Each week we will be picking three (3) members to spotlight to tell their alzheimer's story and why they are running in this year's New York City marathon. Check in each day or week for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random)
Spotlight: Mike Fox
I had no intention to running a marathon this year. I ran my first marathon last year in Frederick, MD - in a grueling 4:59:06 (first half split was 2:13...). I had been running consistently for 5 years, and I proved I could finish the marathon. Now I could focus on races that didn't take over 4 months of my life to train for.
At some point last year, I was on the Ellis Island website looking for the records of family members of mine that arrived in the US at the turn of the century. I had found the Passenger Record of my Nana (see below) years ago, but when I looked at it last year, I noticed something different - she had arrived in early November in 1909.
I knew what happened every year in early November - the New York Marathon. And this year would be the 100th Anniversary of my Nana arriving in the US - in New York, where she lived most of her adult life.
Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to know my Nana that well. She started to experience early forms of dementia before I started grade school - she was paranoid, she was forgetful. My father had her move to Maryland so she could be closer to us and he could look after her. She would leave faucets running and flood her apartment. She would think she was still living in Brooklyn and not in Maryland. As time went by things got worse...by the time I was in High School she could barely carry on a conversation. She passed away in 1991 when I was 20 years old. Although I had 20 years with my Nana, I never really had a chance to know the type of person she was because Alzheimer's disease took her away from us long before she died.
When I saw that the Alzheimer's Association was fielding a team for the NY Marathon, I thought it would be such a great opportunity - to run the marathon through the city that my Nana called home, 100 years to the week that her family arrived and to raise money for the disease which took her life. Although I had no intention to run a marathon this year, this seemed too good to pass up.
A few weeks later, I received the letter accepting me into Team Run To Remember!