…74 Days Until Race Day
Today is a special number day. When we reach this mile (101) in the Ultramilano-Sanremo race, I will have then run the furthest I’ve ever run in one race.
Only fitting then that today, we meet a kid who has come further than anybody thought he would.
Cory is a Snowdrop Foundation scholarship recipient, a Team Snowdrop Foundation runner who has run Chevron Houston Marathon and half marathon and is the first cancer survivor recipient of free coaching from world ultra-running elite, Connie Gardner.
His goal is to run the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon in under 5 hours. With an 11-time USA Track & Field National Champion as his coach, and seeing his current times, I have no doubt he will shatter 5 hours in January.
“Cory was always an “old soul”. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to go in to the Air Force and be a pilot when he grew up.
On Labor Day 2007 I noticed he had a lump the size of a quarter on his neck. At the suggestion of an ER doctor where I worked I demanded that testing be run on this lump (the pediatrician thought I was crazy).
The lump turned out to be Burkett’s Lymphoma.
After more testing, and to the amazement of the doctors, his cancer was caught at stage 1. Burkett’s is one of the fastest growing cancers and almost never caught while it is stage 1!
His treatment lasted ’til Thanksgiving and we had our child home in remission for Christmas.
The morning of his very first follow up visit I looked down at his neck and that is a moment I will probably never forget..the lump was back.
This time the cancer was in his neck and kidney, stage IV.
This time treatment was much longer and tougher.. spinal taps once a month for six months, in-patient chemo, out-patient chemo, blood and platelet transfusions, and antibody therapy that was still experimental in kids (which he had a terrible reaction to the first of 4 doses).
In June, after missing his entire 5th grade school year, he was finished with treatment and has been cancer free since!
Cory went on to compete in athletics and excelled in high school.
Cancer did take away his dream of going into the Air Force and flying. Because he had cancer 10 years earlier, the military said he was a “liability”.
Cory, you’re a victor, and when you cross that marathon finish line in January, well under your goal time, you’ll feel the same pride in yourself that we all feel for you.
Who will you meet tomorrow?