KATE & MICHELLE TREESE
ALS entered our lives when my husband, Mike was diagnosed in
July, 2008. He faced ALS with grace,
courage, faith and humor and when he died in August, 2010, he left behind a
legacy of how to live life and live it well.
While he was alive, we were active in our local ALSA chapter, and my
kids and I still participate in our local ALS walk. My husband had sporadic ALS, but we continue
to fight for increased awareness, funds and a cure because I want my kids to
never have to worry about ALS.
When I discovered that ALS was one of the charities in the
Chicago Marathon, I knew I had to be a part of the team. My husband had always wanted to run a
marathon, but ALS robbed him of that chance, so I fulfilled his dream. What an amazing experience! I can’t begin to tell you how honored and
proud I was to wear my ALS race singlet and run in memory of my husband and in
honor of all families affected by ALS. Crossing
the finish line and completing such a personal goal was an incredible feeling
and one of the most rewarding days of my life.
However, for me, the emotion of crossing the finish line was matched the
evening before at the team dinner.
Listening to everyone’s personal stories, hearing the impact of ALS on
lives, and learning the names of who we were all running for, was so emotional
and inspiring. Being in a room full of
people who knew the impact of ALS, and who were running for the same reason I
was running, changed the focus of the race for me. It wasn’t just about me and my husband
anymore, but for all of us affected by ALS. When I was passed or passed a
fellow ALS runner that Sunday morning, and offered or received words of
encouragement, I felt connected and truly a part of a very special team.
This year I am running again, but this time alongside my
daughter (and all TeamALS runners) as she runs her very first marathon in
memory of her dad and as team member of Run for ALS.
Kate Treese with her children Michelle and her dad
after the 2015 Chicago Marathon
When my dad was diagnosed with ALS in July, 2008, he responded
with words I will never forget, “ALS may kill me but it will not take my
life.” Our family responded by living
life to the fullest and learning to fully appreciate each day with my dad. My dad loved to run. It did not matter how early or what the
weather was like and he continued to run until his legs got too weak. In his last few months, as he struggled to
breathe and couldn’t move, I became more aware of my own health and how I was
taking it for granted. Each breath I
took and every movement I made was a gift and I realized I was not appreciating
my health. I could run, bike, and
breathe normally, yet my dad could no longer do the things he loved.
My dad passed away on August 26, 2010. After he passed away, I started running and
my dad’s dream of running a marathon became my dream, despite the fact that I
had never run more than a mile.
This year, I finally decided to run a marathon in honor of
him. As I thought about which marathon, I
knew I wanted to run for TeamALS at the Chicago Marathon. I am running this marathon for those who have
ALS, for all the people I know who have been affected by ALS, and for my dad.