I run for those who can’t. I run for the hope of finding a cure for cancer. I run in hope of making a difference.
I run because the events of Turlough getting sick and losing his battle to ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, forever changed me as a person. At the time I did not realize how much I needed to grow and change as a person, and I believe that I am a better person today, thanks to Turlough. He taught me how precious life truly is and how we need to appreciate all it has to offer everyday, good or bad. How we need to live everyday to its fullest because you never know what challenges lie ahead.
I started running just over five years ago and it began with the first Mighty Meehan 5K in September 2008. I wanted to be a part of the race because of what it meant and my connection to Turlough. I definitely was not in shape but thought that three miles would be easy. I finished in just over 31 minutes and felt like I was going to die. It was on that day that decided I wanted to be a better runner.
In 2011 I decided that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon and I knew immediately that I wanted to run for Dana Farber. I knew I wanted to honor Turlough’s memory and his family. The Meehan family had done so much for our community through Turlough memory, that I wanted them to see how much of an impact their beautiful son had on this world, how his memory lives on everyday in each of us, and how many lives he touched.
The Dana Farber Marathon team was amazing and I was lucky enough to run the Boston Marathon in April of 2012 as a part of their team. I trained and ran along side 550 other people who wanted to make a difference, who wanted to help find a cure for cancer, and who wanted to honor those who lost their battles and those who had won. Their stories touched my heart and soul and I will never forget so many of them. I wish I could find the words to explain what being a part of that team felt like but can’t seem to find them.
April 16, 2012 was not quite what I had envisioned. I trained hard and felt I was prepared. What I was not prepared for was the weather, hot and humid. I think back to the days leading up to the marathon and next time they say if you are not an experienced runner you should not run, I will listen to their advise. I did finish that hot day, but it was no where near what I thought or was hoping my time would be. I was proud to finish that day but more than that I was proud of the $15,000 I had raised for Dana Farber. I proud of the support I received from friends, family, co workers, and strangers. I was proud to be a part of something so much bigger than me and running a marathon.
I applied to the team again for the 2013 Boston Marathon and was accepted. Unfortunately I had suffered a significant injury playing ice hockey and was not quite ready for the training. I was fortunate to be able to volunteer for Dana Farber and still be a part of team. I was volunteering at mile 25 on marathon day, where the Dana Farber patients and families are. I was blessed to see this event through their eyes and heart.
Life is so hard and challenging everyday for all of us. Remember to find the good everyday and tell your friends, family, and loved ones how much they mean to you. When you are having a tough day look to Turlough Meehan for his strength and endless love to get you through it.