On Thanksgiving Day of 2014, the bravest man I have ever known was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. As a physician, I have had to deliver bad news to patients repeatedly throughout my career. However, as I stood at my father's bedside in the emergency room that morning cancer had suddenly taken on a new meaning. My life would forever be changed. While the physician in me understood the reality of his situation, the daughter in me did not.
My father fought cancer for over three years and faced each day with resilience and a "never give up" attitude. He never let cancer define his life even as his health declined. Dad always asked his nurses and caregivers how they were doing no matter how sick he felt. He was deeply admired by everyone he came in contact with. I was so fortunate to be raised by the most exceptional man a daughter could ask for.
At the end of his life, I asked him how I could go on without him. He was my best friend, my cheerleader, and my inspiration. To this he replied, "Be happy, live well". After years of caregiving and stress, my own health suffered. I promised my dad that I would regain my health and go on to do great things that would honor him for the rest of my life. Here it begins....
On October 5th, 2019 I will be running my first race since 2015 in my father's memory. I am registered for Laurel Hill Cemetery's RIP 5 k where my father was interred on August 25th, 2018. At the same time, I am raising money for cancer research with donations going to the American Association for Cancer Research. Though I am running for my dad, I am running for all cancer patients and their families. I have finally made good on my promise to my dad that I'll get back on track. Please consider donating to cancer research through the AACR as cancer affects us all! For those who wish to support me race day, I'd love for you to run with me on October 5th or come cheer me on! For runners, please register at Laurel Hill Cemetery’s site for the RIP 5k under our team name Anthony’s Angels.