So during these 175 days leading up to my Ultramilano-Sanremo 175 mile race, I’ve been dedicating each training day to a pediatric cancer patient/survivor. Warriors. Heroes.
Today’s hero was planned until I got the news about the death of one of my all-time heroes, as well as a personal friend, Dr. Denton Cooley who died today at the age of 96.
Dr. Cooley performed the first transplant of a human heart in the United States in 1968. The following year, he became the first surgeon to implant an artificial heart in a human.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Cooley the Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor.
After the gathering had ended, I asked her to please tell her father that I said hello. I did not expect to get what she texted me.
Even though today’s run is not dedicated to a pediatric cancer patient, today’s honoree has a connection to Texas Children’s Hospital, as, until this morning, he was serving as a surgery consultant at there.
Dr. Cooley described life like this: “I’ve always thought life was like a marathon. You want to save some effort for the last hundred yards and have a little kick at the finish. And that’s what I would like to do.”
Dr. Cooley himself is credited with over 65,000 open heart surgeries and he, along with his associates, are credited with more than 118,000 open heart surgeries – more than any other group in the world
As incredible as ALL of that is, my FAVORITE stat about Dr. Cooley is this one: he and his wife Louise, who passed away just under one month ago, were married nearly 70 years.
Today’s run was for you, Dr. Cooley. It was a sprint workout, which really tested and strengthened my cardiovascular fitness. So appropriate to have this run FOR YOU, today.
Thank you for your dedication to healing humankind and for being a living example of an honorable, humble and truly great man.Who will you meet tomorrow?