Congratulations to Gregg Donohue, our May NF Endurance athlete of the month! Gregg participated on our New York City Marathon team in 2012 and raised over $18,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Even though the race didn’t happen, he was determined to make the best of the situation.
Gregg was nominated for the Athlete of the Month honor by his co-worker, Seamus Bronson. Here is what Seamus had to say about Gregg…
“Gregg signed up to run the New York City Marathon to help raise funds for NF, as his son Jack has NF. Gregg doesn't even like running, in fact I'd go so far as to say he hates it. But Gregg wanted to raise money and increase awareness for NF so he kept his word.”
“While Gregg was at the NYC Marathon expo on the Friday before the marathon, collecting his race number, he heard the race was cancelled. Ho wondered if he could endure more training, mental anguish, and injuries for another marathon in the spring. On the Monday; the day after the marathon was scheduled, he set off on another dreaded training run. Four miles in to the run, he knew he had to run the marathon, there and then. He kept going, and going, no big NY crowds to cheering him on, no water and Gatorade stands, no music bands, no first aid stops, no mile markers, just Gregg, a water bottle, a few energy gels, his running watch, and his iPhone.”
“A few hours later with a quick run by his work place (mile 22) he was greeted by his family, friends, and co-workers. He went on to run the last 4.2 miles again in solitude, a lone runner, no fanfare, or cheering crowd but a will, desire, and drive to complete his own personal marathon for his son and NF. Appropriately enough he finished the 26.2 miles near his house, welcomed by his family.”
Gregg’s son Jack is 3 years old and was diagnosed with NF1. Like so many other families, Gregg had no idea what NF was before Jack’s diagnosis. Odds are that Jack will have a mild case and will live a long, happy life, with perhaps only a few small benign tumors on or under his skin. The worst part of this condition is its variability and unpredictability.
So far Jack has no symptoms other than a few café-au-lait birthmarks. Gregg hopes every day that Jack will continue to have a mild case of NF1. He says, “those of you who know Jack know that he is a pretty incredible kid. He has an amazing disposition and I know he will be able to overcome any obstacle that he comes across. Jack loves Superman and playing hockey, golf and baseball. He impresses everyone he meets with his mature disposition.”