Mike Pilliod lost his mother to pancreatic cancer six years ago, and began running with Project Purple shortly afterward.
“She was born in New York City, and I was always a marathon runner,” Pilliod said. “I found Project Purple through Googling and running the marathon on my own.”
He continued saying his mother lived in or near the city her entire life. Pilliod said that his family moved to upstate New York when he was young, but they always spent time in the city, giving him a personal connection to his mother’s home.
He said that he’s felt the growth of the organization, over the last five years especially, has been something to watch, and that its helped him with fundraising as well as preparing for the race. “I kind of have this core group of people who are super happy to support me,” Pilliod said. “I started by reaching out to people who were close to my mom or to my family, and it grew.”