Together with several of my college friends, I will be participating in the 2023 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. As many of you know, this will be our 7th year walking.
Why am I walking? On a very personal level, the answer is fairly simple: I am one of the lucky survivors. I had colon cancer in 2011 and then had a recurrence in 2012. Thankfully, I have been cancer free since then. Others are not so lucky. My mother was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2013 and died less than a year later. My uncle died a year after my mom from colon cancer. One of my cousins was also taken from us far too soon because of cancer and another is fighting for her life.
My college friends and I walk to honor the memory of Gina Sweeney Gatter. In late summer of 2016, Gina (one of my college roommates) was diagnosed with liver cancer and died that December. Naively I thought that if I gave her tons of encouragement and did my best to help her fight the cancer, that she would conquer the cancer and survive. Sadly, I was wrong. The world is a less vibrant place without Gina's laughter, creativity, art and empathy. Gina was one of my loudest cheerleaders during my battle with cancer and my inability to help her win her fight hit me very hard. So, once again, we will be walking 13.1 miles in September to honor Gina (and my mother, uncle, cousins and countless others) and to raise money for research to cure, and develop more effective treatments for, cancer.
Each one of us has been touched by this dreadful disease, either personally or through a family member or close friend. So please support my efforts to help defeat this disease and give to my walk. Any support (including words of encouragement) are so appreciated!!