On Saturday, April 13, a crowd of Fairfield students, friends and family gathered in pale blue t-shirts in front of the Walsh Athletic Center for Project Yes You Can’s Terrence M. Moore 5K. The group’s mission was to raise funds to find a cure for stomach cancer in honor of senior Meg Moore’s late father, Terrence M. Moore, who passed away 20 years ago.
The proceeds from the race went to the Smilow Cancer Care Center in Trumbull, Conn. Project Yes You Can, Club Running, and Colleges against Cancer all co-sponsored the 5K Run/Walk.
Before the race, Reverend Mark Scalese led the crowd in prayer. Meg Moore gave a moving speech about the impact of her father and about the importance of running in her life. She discussed her father’s mantra for life, “Whatever the obstacle, we will overcome it,” which continues to inspire her to this day. Her father’s words were on the t-shirts for the event, which participants wore proudly.
“I’m a runner,” Moore said. “I run in a walker and I ran cross country for my school from sixth grade to senior year of high school and I ran indoor and outdoor track all four years of high school.”
Moore discussed how the positivity and determination found in running are qualities that Project Yes You Can emphasizes and promotes. Project Yes You Can, “works with cancer patients, disabled people, and the general population (including the university community) to teach them to have a positive outlook and how to overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams and goals,” as stated online on their club page.
Moore discussed her own experience running races, how she always reaches a certain point in the race when she feels almost too tired, and she wonders how she will be able to continue upwards past the steep hill looming in the distance.
“At that point, I begin to think of my parents. I think of the pain my father had to endure everyday and how he did not let that stop him,” Moore said. “I think of my mother, Anne Moore, how she single-handedly raised three kids, and how she has taught my brothers, Sean and Brian, and I not to let anything stand in the way of our dreams.”
“Suddenly that big hill doesn’t seem so daunting,” Moore said.
As a writer who was recently honored at the 2019 English Departmental Awards for her award-winning Creative Nonfiction, Moore visualizes everything poetically and metaphorically. Moore said that running a 5K race is a perfect tribute for the mission of finding a cure for stomach cancer, as it is a metaphor for the struggles of cancer patients.
“They are running races of their own, races against tumors and time. As runners, we get to rest after a mere 3.1 miles. Cancer patients do not have the luxury of resting,” Moore said.
As the weather went from chilly to sunny during the hours the race was held, those at the finish line heralded each new arrival to the finish with a valiant cheer.
Moore believes that stomach cancer can finally be cured when people come together to help find a cure. During the race, all the participants, old and young, running or walking, all came together to help find a cure for stomach cancer. It is just as Terrence M. Moore said: “Whatever the obstacle, we will overcome it.”