That today is Super Bowl Sunday, I feel it is only fitting to talk a little sports, but not so much about the Super Bowl (although my preference, being a New England Patriots fan, would be for Green Bay to win, thus not allowing Ben Rothlesberger to close the gap on the number of Super Bowl trophies he and Tom Brady would have.)
No the sport I want to take a little time talking about is running. Why running? For a very special reason for me...Tommy is running the Boston Marathon this year. This will be his third consecutive year doing so, and the first for the Joslin Diabetes Clinic in Boston. The previous two years, Tommy ran the Marathon for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in honor of our mother, Bridget, who has battled (and is winning) with lung cancer.
Aside from the last couple of Boston Marathons, Tommy was never really considered a runner, per se. Although, he would run to keep in shape. Tommy's passions, however, growing up were more in line with baseball and football. That's not to say that when we were younger, we would make a make-shift goal in the backyard and I would put him in goal and I would try to drill soccer balls past him...we also tried playing tennis once or twice, but Tommy, at times, had a little difficulty keeping the ball in our court (often hitting it with his racquet over the fence like he was hitting a home run in baseball). Needless to say, Tommy stuck to what he was really good at - baseball and football.
He was then inspired, by mom, a couple of years ago to begin training for the marathon, and teamed up with Team Bruschi and ran to raise money for cancer. Now he is running for Team Joslin to raise money for Joslin's High Hopes Fund.
Diabetes affects some 24 million Americans - including Linda, our sister who passed away from complications of Diabetes at the age of 24, Christine, my wife, and myself.
Diabetes is also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and is the leading cause of death by disease in Canada. People with Diabetes also have an average life expectancy 15 years less than those without Diabetes. Diabetes also contributes to many other issues, namely cardiovascular disease, blindness and kidney disease. My kidney disease is a direct result of the effect Diabetes has had on assaulting my body, which now requires me to need a kidney transplant.
On April 18th of this year, Tommy will begin his marathon run in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Soon aver he will pass the Ashland Clock Tower, then the Framingham Train Depot...before too long the Natick town common and all of the cheering girls at Wellesley College and the halfway point...the next challenge will be Heartbreak Hill just before all of the cheering students at Boston College...then comes Coolidge Corner and then Kenmore Square, before finally crossing the finish line.
Tommy will have many proud supporters that day, including mom, Christine and myself. It's is probably hard to say who will be the proudest, but, at least to myself, I will claim dibs on that honor...it is a feat in of itself to complete a marathon, it is quite another to do to raise awareness and funds to combat a deadly disease, and it is almost beyond description the pride and honor I will have knowing that Tommy just crossed the finish line trying to help those like Linda, Christine and myself.
If you would like to consider supporting Tommy, please visit his Joslin page at: https://events.joslin.org/bostonmarathon/pfp/?ID=BT0004