One of my teammates, Kit Smith, is truly an inspiration to just about anyone he meets. He runs with a smile – always! – and even raced the Boston Marathon last year in a 4:15!! There was an awesome article written about him recently, which talks about the Mango Days 5k which is coming up this weekend.
From the article:
..one race, in particular, has a deep, personal meaning for him. It’s the Mango Days 5K race coming up on August 7, a benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).
This one is run in honor of Kit’s daughter, Patty, who died in June 1981, from malignant non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A Punahou graduate, Patty had just started her freshman year at Stanford University when she lost her battle with cancer.
As an aspiring writer, Patty had kept a journal up until the time of her death. Kit and his wife, Margie, compiled these journal entries and published Patty’s “Mango Days” in 1993 — a painful, yet uplifting account of a teenager battling for her life.
“In 2003, the Mango Days 5K race was started by Neil Voje, a runner in our Team in Training program, who had read the book, and was inspired to create a fundraiser for the Society,” explained Jen McVeay, Hawaii branch director of LLS.
According to Kit, Patty was not among the fastest runners, but she had a passion for the sport. At age 17, she ran the Honolulu Marathon, not knowing at the time that she had been running with at least two tumors and would be diagnosed about three months later.