In 2009 I had signed up to run with Team in Training to raise money to find a cure for Lymphoma & Leukemia and support families that battle these terrible blood cancers. Within a month of signing up, my father in-law was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma! Of course I made him my hero, the person I was fundraising and running for. Every hill I tackled during training became nothing. Because compared to what Roger was going through, what was a hill that I needed to overcome?
With the help of my employer and some very generous people, I was able to raise a good amount of money. Enough to receive this plaque.
When the race came near, we weren’t sure if Roger would be able to watch, because he was having more bad days than good. Turned out he was able to make it! That race, the 2009 Capital City Half Marathon was one of the most emotional races I had ever run. Seeing him at the sideline, skinny as a rail, holding up a sign is forever etched into my brain.
Roger had been at some of my races before to show his support of my running, but this time it was different, I was running for him! After the race was over I met up with him, his wife, and my husband. During the race I had decided to give Roger my medal to show him that he’s a winner in my book and how much he meant to me. That medal since then had been adoring the mirror on the dresser in his bedroom.
If you have followed my blog, you will know that Roger passed away almost two weeks ago from a second battle with NonHodgkins Lymphoma; one that he was not able to win.
Today, my mother in-law gave me the medal I had given to Roger. It was an emotional moment for me, because when he tackled cancer a second time, I was hoping that he’d walk away a winner again. To me, receiving the medal back made it somewhat more final that it wasn’t meant to be.
The medal that I really never wanted back will be the one I will treasure the most. It now hangs proudly in my office and as soon as I get the chance, it will go into a shadow box to be properly displayed.