Barbara Richmond Moran dreamed of running the Boston Marathon before she lost her life to breast cancer last Feb. 6.
A friend will be running on Mrs. Morans behalf April 15, and with each stride also will be raising money for the cancer center where Mrs. Moran was treated for 14 years.
Former South Jefferson Central School athlete Penny Richmond Ruhm, who was a classmate of Mrs. Moran, is running to raise money as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge program. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston is a world leader in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Its Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge program directs 100 percent of funds raised to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. To date, the program has raised more than $56 million.
Since 2011, members of Mrs. Morans family have taken part in the challenge to support her fight, raising $37,000.
Others can join the fundraising cause in memory of Mrs. Moran, who had the nickname Bullet and died at age 51. At 1 p.m. Sunday in the gym at the former Sacred Heart Daycare Center, 320 W. Lynde St., there will be a Boston for Bullet Zumba event to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Mrs. Ruhm, who plans to attend the Zumba benefit, has a goal of raising $10,000 for Dana-Farber and its patients.
In her fundraising letter to supporters, Mrs. Ruhm, who is a program manager at Adirondack Health Institute in Glens Falls, listed several reasons why running the marathon in Mrs. Morans memory is important to her. Among them:
She got me off the couch and out for a run when I was out of work and out of shape after college; played happy birthday via phone on her trumpet every year on my big day and outran everyone on the block, but never made you feel bad about it.
Barb was the ultimate motivator, said Mrs. Ruhm, a 1979 graduate of South Jefferson Central.
The upcoming Dana-Farber Challenge will be Mrs. Ruhms third marathon.
I never particularly enjoyed running, she said.
But she added that Mrs. Moran loved it, and her memory is still motivating her to put on the miles.
Theres no way I would be doing another marathon without this connection, she said. Its hard, and its a lot of work.
In 1988, the pair, who shared the last name Richmond but were not related, motivated each other when they took part in the American Lung Associations second annual TransAmerica Bicycle Trek. It was a 3,500-mile trip from Seattle, Wash., to Atlantic City, N.J.
Mrs. Moran, a 1978 graduate of South Jefferson, taught physical education at General Brown Central School and was a certified personal trainer.
In September, Mrs. Moran was posthumously awarded the Henry Coffeen Memorial Award, which is presented annually to South Jefferson graduates who were stellar athletes and demonstrated exceptional leadership and character. Mrs. Morans father, Dr. John E. Richmond, accepted the award on his youngest childs behalf. He died in November.
It was a joyous moment when he said he would tell Barb about the award when he got to heaven, said Vicki A. Phillips, who is helping to organize the Zumba benefit.
Mrs. Phillips also grew up with Mrs. Moran in Adams.
She gave herself to everyone and never expected anything in return, Mrs. Phillips said. She loved life and thats why so many friends and colleagues had a hard time with her death.