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"You never get over it. You just get used to it."

Conor Ashby

Conor Ashby

Many of you know my story, some of you don’t. I lost my father to lung cancer when I was 11, and he was just 50 years old. I will never get over the idea of what life might have been like if my dad were still alive, but I have gotten used to it, and the tinge of disappointment that comes with not being able to share some of life’s biggest moments with him.

I got used to him not being in the stands for basketball games after age 11, but I vaguely remember him holding court and cheering me on from the sidelines when I was younger. No doubt he will be doing the same when I run the 10k.

I got used to the idea that he’d never meet or hold my niece and nephew, but I aim to be the uncle that I believe he was based on stories my cousins tell.

I got used to being unable to go to him with questions about life, new jobs, relationships, but I remember people describing him as a larger-than-life figure and someone that would give you the shirt off his back (or a cocktail) if you needed it.

I got used to seeing a mere representation of my dad at my wedding through the picture we set up in the front row, but I will never forget the way my mom, a breast cancer survivor, and brothers still looked at that picture. I will never forget seeing the people filling the rows behind it that are more family than they are friends due, largely in part, to the man he was. I will never forget thinking that he would have loved the stunning woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with, and how he would have TORN UP the dance floor that night!

I continue to raise money for VCU Massey Cancer Center because not only did cancer take my dad from me, it took my aunt from me, and threatened to take my mom, my cousin, and my uncle. I will carry this with me forever, but will help to try to make sure someday, no one else will have to accept just getting used to it.

Any donation is greatly appreciated as I fundraise for the research conducted at Massey. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!


raised of $5,000 goal

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