When Madeline ‘Maddy’ Kieselhorst first learned of the Lincoln half-marathon, she immediately knew that she wanted to run it in honor of her uncle, Terry Bane. Terry, originally from Nebraska, was a devoted University of Nebraska-Lincoln Husker fan. What makes the Lincoln half so special, in addition to the location, is the fact that pancreatic cancer charity Project Purple is the official race charity. The team currently has over 100 people signed on to run in Lincoln. Just over a year ago, on Easter Sunday, 2015, Maddy lost her beloved uncle to pancreatic cancer. Maddy felt helpless while watching her uncle battle his pancreatic cancer. A competitive runner, she feels that honoring her uncle’s memory by running on his behalf is a fitting tribute.
Terry Bane served in the United States Army in the 1970s. After being honorably discharged, he attended college in California, where he received a degree in public accounting. Terry remained in California following his college graduation. He worked for Riverside Health Care, where he eventually went on to become President. He and his wife, Sharon, raised two children, Casey and Laurel, together.
Pancreatic cancer entered the family’s life quickly. By the time Terry’s illness was discovered, it was already determined to be at stage IV. He was told that he had just months to live. “His battle was extremely short and sudden”, Maddy says. Maddy lived a couple of hours away from Terry, and it was difficult to be far away while he battled his disease. “Every time we would get together as a family, it was as if it would be the last time I saw him,” she recalls. Losing her uncle was extremely painful for Maddy. She explains, “His battle impacted me personally, because it was the first time I had had a family member die too early. It is one thing to lose a grandparent when they have lived a long, healthy life, but to lose an uncle is a whole different matter.”
“Terry was exactly what you would want for an uncle. He was fun, loving and a great role model,” Maddy explains. She remembers her uncle’s fun-loving spirit, saying, “While my uncle worked very hard at his job, he always enjoyed a good glass of wine with company, and, just like me, had quite a sweet tooth. I always knew where he hid his chocolate ‘stash’. He never minded sharing!” Maddy remembers her Uncle Terry as being a family man who greeted her with tickles instead of hugs. “My fondest memory of my uncle is from my childhood. Every time I would see him, instead of greeting me with a hug, he would pick me up and tickle me to death! It was the anticipation that always got me. Even though I knew it was coming, it would still surprise me every time.” In addition to being a devoted family-man, Maddy’s uncle loved baseball. He visited all 30 Major League Baseball fields over the course of his lifetime.
Maddy discovered the Project Purple team and knew that she wanted to run the Lincoln Half-Marathon in her uncle’s honor. Since her uncle was originally from Nebraska and was a very devoted Husker fan, it felt like this was the right race for her to run in his memory. Maddy began running while she was in high school. A multi-sport athlete, she played volleyball, basketball and ran with the track and field team. When she went to college, she decided to concentrate on one sport. She settled on running because, as she says, “It seemed the most efficient sport and I was better at it!” She started out as a sprinter, running the 200 and 400 meter races. However, the first time she entered a 1500 meter race, she won. From there on out, she continued to increase her mileage, and eventually she joined the cross country team. After college, Maddy joined a competitive team in the San Francisco Bay area, where she lives. She runs 5ks, 10ks and half-marathons, and while she runs for fun, she loves the competitive nature of racing.
Maddy signed on to run in Lincoln with the Project Purple team shortly after the holiday season. It had been about eight months since Terry had passed away, and his loss was beginning to fully impact Maddy. She explains, “It was about that time that it fully sunk in my mind that I was never going to have the chance to see my uncle Terry again.”
As Maddy trains to run with the Project Purple team, racing and running take on a new significance for her. She has a deep understanding of the significance of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She says, “Pancreatic cancer is harder to diagnose than some other cancers, which means it often goes undetected until it is too late.” Maddy believes that early-detection is critically important with pancreatic cancer, as it is the only chance patients have at a potential cure.
Please help Maddy and Project Purple fight against pancreatic cancer by making a tax-deductible donation at the link below: