Runner Cancer Survivor Dies
I am at a loss for words. I didn’t know this person personally. He didn’t coach any of my kids and we never shared a conversation, but I knew who he was and his influence on numerous high school athletes in Eastern Iowa. What he did for me was open my eyes to randomness of cancer.
I have known smokers that got lung cancer, but Gary Stamp was a non-smoker and avid runner who would carry a garage bag and would pick up cans and trash while running. It just didn’t make any sense to me that Coach Stamp would be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer last spring.
It was the push that I needed to try to help make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors. If my running could help raise money then it was something I had to do. If I am afforded the opportunity to live life to the fullest, then I can afford to do something for those who have hit a few setbacks.
Running the Chicago Marathon as part of Team Livestrong was rewarding in so many ways. As I look to 2012, I look for other opportunities to run and give back along the way.
Coach Stamp died today. My daughter missed the opportunity to play softball for him by a year. She is very sad. I hope someday she will know the influence he had on our family and others will be everlasting.