Monday, August 10, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Andrew Kent

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: Andrew Kent

After I was not selected for the NYC Marathon this year, I casually perused the charity websites to see if there were any groups that were a fit. While it became clear that I connected with Run2Remember because my grandfather had suffered from dementia prior to his passing a year ago, I was unsure of whether I would have the ability to raise money, train, and focus on day-to-day life at once.

A few days later, I was struggling through a long run. As I ran out of energy, I thought about the Alzheimer’s Association and how it would feel if I ran the marathon in remembrance of my grandfather. I felt overwhelmed and pushed onward. It was evident that I needed to do this.

My grandfather, Dr. Geoffrey Kent, was a professor of pathology, who began his career in the Netherlands and England during World War II. In May 1940 he helped 60 Jewish children escape Amsterdam through the Kindertransport, mere hours before the Nazis invaded the city.

Later that year, he helped care for the wounded during the Manchester Blitz. He eventually brought his family to the U.S. and had a successful career and family life. A clear intellectual, he pushed my educational growth every time I saw him. His influence led me to my current work in public health.

Running the NYC Marathon is the very least I could do for someone who gave so much to me and my family. I will think of him in every step of the 26.2 miles I run.

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