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Finishing what he started

Posted on August 04 2017

Screen-Shot-2017-09-29-at-3.29.22-PM“I have seen more patients battle cancer than I care to admit, but no one showed as much grit and determination as Neil — he simply didn’t know any other way. Neil was my roommate through medical school and my best friend across 3,000 miles and 30 years. Neither of us is or was born a runner. He had hip problems, and my legs are way too short. But, if there was a challenge, Neil was up for it. He always finished what he started. We ran our first marathon together in 1998, and 12 years later, Neil was diagnosed with lymphoma. In December of 2015, despite cancer, chemo and me slowing him down, we finished the Tucson Marathon. I probably would not have finished the race if it weren’t for him being there beside me. His next target was the New York City Marathon, but New York would have to wait until he had recovered from his bone marrow transplant.

Neil died this past fall, and I like to think that when he died, he killed the cancer too. As I said, he didn’t like to lose. He did not give up, and he never gave up. This fall, Neil’s brothers and I will be running the NYC Marathon in Neil’s honor. I will be the one with a pair of Neil’s shoes strung over my shoulder. This time it’s my turn to help him finish what he started.”- HOKA Fan Marshall Silverman

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