30 Days of PF: Running a Marathon for My Dad
Day 10 of 30
This is Nicholas Sloop’s story:
I’ve always had a pretty active lifestyle, which I attribute to my dad. Growing up with my dad as an elementary school PE teacher — one who coached many different sports during his teaching career — encouraged me to be active and involved in lifelong activities to keep myself healthy.
When my dad was diagnosed with IPF, it blew me away. I still don’t understand how someone who has always been healthy and active could get a disease like this.
The disease has caused him to lead a less active lifestyle now, and has especially impacted his ability to run and compete in local running races. Though, after being diagnosed, he did continue to participate in races by walking during the events. This has motivated me, even more, to continue leading a healthy lifestyle and encouraging my family to do so as well.
Last year, toward the end of 2020, I was training for a fall marathon. As with most other events during the pandemic, it was called off but I’d already put in all the training for it. I decided to do a solo marathon around my hometown of Lawson, Missouri. I wanted to do this marathon for something that was bigger than myself.
I decided to use my solo marathon as an opportunity to fundraise in honor of my dad. Plus, I wanted to fight back against this disease. So, I chose to raise money for the Kansas City Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis. My fundraising goal was to raise $260 — $10 x 26, a marathon being 26.2 miles.
This goal was greatly exceeded, with $2,184 raised.
I completed my marathon the day after Thanksgiving. My parents drove along beside me and met me at different checkpoints along my route. They cheered me on and supported me throughout my entire run. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Pulmonary Fibrosis News’ 30 Days of PF campaign will publish one story per day for PF Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPF, or read the full series.