Letter to the Editor

Reader discusses experience

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Chance Barber (from left), Matt Switzer and Eric Huss prepare for the Chicago Marathon.

To the Editor:

Since the article about my running with the Lance Armstrong Foundation team in the Chicago Marathon was published, I have been blessed with so much support.

The stories people have shared, the encouragement and prayers, as well as the donations made by so many have truly touched and mean more to me than I could ever say.

On Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009, I lined up with 45,000 other registered participants in the 32nd running of the Chicago Marathon. It was a brisk 32-degrees at the start but the cold soon faded into the background as we began our run. For the first 17 miles, I ran with two of my teammates, Chance Barber from just outside of Chicago and Eric Huss from Albany, N.Y.

As we ran through the streets of Chicago and were cheered on by approximately 1.5 million spectators, I couldn't help but think about all of the people that I was running for. The cheers for Team LIVESTRONG and the vision of other charity teams supporting the fight against cancer are memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I finished the race in four hours, five minutes and 48 seconds.

The names of each of the people honored by those who donated to my run were with me as I ran as well as people I know who are currently fighting this horrible disease.

Nancy Waymire, Beth Groenwald, Mark Haruf, John Tofil, Pete Switzer (grandpa), George Tofil, Vivian Bush, Wayne Bromely, Louis Hauger, John Boyd, Don Hettich, Ernest Pflueger, Dave Hawkins, Melissa, Scott Elsey, Say Haygood, Amy Lannin, Liz Collier, Vicki Switzer, Beverly Taylor and Danny Majors.

To all of you who supported me, I want to say thank you, although that seems so small in comparison to what you have done. You have entered the war against cancer and for that, I am eternally grateful. If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you still can.

The deadline for my fundraising is Nov. 15, 2009. You can make a donation online or print a form that you can mail at http://www.livestrong.org/grassroots2009/mattchicago09.

Thank you and LIVESTRONG.

Matt Switzer