Matt’s One Steining Moment: Erin’s Run

Sometimes it’s a tough thing, holding a road race in the memory of someone who’s passed away.  It’s bittersweet, honoring the life of a person who’s clearly loved by many, but isn’t with us any longer.  In the case of Erin’s Run, Fill The Steins is proud to honor the memory of Erin Woolley, who was no small part of Black Bear Nation, and was also a big part of the community in which many of us Stein Fillers grew up.  We’re pleased to sponsor the 5K, and to encourage FTS Nation to support Erin’s Run, as well.  

My ‘One Steining Moment’ is a pretty personal one, frankly.  It’s not that I was very close to Erin.  In fact, I am friends with her brother, and didn’t know Erin all that well for much of our lives, except as Kyle’s younger sister.  But here’s the thing…  My wife, also from Bangor, also had cancer, only a handful of years before Erin was diagnosed.  Same kind and everything.  Thankfully, she’s been in the clear for seven years and counting, now.  But for two years, we spent more time than we ever expected at Mass General Hospital, in the name of kicking (cancer’s) ass.  

Which is exactly what Mrs. G did.  She was determined to do it, but she was probably also lucky, to some degree, too.  Did they catch it in enough time?  Probably true… Did she respond better to chemo or radiation better than some people might?  Could have… Or maybe it’s some unknown luck of the draw.  At the time, I really didn’t take much time to look that gift horse in the mouth.

Mrs. G and Erin bonded a bit after Erin’s diagnosis; Mrs. G had done some support networking for other cancer patients, and reaching out to Erin seemed like a no-brainer, given the Bangor connection. Despite the lack of a long-term connection, there was a good friendship made, and it hit us pretty hard when Erin passed away.  Of course, it was the sadness of seeing a friend lose her battle – and at such a young age.  But it was also, in some ways, a pretty sobering acknowledgment of the the good fortune we’d had, for whatever reason.

So,we go to support Erin’s Run – and the programs it benefits, Spruce Run and UMaine Swimming and Diving.  But we also make Erin’s Run a time to reflect a little, both on Erin’s terrific life, and also Mrs. G’s determination and good luck.  It’s a great time to see friends, get outside, and remember what’s important.  Hope to see you all there on May 3rd at 10AM!

Photo courtesy of Erin’s Run.

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