Jim and Fred Gibbons are taking great strides to honor Peggy Marsh - literally.
The Gibbons brothers - Jim from Wheeling and Fred, a former Wheeling resident now living in Chicago - will be running the 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon on Sunday in honor of Wheeling cancer patient Peggy Marsh.
Jim, a software developer for the Ogden Newspapers, said he and his brother hope to raise $4,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Jim Gibbons and Peggy Marsh
"We have raised $2,700 so far," Gibbons said. "We would like to reach $4,000 by race day. People wanting to help may donate for up to 10 days after the race. They can do so at our Web site - www.helpusrun.org."
Jim Gibbons said the decision to donate to the ACS is a result of the agency helping Marsh, a Wheeling woman who is being treated for esophageal cancer.
"Cancer affects everybody, directly or indirectly," he said. "The American Cancer Society is such a great foundation, we are glad to be part of it and help out.
Gibbons has been an avid runner for many years. Just recently, he completed the Ogden 20K Classic Run/Walk in Wheeling and, although he has never attempted a marathon, it has been his desire for many years. It started as a personal goal, but now he and his brother, Fred, are dedicating their training and race efforts to support the ACS.
Supporting the ACS has changed Jim's outlook on the Chicago race.
"At first, I felt that running 26.2 miles was insurmountable," he said. "But when I put the challenge in perspective and considered the courage and determination it takes to defeat cancer, this was something I had to do."
Fred Gibbons works on domestic and international white collar crime investigations, and other litigation matters in Chicago.
"While running isn't my favorite activity, I'm always up for a challenge and supporting a good cause," he said. "Prior to signing up for the Chicago marathon, I had never run over 6 miles - but what's another 20.2?"
The brothers' determination to fight cancer is home grown.
"We lost a loved one to cancer," Fred Gibbons said. "While it has been almost 15 years since our grandfather, Pop-Pop, has passed away, I always keeps him in my thoughts. Pop-Pop was a loving grandfather, father and husband - the kind of man I hope to be one day."