I recently read the race report of fellow runner Brenton Day. He ran the New York City Marathon with Team Fox which raises money for Parkinson's research. I had previously donated to my homies G.D. who raised money for Team Groundwork and Erwin who raised money with Livestrong. I sat and just watched their progress this year, as I was completely broke and couldn't donate to anyone.
Reading Brenton's run down of visiting the city and meeting other members of Team Fox saddened me because I couldn't donate. It also made me think, "you should stop doing the small stuff." By that I mean, the $30 each I sent to my friends' organizations in previous years was really nothing. I could be raising money myself. I researched things that had affected my family and came upon Alzheimer's. I've always thought of it as one of the most disgusting and evil diseases I've ever encountered.
Not only does it relegate a person to a slow death, it leaves a family of loved ones feeling helpless in trying to make things better for said person. That has been the case with my grandmother, who was diagnosed with a mild form of it three months ago. She's still mostly lucid, but for how long? She's had such an amazing life and raised wonderful children, my dad being one of them.
On top of all of that, anytime, I hear my dad or aunts and uncles organizing things, who's taking her to the doctor, etc., you hear a profound sadness in their voices. This is their mother. And there is little they can do to comfort her and at this point and time, there is nothing they can do to stop the slow deterioration she is suffering through. She wasn't the first person in my family to suffer at the hands of this disease. And I've known quite a few people whose parents have died of the disease. When I made my decision and started planning how I'd spread the word, I learned more people had been impacted by this disease.
So I'm running the Chicago Marathon in Oct. 2012. If running 26.2 miles means someone else won't have to suffer that same pain as I and my family have because of this disease, than 26.2 miles is nothing.