remember driving to work one day to my architectural job and thinking, if I was going to to do something else it would be to do something to fight cancer. So this is my attempt at helping fight cancer.
So here I am again, asking for your donations and support. I am hoping you help to exceed the $1,250.00 goal. And if you thought about giving any of the other years and did not, here is a second chance, you know you want to. Second chances can be wonderful things, the fact that I am able to attempt a marathon is truly a second chance of where things could have been. And if you gave last year, thank you so much and please pledge again this year.
Thank you everyone,
Each day, 500 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. To show my support, I will be participating in the American Brain Tumor Association’s Team Breakthrough Endurance program. Money raised will provide critical funding for brain tumor research and for supportive patient care.
You can support me in my efforts by making a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association.
Click on “Donate Now” to donate safely and securely.
Your donation not only supports brain tumor patients and their families, but it also supports the breakthrough research to improve, extend and ultimately save lives.
And remember, your donation is tax-deductible! You can learn more about the American Brain Tumor Association at www.abta.org. Thank you in advance for your support of my efforts on behalf of brain tumor patients, their families, and the researchers pursuing the breakthroughs.