Thank you for stopping by our page in loving memory of Chris Leahy. My name is John Conlon and I am cousin #30 of 32 in the Leahy family. I cannot begin to express the emotions I have when I talk about my cousin and his impact on my life, but I will do my best.
Chris was a rock and champion of mine during his time here on earth. For those who knew him, he was very quick to lend a hand or ear if you ever needed anything. His generosity, humor, and wisdom are some of his many lasting traits that came together to form a “playbook of life” for me. Chris was diagnosed the summer going into my senior year of college. I cannot say I have ever truly experienced heartbreak in my entire life until that day. The first time I saw him at the hospital we had one rule with each other, make each encounter and conversation count. Over the next twenty-two months of his cancer journey, Chris devoted a tremendous amount of himself to help me grow as a person and give me guidance to reflect and meditate upon when his time ended.
Chris’s unfortunate diagnosis, tremendously painful battle and passing left me with a range of conflicting emotions. From anger and sadness spurned hope and faith. Chris never let his limitations during his battle affect what he could control, and in that spirit, many great things have come from his example and will continue to come. The Leahy family and Chris’ friends near and far have partnered with a variety of institutions from the National Bone Marrow Registry to the American Red Cross to bring awareness and hope to others. If you have not done so already, please consider donating blood and/or platelets through the American Red Cross as well as doing a quick three-second cotton swab for the National Bone Marrow Registry to #Bethematch.
Chris was an avid runner and loved it. In his loving memory, my older brother Brian, Tanya Srouji and I are three members of the ever-growing team #TeamChris for this year’s Go St. Louis Marathon and relay race. We have partnered with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to raise money and awareness for their phenomenal efforts in their fight against this cancer. We understand there are a million and one different opportunities for you to donate your time and money to other organizations, but every volunteer and penny raised counts if you are able to join or donate to our cause. Brian and I will be challenging ourselves to complete the 26.2 miles under four hours. So, if we tear an ACL while training or competing, we will expect more generous donations to help take of our medical expenses.
To help share some perspective about how I am training for this race, I live in the frigid city of Chicago. The high temperatures for my long runs so far have ranged from 5 to 30 degrees with a wonderful gust of wind off of Lake Michigan. The pain and cold I deal with training for this event is nothing compared to the payoff we are helping bring patients now and in the future. I encourage you all the go to the MMRF website and see the progress they have made over the past ten years with survival rates and treatment options they have brought patients and families nationwide. I am only one of many people that are carrying on this mission and I hope you join us.
Thank you for visiting and always remember to Count Your Blessings,
John Conlon AKA Chris’s favorite cousin ;)