At 5:45 a.m. this morning while it was still dark, my husband, Kirk, got out of bed to run his first 10K to help support STOP CANCER. Here is a guy who usually goes to bed around 4 a.m. so I wasn’t so sure how well this would go until he gave it his own unique perspective. You see, he didn’t mind because this was the first time that he had gotten up this early when it wasn’t to take me to the hospital for a cancer-related surgery so it was easy. And that set the stage for a most memorable event for not only Kirk but also for me.
As I saw him start the race and then cross the finish line, my heart was filled with such love and honor and respect for this man. He was always at my side through two rounds of cancer surgeries, the second one being a double mastectomy followed by reconstruction when many men would have been long gone. But even then, he didn’t stop there giving of himself to honor and help others.
For this fund raiser, Kirk had set three goals. One, he wanted to raise $500 for this charity. He accomplished that. Two, he wanted to finish the race in under an hour. He did that. Three, he wanted to carry with him the names of your family, friends and co-workers who were survivors or caregivers or those who had lost their battle with this deadly disease. And he did this by putting those names on the back of the shirt that he wore for the race for everyone to see.
Kirk did all of these things on his own. He kept this personal challenge a secret from me and everyone else until about three weeks ago when he had to tell me about it in order to start raising the funds. He not only trained in secret but he had never done anything remotely close to this before so in order to set a goal to finish in less than an hour was pushing things to the limit if you ask me but once again he did it. Then he indicated that he wanted to carry with him the names of those that you wished to honor as inspiration for this run. I didn’t find out until Friday evening that he had had a shirt printed to prominently display all of the names that you submitted to him.
As I saw him start the race and then cross the finish line, my heart was filled with such love and honor and respect for this man. He was always at my side through two rounds of cancer surgeries, the second one being a double mastectomy followed by reconstruction when many men would have been long gone. But even then, he didn’t stop there giving of himself to honor and help others. He told me when the training got tough, he would think about the kids who had to get up in the morning to go for chemotherapy and this allowed him to push on through. To me, that takes someone with a very special heart and soul to even be able to think that way.
So, Kirk, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all those that you helped with the money that you raised for this cause. I thank you for the honor that you bestowed on each and every person for whom you ran. And most of all I thank you for being the most wonderful person that I have ever known. I know that I am the most fortunate person in the world to have you in my life and I wish that in some way, shape or form, I will find the way to truly thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You will never know what a difference you have made in so many ways and in so many lives but that doesn’t change the fact that you have done so much for so many. For that, we honor you today!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.