I never wanted to run a marathon. I've never considered myself a runner. Running 26 miles always sounded like the worst pain and anguish I could ever put myself through, so I never dreamt I would be doing this. And then Will was born at 26 weeks...and then he died 10 days later, redefining my definition of pain and anguish.
If you are reading this you probably know at least some of the details of Will's story. He was born on October 24, 2016, and he died after spending ten days in the Children's Hospital NICU. Nine of those days were incredible, amazing, and inspiring as we got to be with Will and marvel at the nurses and doctors at Children's. Our family developed a new routine with Beth heading in to the city each day in the morning on the train, and me heading in when she got home to be at Will's side. We were optimistic, thinking we had avoided tragedy and now he was at the best hospital in the world. The staff at the hospital became our second family.
He was our beautfiul little boy. He slept with his right foot sticking out, no matter how tightly the nurses tried to swaddle him up. Beth and I both got to hold him (the best feeling) even though he had feeding and breathing tubes in and around him. He looked remarkably healthy considering his situation. On his tenth day everything took a dramatic shift. Despite the doctors' best efforts, we spent November 2, 2016 at his side as he passed away. With our parents at our side, we explained to Trevor and Dennis that Will's body was too small so his parts didn't work and he got sick and died. That conversation was the start of our healing process.
The past year has been long and difficult. Beth and I have done a lot of work with ourselves, with our boys and with each other. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from our parents and siblings, and from our friends and community. Even though we lost our son, we are forever grateful for the care we all received from Children's Hospital.
So I'm running the marathon. For some reason it feels like the right thing to do. I'm running for you, Will, my sweet little boy. I'm running for you, Beth. I'm running for you, Trevor and Denny. And I know all of you reading this will be with me.