Reprinted from the New York Road Runners website
Reaching the starting line of a marathon is the culmination of months of hard work and sacrifice, and for many, it’s a leap of faith. Few people participating in this year’s ING New York City Marathon know that better than Kevin Dwyer, who’s running with Team Boomer to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research. Dwyer is not just a fundraiser; he’s also a cystic fibrosis (CF) patient.
CF is a fatal genetic disorder that affects more than 30,000 Americans. Although it is not yet curable, the situation is not hopeless. The pace of research has accelerated since the discovery of the CF gene in 1989, and today, 40 percent of the CF population is over the age of 18. In many cases, quality of life can be improved by regular exercise.
Dwyer had watched the marathon from the sidewalk in the past. “I never in a million years thought I could do it myself,” he says. Last year, though, he paid attention to passing athletes’ shirts. “I saw people running in memory of loved ones, running despite physical disabilities, running for causes dear to them—I was really inspired by their determination and focus,” Dwyer explains.
When he spotted a Team Boomer runner, he was moved to tears. “I decided on the spot that I wanted to do my part for CF research,” he says. Team Boomer is a program that encourages people with CF to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives and provides an avenue for individual athletes in a variety of sports to raise money for CF.
Dwyer’s training has paid off by giving him increased lung function. “I’m running to raise money for a cure,” he says, “but more important, I’m running to heal myself.”
To support Kevin Dwyer’s efforts to raise money for Team Boomer, please visit his online fundraising page at FirstGiving.com.
You also may visit Kevin’s marathon blog at www.kevinrunning.wordpress.com.