My name is Roger Gammon. I am 58 years old and this years' CNO Financial Indianapolis Half Marathon will be extra special to me this year based on a series of events that occurred last year.
On 10-31-16, my mother passed away which, to say the least, was a low moment in my life. In Honor of my Mother, I was determined to dedicate running the 2016 CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. While running I surprisingly collapsed just before the 2-mile mark tearing three of my four hamstrings which required me to walk with crutches for the next two months.
If falling down and getting injured wasn't discouraging enough a month later on 12-13-16 I found out that I had Stage 4 Cancer which, with everything else going on, made the Christmas Season a low moment for my entire family.
During March 2017, thanks to my family, friends and the Good Lord I finished my cancer treatments.
Since my hamstring tears were all level-three tears and with my depleted body from the cancer treatments I was so weak in April 2017 I started walking a half mile a day to build my strength and stamina, with one goal: to finish the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon for Momma even though it's a year old promise.
Even though my time this year will not be comparable to previous years (I ran a 1:30 at the Monumental in 2014 When I was 55 1/2 years old) the fact that the Good Lord gave me more time to spend with those I love and to fulfill my promise to finish this year's half marathon in honor of my mother is overwhelming to say the least.
I am running better each week and slowly building up my base even though my right leg is not fully healed.
Last week I was told that my CT Cancer Test reflected that there is no sign of cancer anywhere in my body.
I am living proof that the best man for a job is a woman because my mom was one the person who taught me to never quit or to give up on my dreams, as well as Jennifer Stewart a Nurse Practitioner who first observed the tumor in my throat and kept on me to see a specialist to test the tumor which 100% saved my life. I am also alive because Doctor Sarah Ali who was over my chemotherapy treatments treated me like I was her own brother verses a patient, as she helped me get through some rough times when I was ready to quit my cancer treatments.
Doctor Garrett who was over the radiation treatments and Doctor Fang who surgically removed my malignant tumor were also a great reason I survived cancer to race again.
It is great to be alive.
Even though I competed in running events in High School and College this year's CNO Financial Indianapolis Half Marathon will be truly a Monumental Day to me as well as the most meaningful race of my life which I will be running in honor of my mother.
Failure will not be an option. Even though this year will not be a record time I am so thankful to the Lord and those caring Physicians who pieced me back together to live to see another day. My friends, I will return better than before but for now I am just thankful to race another race at the Monumental and to live to see another day.
Sincerely Roger Gammon