I am the son of George McGrath, a soon to be 57 year old seemingly healthy individual, up until 7 weeks ago. George was screened for colon cancer and when it came back positive, our family was stunned. He went through all of the necessary post-screening tests to find out that he had Stage 3A colon cancer (as a family and support group, we choose not to capitalize the ‘c’ so as not to give it power).
I live in Vancouver and have now for almost 2 years. Being away from my dad, mom and immediate family is almost impossible during a time like this. I wanted to positively impact my dad’s now turned upside down daily routine by showing him that even when he may be fatigued, upset, or fed up of his treatment, people are thinking of him.
I decided to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (half-marathon) and raise funds for the Colorectal cancer Association of Canada. At first, it was only me and I had modest goals until I recruited 4 greats friends to make a team of 5. All of my friends have strong personal ties to my father so it was natural for them to want to join and help out. We have set the lofty goal of raising $10,000 before October 20th.
We created a facebook page to document our progress and keep people informed of our journey. We launched ‘Georgies Best’ on Saturday July 20th at 10:00pm PST and by Wednesday July 24th, we had raised $2355. Our facebook page has close to 200 likes and the donations continue to pour in. Please visit our page here.
Since July we have recruited 5 new runners to our team and the support continues to grow. We now have runners from Whitby, Toronto, and St. Catharines who all share a strong bond to my father and want to run because of who he is as a person.
We as a team want to keep George’s spirit up but I, as his son, want to run and help the CCAC because if it wasn’t for the advocacy and awareness surrounding Colon cancer, my dad would have continued to live life not knowing what was inside him. I know the type of man he is and although he wouldn’t let something like this knock him down, if it weren’t for the screening and awareness campaigns, there’s no telling how far along the cancer could have gone. My dad is currently on day three of chemo and radiation and has 22 days left until health.
None of us on this team are runners so we do not have running time goals. In a perfect world we would all wait for each other and cross the finish line together because I know my dad would love to see that.
To follow our fundraising progress, visit our Charity Challenge page .