Memorial Day 2002. It started out as a sunny day in Cleveland, Ohio. Peggy had a busy day ahead with her four boys, ages 6, 8, 10 and 12. It was a day filled with soccer games and picnics. She ran out of the house that morning only on a cup of coffee. Then it started. It started slowly, somewhere between cheering for the boys and enjoying the festivities of the day a pain in her stomach became more and more bothersome. Just a lack of breakfast and all the yelling at the soccer games, thought Peggy. However by the end of the evening the pain was so intense that her husband took her to the hospital. The clouds started moving in on her life. Two days and many tests later Peggy was diagnosed with fourth stage colon cancer. The sunny day was gone. How could this happen to a 42 year old, energetic mother of four? She had no symptoms prior to that afternoon. No warning that the storm was coming. No time to take cover from the devastating news that she only had 6 months to live.
Peggy and I were Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sisters at The Ohio State University. My name is Carleen Taylor and I tried to move some of the storm clouds away. I live with my own four boys and my husband. My heart and prayers were with Peggy every day. As I look at my boys my heart aches knowing her boys will be growing up without her.
The 5 year survival rate for people with stage 4 colon cancer is just 5%. Peggy was an inspiration to many in her strength to live life. When she was diagnosed June 2002 the doctors told her to go home and spend the next few months with her family because she would not live to see Christmas. But Peggy went out and found a doctor who would treat her. She was doing the best she could to live life and build memories with her family and friends.
Peggy fought hard but the cancer was too aggressive and she died March 31, 2004. At the visitation her nine year-old son asked me if his mom’s name was going to be on the race t-shirts. I told him that I had already sent everything to the printers and it was too late but I would make sure that I got her name put on something. The next day was the funeral, after I watched Peggy’s four suit clad little boys follow her casket down the aisle I knew I had to do something to bring whatever bit of happiness into their days that I could. So I contacted the printers to see if there was any way we could change the design so we could include her name. Thankfully after hearing the story they were able to help us. So the name of the race is now The Peggy Bock Memorial Race For Hope.
There are many people who find out everyday that they or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer. The Race for Hope is here to bring happiness and sunny days back in their lives.