My relationship with my dad was very strong; we did everything together, bike ride, roller skate, swim, hike, bird watching and so much more. My father was very active and enjoyed the outside, loved nature and animals. He loved to climb mountains, volcanoes, and scuba dive; anything that was adventurous my dad enjoyed. My dad was always willing to help in anyway he can. Even after I got married and had children my dad changed his work schedule to nights so I can return to school and work part time while he watched them.
My father was diagnosed with colon cancer in the summer of 2004. I was told he only had six months at most. I was lucky enough to have my father for two years before he passed on December 23, 2006. Initially, my reaction was WHY? WHY ME? WHY MY DAD? This was not easy for me at all and something that I was not prepared for in LIFE. I quickly realized that this is not about me that it is about him. I then switched the roles around and did everything and anything I could do for my dad to have everything and anything he needed. I asked him to move in with me and coordinated his appointments with my schedule. I would take him to chemo, pick him up and was there every time just as he was always there for me.
Aside from being an amazing dad, grandfather and husband he was a hard worker, and a caring and loving man. I recall a time that my father and I were walking home from school and there was a bird nest lying on the ground with a live baby bird still in it. My dad picked up the nest brought it home and nourished this bird back to health. He feed it with a toothpick and everything to make sure he lived. Once the bird was strong enough to be set free, he did. That moment alone and many more remind me that my dad was one of a kind and very special indeed. From that day on, I looked at my dad as a HERO.
I have made it my mission to help raise awareness and do everything possible to fundraise to help find a cure. It is my goal and my mission in memory of my dad to educate and spread the word anytime it’s possible.
I wanted to make a difference; I always participated in running events for cancer, but never found an event dedicated specifically to colon cancer till last year 2012. As I was searching the web for events I came across Get Your Rear In Gear and knew this was the run I had to get involved with. I just didn’t want to be a part of the run I wanted to make a difference, so I looked into sponsoring. I spoke to my boss and told him that this is an event that I would like our office to sponsor and be a part of in helping raise awareness. My boss approved my request and we became a sponsor for the event and we have sponsored in 2013 as well. I met Erin and Vanessa and told them if there was anything I can do to help, that they should let me know. That was when Vanessa asked me if I would assist her with becoming a Local Event Director for New York. I didn’t need to think about it, this is something that I was meant to do. I couldn’t be anymore excited to be part of the Get Your Rear In Gear organization.