The photo is of Tim and Susan Feeney. I took the photo one day after the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon. We had met at the World War II Memorial and walked around the monuments pausing to eat lunch at a hot dog truck. Best hot dog I ever had!
Tim was unable to run the marathon with us. In June 2006, several days after completing the Mickelson Trail Marathon in Deadwood, SD, Tim was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For over two years he has fought hard and endured pain and treatment which puts a marathon in the category of "a walk in the park". I often feel a sense of guilt when I complain about an ache or a pain. We can take two Tylenol and and put an ice pack on the injury and it goes away. Unfortunately, all of the modern technology and medicines could not take Tim's tumor away. Several weeks ago Tim made a decision to cease any further treatment for the tumor. He is at home with Susan and is receiving hospice care.
He has been running about the same time as myself, four plus years. We have done training runs, 5K's, 10K's, halfs and marathons together. He was a "Group Leader" in our training program, teaching new runners how to adapt to the rigors of marathon training. He helped many runners accomplish goals they never thought possible. However, no matter how hard we try, we cannot help Tim achieve the goal of health.
As runners we enter a race with the goal being the finish line. Tim is running the race of and for his life and this time we don't want to see the finish line. We want someone to declare a false start and go back to when things were fun and we laughed and told stories.
Susan has been continuing her running, in fact she completed a training run this morning. She may be tiny, but her nickname is "Big Dog". Several years ago Susan didn't think she could run with our pace group. The old saying is, "if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." Well, Susan got off the porch and ran with the "Big Dogs".
I read a quote from Olympic champion Jesse Owens that's speaks to the battle Tim is facing. "The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself - the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us - that's where it's at."
Please keep Tim and Susan in your prayers.