In 2016, I found Project Purple. I was reeling from the stage IV diagnosis that my brother-in-law, Mike, had received less than a month previously. I wanted to do something for him. So I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, running with and raising money for Project Purple. Mike died in August 2016, just minutes before his 46 th birthday.
Mike left behind my sister, Heather, and my niece, Mary Helen. Mary was barely a year old. We were heartbroken. Mike’s diagnosis and death changed something for me. Pancreatic cancer is still such an unknown – there’s few treatment options, and the survival percentage rate isn’t even in double digits. Those nine months we had after Mike’s diagnosis were considered a blessing, but it still was not enough time. I do not want another family to experience what my family has gone through, and the reality we face every day without Mike.
In the four years I’ve been involved with Project Purple, I’ve run 6 races with them and started the
Horner Hustle, a 5K fun run event in my home town, and was asked to join the Advisory Board. It was a chance meeting – a charity organization supporting a cancer that just hit closer to home than I could have ever imagined. But in those four years, I’ve chosen to continue working with Project Purple because I believe in the mission. I believe in the patient support Project Purple provides. And I believe its efforts will help get us closer to a cure.