“If Dad can walk, I can run (a marathon)” The Mays Family Story

Although Mays is our name, we’re very much in the Magee family.

In June 2017 my father Bill Mays had a stroke. Poof! Life changed just like that. An otherwise strong, healthy, clean-living man lost his ability to walk, talk, and use his right arm. And he’s been working hard to get it all back by going to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital four days a week. A retired math professor, this is his new job.

Our family has made supporting dad in his recovery our purpose. My mother, Dawn, is his primary caregiver. She’s the ‘pit crew’ chief who inspires, motivates, and accompanies Bill to every physical therapy and wellness session. Bill, Jr., my brother, lives close by with his family and is indispensable in building ramps, mounting hand rails so Dad can work his way up stairs, and moving hospital beds into and, thanks to Magee, out of our parents’ home.

And me? I live 1,184 miles away in Minnesota. So I run… a lot. I run as a way to calm the emotions that come from the impact of stroke on our family. And I decided to run the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18, 2018 to raise $10,000 for Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and the profoundly life-changing work they do. My moonshot goal is this marathon. My Dad’s moonshot goal is to walk the two miles around Lebanon Reservoir in Upstate NY by next summer. But he can’t do it without Magee.

This feels like the most important thing we’ve ever done. I run. He walks. Magee continues its excellent rehabilitation programs for all. Everyone wins. Let’s do this! 

Guest author: Scott Mays, Minneapolis, MN

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