In Their Own Words: Team V’s Jack Daly

The V Foundation is successful thanks to the contributions of many: donors, corporate partners, our incredible Board and Scientific Advisory Committee and the amazing researchers to whom we award grants. With “In Their Own Words,” we sit down with key members of our team to learn more about their commitment to the V Foundation and their personal desire to put an end to cancer. In this edition, we chat with Jack Daly, who is set to run the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as part of Team V..


The V Foundation: The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will be your 91st marathon. What will make this one so special?

Jack Daly: Yes, the New York City Marathon be my 91st marathon, and two weeks prior I will be running the Atlantic City, NJ Marathon, which will complete my 50 state quest. Exciting stuff for sure. While I’ve twice previously raced NYC and it’s one of my favorite races world-wide, I must confess it was not on my radar in 2017 (especially running AC 2 weeks earlier).


TVF: What led you to join Team V for this year’s New York City Marathon?

JD: My wife Bonnie, who I met 52 years ago and we’ve been married for 47 years, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer earlier this year. About a month after the diagnosis, I received an invite from the V Foundation. Naturally I was tugged to race but with the race close to AC and me being 68 years old, I rationalized not running NYC. Something told me to check out the website and when I did, I knew it was my destiny to sign up. The race is on November 5, the exact date that Bonnie and I met, 52 years ago! Something told me that I could race and possibly make a significant contribution to the cancer battle.


TVF: What most inspires you about people who are currently battling cancer, and specifically about Bonnie as she has confronted her diagnosis and treatment?

JD: I will never forget that day Bonnie and I were informed of the diagnosis. We were devastated. However, Bonnie within minutes turned to the doctor and said, “What do we need to do to battle this and win?” Since then, I’ve witnessed a woman of incredible strength and commitment. Weekly chemo treatments lasting the better part of the day. Blood clotting in the feet and legs. Appetite loss and taste bud changes. Restricted mobility and zapped of energy. And, did someone say HAIR, what hair? All of this is the norm, yet she is committed to do all she can in the battle. It sure makes running 26.2 miles sound simple!!


TVF: What advice would you give to someone who wants to join Team V but is nervous about either the training or fundraising?

JD: If anyone is out there and is nervous about either the run or the fundraising, let me see if I can help. The run NYC is like one big party. All 5 boroughs are covered and 2 million people come out and cheer you on. With 50,000+ runners, you are never alone. Starting with the Verazano bridge crossing, with the bridge feeling like a subtle roller coaster and Central Park seen in the distance and Frank Sinatra belting out “New York, New York”, it is simply awesome! First Avenue alone has a million on the sidelines cheering you on and it is splendidly deafening!! My advice- well, we all can run 1 mile. So, mentally come to run 1 mile. Once done, ask if you can run 1 mile; the answer will be “yes”. I know this to be true, as I’ve run 1 mile 26 times in 89 races to date!! (like eating an elephant, one bite at a time). The fundraising is even easier and the truly FUN part. People will come out of the woodwork to contribute. Just let your heart shine and explain the worthy cause. Provide real life examples like my wife Bonnie and their valiant fight against this killer disease. Working together, we can discover the cure!


TVF: With all of your experience in the marathon distance, we have to ask: what do you think about in the last few miles of a marathon to motivate you to the finish line?

JD: As you make your way in the final 4 miles along Central Park, there will be some pain. It just won’t matter, as the joy of knowing the finish line is close ahead, the spectators are screaming and clapping their encouragement, and your knowledge of the part you have played in the donations raised in such an important cause, will have tears of joy running down your cheeks. Finishing any Marathon is a big deal and a satisfying conquest; finishing one while leading the charge in such a cause as the V Foundation takes it to an even higher level.


TVF: What does “Victory Over Cancer” look like to you?

JD: Victory Over Cancer means sharing life with loved ones goes on in a healthy way. Bonnie and I are grateful for the cherished lives we have shared with each other. We want more and more, not just for ourselves but for others. Victory Over Cancer means just that! See you out there, and if you see me, let’s share a HUG!