When Bridget’s dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005, her sister Maureen signed up to run a marathon in his honor. When their mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2019, the sisters decided they wanted to run the 2020 New York City Marathon together. Bridget would run for Project Purple and Maureen for Team Fox. But the pandemic ensued. Soon their mom lost her life to pancreatic cancer in 2020 and shortly after, Maureen herself lost her life to esophageal and brain cancer. This year, Bridget knew she wanted to run for her parents and for her sister, whose birthday would fall on the New York City Marathon.
“Marathon training has helped so much with the grief,” Bridget said. “If I weren’t training, I wouldn’t want to do much. Training has given me a positive outlet to keep going and feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s been really healing.”
When Bridget committed to this race, it was March and Maureen was really sick. Now, the race will be a big celebration in her honor. It will be like a big family reunion cheering Bridget on and Maureen’s oldest son who is running for Team Fox.
“There’s so much good that comes out of training and fundraising. It’s uplifting seeing other team members, interacting with families, and Project Purple staff,” Bridget said. She even inspired her neighbor, Sarah, to run with Project Purple too.
As a mom of three, she says her kids are in awe of how much she runs. When she told them the marathon will take about four and a half hours, they replied, “That’s like two and a half movies!” Her kids are starting to understand why their mom runs and why it’s important to the family. They are seeing how you can turn negative energy into positive.
100 days before the New York Marathon, Bridget created the above video sharing her family’s story. She said it reinvigorated her training process knowing she captured her dad, mom, and sister’s story. It helped her bring in the most donations for her race fundraising goal.
Bridget said running with Project Purple helps you run with purpose and reminds you to do your best despite the hardship.
“We can go through hard things and feel the feelings, yet still get out there and live with gratitude,” she said.
Did you resonate with Bridget’s story? Subscribe to the newsletter to read more. Interested in running a race in support of pancreatic cancer patients? Learn more about our running teams. To support Project Purple’s 360 financial aid, you can learn more here.
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