Douglas Paroff - Prayers From Maria

I think it is safe to say that I first started running when our younger daughter came home from school in 4th grade to tell us that one of her friends and classmates had died form a brain tumor, a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It didn't take long for her family to join forces with Prayers From Maria to form Friends of Melana.

I ran the first 5k for Friends of Melana and learned more about the horrors of childhood cancer. Something inside me clicked and I felt like I needed to do more. I never knew about Prayers From Maria or the connection to Friends of Melana when I stumbled on a Facebook Post about the Sunflower Striders Running the Cleveland Marathon. The thought of a marathon terrified me, but I had to do it. 

The fact that these kids and their families endured more than I can ever imagine, I had to do what I could and run the marathon and ask all my friends and family for their support. That meant doing what I thought was going to be a one and done deal! Since then, I have been driven by the desire to help do what I can so that families don't have to fight for the life of a child. 

My hope and dream is that in my lifetime, I see the news that a cure for childhood cancer has been found! My driving force to keep running isn't just the joy that I get out of it, but for doing it for those that can't!

Screenshot 2024 04 08 At 10026 Pm