MANHATTAN – Overwhelmed with emotion, Kaitlin Pearse embraced her father, Rich, just after crossing the finish line of the New York City marathon.
Each step of her 26.2 mile journey she honored his brave battle with cancer. Last April, Rich was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma.
"It took a toll on our family, it brought us closer together," Kaitlin said.
Inspired by her father's courage and strength, and looking to inspire him. Kaitlin decided to train for marathon.
"Even while he was going through chemo he still got up every day at 4 and went to work. I thought why can't I do that. Why can't I get up every day and go for a run. Why can't I wake up this morning and run a marathon."
Last year, going through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, Rich could only watch the race on television from his hospital bed.
"A year ago Thursday, I got the stem cells, and a year ago next Wednesday my hair fell out, Rich said.
But this year, healthy and strong, Rich is here with the entire family to watch Kaitlin run for Rich once again.
"I feel great, I feel fantastic," he said.
The journeys of this father and daughter an inspiration to us all – a reminder that with love, courage, and determination we can accomplish anything.