Project Purple Ambassador of Hope 💜
Check out the original blog on the Project Purple Site Here!
My name is Molly Huddle and I am a two time Olympian for Team USA Track & Field, and I’m currently in training for the 2018 NYC Marathon . You could say endurance is in my DNA. I call on it for sport, but I have seen it used in a more harrowing way. I have seen friends and family members’ innate ability to endure brought out in the fight for life against cancer.
I heard about Project Purple through my cousin, after my Uncle Bill was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last year. My Grandmother also died of the disease at age 88. My Uncle is only a year younger than my own Dad, whom I still view, like many sons or daughters do, with an air of invincibility to him.
My Uncle is a perennial athlete, known for speaking in sports metaphors and showing up in sneakers and sweats to Graduations, Easter Dinners and all matter of semi-formal functions. He survived Vietnam, how could anything make him sick? How could he be anything but a strong, healthy, athletic Father of three?
I spoke with Project Purple founder Dino Virelli about these things and liked his passion for fighting this Cancer that had hit his family so hard.
I also recognized how getting family members involved in running is a therapeutic side benefit to fundraising for the cause. I have found in my life that even though I mostly train, I also sometimes just run. That running has carried me through times of grief, stress and hardship by putting one foot in front of the other. It’s amazing how the simple (but not easy) act of carrying your body through space can make you feel like you are also carrying yourself through the hard times.
I loved that friends and family members of those with Pancreatic Cancer can channel that feeling of restlessness and helplessness into actually running towards progress. By training for the Project Purple Marathon Charity Teams and other Project Purple events, they not only raise funds to put towards patient and family care as well as disease research needed to find treatment options (Dino and I also agreed that Scientists are rockstars), but they also give themselves a healthy outlet for dealing with the stress of seeing a loved one sick.
My hope is to help Project Purple race for a cure towards Pancreatic Cancer in 2018. We all need a reason to make those hard efforts. When I’m pushing to conquer the 26th mile, I will be thinking in part of the Project Purple Athletes running the same mile in the name of conquering Pancreatic cancer. I’ll also be thinking of my Uncle and others in his situation, who are fighting for something much bigger.
(In remembrance of Bill Huddle)