With every stride, for nearly 30 miles, William Lee will be thinking of all he lost to cancer.
The Bayside runner will be running the 117th Boston Marathon in April in memory of his two uncles and several cousins who succumbed to the disease.
“They will definitely be on my mind,” Lee said. “I’m not sure how I’ll be emotionally during the marathon.”
The 26.2 mile trek will be his 28th and last marathon after surgery to remove a benign spinal tumor changed
his life five years ago.
“I became a different runner after that,” said Lee, 44, an insurance company analyst. “There’s some nerve damage. My legs don’t work as well as they used to.”
But Lee said he plans to tough it out on April 15 to conquer cancer as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
He will be side by side with 550 other Dana-Farber teammates as they run from Hopkinton, Massachusetts to Boston. Their goal is to raise $4.6 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which supports early stage research.
Lee has already collected $4,730 in sponsorship with hopes of gathering thousands more before he reaches the starting line.
“I was looking for a cause I really believed in. I feel good that the money is going directly to a research center,” Lee said. “I’m excited about it.”
This is the first time Lee, who has been running for 20 years, will race Boston’s historic marathon route.
To donate to Lee’s cause, visit www.RunDFMC.org and search his name.