Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:24
Michael McBride doesn’t want accolades for the now 4th annual Katie’s Run 5K run/2-mile walk set for June 23. Instead, he would like his daughter, whose name graces the event’s title, to be remembered. The event benefits the Ronald McDonald House, where McBride spent countless hours during his daughter’s treatment.
awoke on a June morning in 2007 with a sore throat. Jean, Michael’s wife, took her to the doctor after school, thinking it was nothing serious. The doctor didn’t like what she saw.
“We went over to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip and the ear, nose and throat doctor, just by the look on his face, he knew there was something wrong.”
After rounds of tests, Katie was diagnosed with Burkitts Lymphoma the day after her 11th birthday, which was also Fathers Day. When her chemotherapy treatment concluded, Katie was finally home in September 2007 and attended the first day of school, but something was still wrong.
“At that point, the cancer spread into her bone marrow,” said McBride. “What was lymphoma now became leukemia and we went through the process of testing for a match. Her older brother Michael was a match.”
Katie began radiation treatment on Christmas Day. According to McBride, doctors did a bone marrow transplant on Jan. 2, 2008, but it didn’t take.
“On March 1, she was gone.”
During Katie’s treatment, the McBride’s home away from home was the Ronald McDonald House. McBride, director of the New Hyde Park Funeral Home, would go from dropping his sons off at school, to the House, back to work and then pick his sons up.
“Having the ability to have Jean go over there twice day…was very helpful for us, which is why we chose [Ronald McDonald House] to be the beneficiary,” he said.
The idea of the run came when McBride, a retired NYPD cop, attended a conference for funeral directors in Arizona, with a symposium focusing on getting funeral homes involved in the community. McBride’s first phone call was to Tom Biggers, an NYPD sergeant. Biggers is the president of the NYPD Running Club.
“I called Tom and said ‘I’m afraid people are going to start forgetting Katie, so I want to have an event to raise money to keep her name alive,’” McBride said.
McBride wants the overall message of this run to serve as a memory to his beloved daughter and as a settling effect on parents who are or were in his position at one time.
“I was very comforted when Katie was being treated, when I spoke to the parents who were in our position,” he said. “These people are helpful. They couldn’t say anything that could fix it, but was helpful. The goal is to keep Katie’s memory alive, support the Ronald McDonald House and to help other family’s going through similar situations.”
The run will start at the New Hyde Park Funeral Home on Lakeville Road and finish at Memorial Park. Since 2010, the run has raised $41,000.
Runners and walkers will line up at 9:30 and 9:35 a.m., respectively. The post-race, Children’s Fun Run, will be held in the park after the 5K and 2K have finished at approximately 10:30 a.m.
To register for or donate to Katie’s Run, visit www.katiesrun.com.