WHY I RUN – “For my Dad, Jim Ryan”
On October 12th, I will be running my first marathon in honor of my Dad.
My Dad, Jim Ryan, was known and loved by every person he met.
He was larger than life in every way.
My dad was always athletic playing baseball from childhood on.
After that he began coaching me and my two sisters softball teams.
Through his coaching he was able to make a difference in many young female athletes’ lives and always pushed for us to have the best.
In 2003, my freshman year of high school, my dad was first diagnosed with melanoma.
Through surgery doctors were able to remove the malignant tumor and my dad went on to then train for and run in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Chicago Marathons.
From 2008 – 2012 his melanoma spread to other parts of his body, including colon, lungs, and brain.
He went through various surgeries and treatments always fighting and NEVER complaining.
In fact most people never even knew my dad was ever even sick.
In January of 2012, he began an intensive treatment for the spots on his brain.
However towards the end of February things took a turn for the worse.
In the end my Dad’s tumors were actually shrinking, but a hemorrhage caused by the radiation was too much and we lost my dad on February 27, 2012.
We do not believe my Dad’s lost his fight to Melanoma — it never beat him.
I run in order to honor my Dad’s memory and raise money for research so that one day a cure can be found and not one else has to go through what my Dad endured.
My Dad made a difference in so many peoples’ lives and brought joy to everyone he knew.
2014 Jack’s Marathon Team – Chicago