Steamboat Springs Diane Carter already has run 14 marathons, but stepping to the starting line on Staten Island next month to begin the New York Marathon might be the most special of them all.
It will be special not just because the runners and the spectators are sure to honor the people of Staten Island and Queens who suffered during Hurricane Sandy last year but because Carter will be running to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on behalf of a special friend, Dr. Matt Dudley.
Dudley, a graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, was diagnosed in March with acute myelogenous leukemia and had to leave his home in Anchorage, Alaska, to seek treatment in Seattle. Lately, he has been doing a little running himself, according to his journal.
Matt is the chairman of the Family Medical Department at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.
“Matt is supporting me, and I’m supporting him,” Carter said this week. She has known Dudley since he was a boy, and Matt’s father, Dr. Jim Dudley at Steamboat Medical Group, has cared for her family members.
Carter has corresponded with Matt Dudley through text messages and his frequent and often philosophical journal posts on his Caring Bridge page. On Oct. 13, he expressed regret that he missed the birthday of his wife, Brooke, at home.
“The last time I can remember missing Brooke’s birthday was probably 12 years ago when we were split by schooling in two different states. ... I can’t say enough times how important she is to me, my strength, my character, my drive, my life, my insight, my world view, and that is what a best friend is for,” Dudley wrote.
His parents, Jim and Gayle Dudley, also are spending time with Matt Dudley in Seattle, and they often dine together at one of Seattle’s cafes.
Friday, Matt Dudley wrote about his lifelong dedication to exercise and a recent return to the benefits that running can bring.
“Throughout my life, when it comes to exercise, I have always pushed myself,” he wrote. “Today, I did push myself, but I do not feel it was too much. I was able to slow myself down just enough to keep my heart rate and sweating decently controlled. I still don’t feel that full feeling of freedom or relaxation when I run that I used to. Who knows if that will ever happen again, but in my mind, the continued effort to try and get there is pushing me on.”
Dudley ends every journal entry with this sign-off: “Head up, heart strong. I need a cure.”
Through its Team in Training program, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society challenged Carter to raise $3,900 through the Nov. 2 New York Marathon, and she already has exceeded that number.
“I’ve raised $6,000 so far,” Carter said. “The community has been incredible.”
You can search for Carter’s donation page at Team in Training by clicking on “Donate to Team in Training Participants” and searching for her by name.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1
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