My dad, Bill McEnerney, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in his early 20's. It took doctors and medical staff a bit of time to discover that he had Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis. The combination of the 2 is quite rare, so finding treatment and doctors was tough in itself.
Thankfully, my dad was able to find a doctor who cared for him for decades, and cared for him well; my brother, sister, mom, and I were so lucky to experience an upbringing with a dad that was physically able to throw us batting practice, work as an electrician, take us to Sox games, dance at our weddings, and hold his grandchildren. I'm sure at times it wasn't always easy, but to us he was just like any other dad. As time goes on, some of these things are much harder, minimal, or just done in a "different" way - my dad's body isn't letting him do the things he once could.
For the past 40 years, my papa has taken medications that wouldn't be pleasant for anyone, side effects that he hid so well, and watched his body physically change in the most frustrating ways. He is tougher and more perseverant that he gives himself credit for; I can't imagine the strength and fight it takes for him both mentally and physically to do things that so many of us take for granted. So, the least I can do is run for him. Run for all that he still can do and the things he can't do anymore. Run for the things that are hard for him. Run for people that love him. Run for my mom who has never batted an eye in the amount of love she has for him. And run for the difficult task in accepting that your role in life looks different than what your plan might have been.
A marathon is a long, long way. In the moments I'm feeling defeat, I will think of him and find a fraction of his strength, courage, and fight in myself - and tell myself that "I can" for my papa.
While my marathon is dedicated to my dad, I would also like to raise money to support myositis. The money donated here will go directly to The Myositis Association. Please consider donating in honor of my dad, and all the others who are impacted by this disease. Here is a link to the association and for more information about myositis:
Thank you for your support, love, and thoughts! October 7, 2018 is sure to be a great day.
- Gawin Family
- Ron and Mary Ellen Piatek
- Siers Dave
- Colleen Huffman
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