31 Miles on 31 Years to Honor Madeline Gazzale
In the Spring of 2014, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was just 55 years old. If there's one thing you should know about my mom it’s that if she does decide to tell you bad news at all, you can bet that her timing won’t be the best.
At the start of this traumatic day, my dad, brother, and I were at Belmont Park hoping for a Triple Crown win from California Chrome. Chrome let us down, but we all left with cash in our pockets anyway, so we were thrilled—until we got home. In typical fashion, my mother sprung the news on my brother and me as soon as we walked in the door. My dad had known for some time, so this was her chance to tell us face-to-face.
I didn’t say anything. I just stared at her, frozen. I had too many questions I didn’t know where to start. My mother had tears in her eyes; you could tell she was scared.
My sister and I were both getting married in 2015, and my mother refused to let cancer ruin the family celebrations. Even through the radiation, chemotherapy treatments and surgeries, she was unwavering in her belief that she would kick cancer's ass.
And she did, or so we all thought.
Late last summer, the cancer came back. She let me know as I was getting ready for a late night drive back home to Upstate New York. Perfect timing as always: I had the next two and half hours to worry about what the outcome would be this time.
This latest diagnosis didn’t require the same type of treatment as the first time around, she explained, but that was hardly reassuring. So, as my mother readied herself for another bout with cancer, selfless in her pursuit of keeping up appearances and trying her best to maintain a positive attitude, I did a little self-reflection.
I decided that I had fallen short as a son.
The woman who gave me everything I needed, could have used an uplifting response, but I was too busy being frustrated at the news and the timing of her delivery.
That’s when I decided that I would show my mom how much I appreciate and love her by donating to a cause that's helped keep her alive.
On Sunday, October 14, 2018, my 31st birthday, I’m running 31 miles to raise money for breast cancer research.
I’m setting a goal to raise $3,100. Running my own personal ultra marathon is a lofty goal, but knowing it’s for a great cause close to my heart will keep me motivated through each training mile.
You can help me reach this goal by donating or signing up to run a few miles with me in October. Each mile you sign up for is $5, so sign up for 1, 5, 10, 15 miles or more!
I've created this page to raise funds for research at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which continues to provide life-saving treatment for my mother, and I hope you’ll consider joining the cause and making a donation.
Many of the most important breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment have been brought to light at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and none of that progress would have been possible without support from people like you and me. In fact, much of the most promising new research can't even begin without donations from individuals: in most cases, government funds become possible only after our support funds the early work that demonstrates real potential.
Too many of us know people who have faced a cancer diagnosis, and sometimes it's hard to know how we can make a difference. One of the most effective ways to help is to make sure the crucial work being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering continues to have the support that will drive it forward.
I’ve created this page because I am determined to do my part.When the next new breakthrough is announced, I want to know that I have been a part of making it happen, and it would mean that much more to me if you would join me in the effort so that I can say that we helped make it happen.
Every dollar counts, and I hope you will be as generous as you can.