In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your story here.
Name: Chapin Jacob
From: Wenham, Massachusetts
Year #2 running for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and I could not be more honored and excited! Often, when I tell someone that I am excited to train for and run the marathon, I’m met with a confused look as to why anyone would choose to run for 3+ hours, let alone feel excited about it — enter my Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patient partner, Cameron Conley, and close friend, Patrick Beauregard.
Cam is a pediatric patient being treated at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber, after being diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cam is over one year out from his diagnosis and his treatments are ongoing, but his story is one of hope and it speaks to the importance of continuing to raise funds to research childhood cancer. When the training miles get tough, I dig deep and think about the Conley family and the smile and joy of a young 5-year-old who moves through life with such determination despite the challenging hand he has been dealt.
Pat was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at age 29, about a month after marrying his college sweetheart, Amanda. Pat’s cancer journey has been a roller coaster, and his treatment plans have shifted but his attitude has not. Pat’s story is best told in his own words: “Cancer sucks, but I am happier than I’ve ever been… quit complaining, cherish what you have, and enjoy every single day that is given to you.”
So, why am I running? I run for Cam and Pat. I run to raise awareness and critical funds for early onset cancer. I run because just one day of waking up with cancer is infinitely more challenging than running a marathon. I run to bring us 26.2 miles closer to a world without cancer!
Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.