My Fundraising Page

My Fundraising Page
Nov 11, 2009 by Dara Croci

On April 19th, 2010, I'll be running my second Boston Marathon in memory of my Dad. I wanted to share my story with you, once again, in the form of a letter to him. He lost his valiant battle with lymphoma on July 25, 2001. I hope you'll support me in reaching my goal of raising $11,278. This is $1 more than I raised last year...because it will only take $1 to cure cancer, and we need to find that dollar!

Dear Dad,

I've been thinking long and hard about what to write to you in this year's marathon letter. It was so rewarding to dedicate my time and energy towards completing the 2009 Boston Marathon and raise much needed funds for LLS. I threw my heart and soul into that race and I knew when I crossed that finish line, I wasn't done. I wasn't done with my personal journey and I wasn't done with my fight against cancer. I was afforded the opportunity to participate in this prestigious race, and I did it for you and for all of those who are battling cancer. I did it to save lives. What I didn't expect, was to receive a gift in return. A gift I've been waiting eight years for.

What is this gift you ask? It was experiencing a broken heart on the mend. It was the feeling of true content and peace. It was the realization that happiness is not a place that can be traveled to. You see, this was the first time in eight years that I felt my spirit and my heart working as one, effortlessly. This may seem like a lot to get out of one marathon, but let me explain. When you died, I lost a piece of myself. My heart was heavy, my soul shaken, and my foundation cracked. I carried the grief around with me like a security blanket, not wanting to lose you and not wanting to forget you. I followed your words by continuing to put one foot in front of the other and by moving forward with a smile on my face (which was sometimes forced). I graduated from college, went on to get my Master's Degree, traveled the country, worked hard, and accepted the many opportunities that were afforded to me. However, I never really did any of this with my whole heart. I thought I was, but looking back, I really wasn't. What I was doing was running - running from the past that hurt so much while feverishly trying to find that piece of me I lost when you died. I was tirelessly searching for the happiness that I felt was missing, and I searched for that in everything I did. For so long I thought that I couldn't be happy, and shouldn't be happy, because of my broken heart. I wanted so desperately to live life with the bright spirit I always had, and I was so determined to get to this "place" where I would find it. What I finally realized through all of this searching is that I wasn't wholeheartedly and truly enjoying the journey. I was rushing through each moment in my life, each experience, each interaction, each relationship..just to reach the destination of happiness. It is only now, through the years of soul searching, the months of running, and the hours of looking deep inside myself, do I understand that happiness isn't a place that can be traveled to. It's the moments of the here and now - the journey. It seems so elementary, that I can be happy if I allow myself to really "feel" each moment of life, instead of searching to find it. Go figure, what I was endlessly looking for was in my heart this whole time!

So there you have it, enjoying the journey is the key to happiness. Appreciating life's blessings and challenges, the good days and bad, and having the faith to learn and grow from each experience. I have to say that I feel like I figured out the key to life! Well, the key to my life, at least. Losing you was part of my journey. Of course I don't like it, and sure, the pain will always be there, but the loss has helped me to learn and grow into the person I've always wanted to be. Dad, you gave me my foundation of strength, character, and grace, and it is these qualities that have helped me through life thus far. I don't need to carry the sadness and pain around to keep you with me. You are with me, in everything that I do, and you always will be. I will enjoy every moment with love and grace, and it is only then that my heart will feel at peace and my spirit will burn brightly.

So you see Dad, I need this marathon. I need this training. This entire experience is my therapy, starting with this letter. I've been anxiously waiting since April to start training again. To me, it's a time I can "spend" with you and it makes me feel complete. My heart is in this race, Dad, and I know that when I step on that start line on April 19th, your heart will be there too.

I love you,


Thank you for your support and generosity!

If you'd like to donate by check, please make payable to LLS and send to:

Dara Croci

915 Edgell Road, #81

Framingham, MA 01701


Supporter Comments

    "Dara, We love you and are so proud of you and YOU bring happiness to our hearts!"

    Aunt Linda, Uncle George, Brandon and Nicole

    Thu Nov 19 09:01:44 EST 2009

    "Sweet D - What can I say? You came. You saw. You pulled the hair back and and have successfully turned the Marathon into the Darathon. You've done an awesome job again and I'm proud of you! Now go Dominate This Course!"

    "Big Papa" Biggins

    Fri Apr 16 01:07:11 EDT 2010

    "We love you and are so proud of you Dara!!"

    The Jewell Family

    Fri Apr 16 09:19:20 EDT 2010

    " of luck in your run! Will be thinking of you and your family and hoping that the money you are helping raise aides in the ellimination of blood disorders. Ann "

    Ann-Marie Dunphy

    Wed Apr 14 10:36:02 EDT 2010

    "I Love You, Dara and I want you your Mom to be at the finishline ..With a VIP Pass!..Aunt Linda"

    Aunt Linda

    Wed Apr 14 09:54:23 EDT 2010

    "What a wonderfull tribute to your father. He willbe be running beside you all the way."

    Alan& Carol Belcher

    Tue Apr 13 04:38:21 EDT 2010

    "My Bootcamp Buddy! Your gonna do Great, I'll be watching for ya with that bag of oranges! "

    Hugh Solari

    Tue Apr 13 03:45:48 EDT 2010

    "I'll be out there on Monday cheering you on...and I have no doubt your dad will be right beside me! I LOVE YOU!"

    Rebecca & Jason

    Tue Apr 13 08:57:32 EDT 2010

    "So Proud of you, will be out there on Marathon Monday, cheering you on!!"

    Jill Santopietro

    Tue Apr 06 01:12:09 EDT 2010

    "Go Baby Go!"

    Lissa Gelbwachs

    Mon Apr 05 01:26:24 EDT 2010

    "Go Dara.... We are so proud of you and know you will have a great race...We love your letter to your Dad and we all keep his memory in our hearts always... Hope to see you at the start!!!"

    Zach/Ellen/Kait O'Leary

    Mon Mar 29 11:30:57 EDT 2010

    "Dara, Your letter has touched our hearts and we know that your dad is smiling with pride at all that you have accomplished and continue to accomplish. Know that although we are 1500 miles away, we are running right next to you in our thoughts and especially in our prayers. We love you more than words can say. Uncle Bill, Aunt Liisa, Emily, Alex, Abigail, Annaliese, Nathan and Trina Grace."

    Uncle Bill, Aunt Liisa and family

    Sat Feb 27 01:44:22 EST 2010

    "Good luck to you and your LLS team, Dara! We're so proud of you! Thank you for your efforts in the fight against cancer. Love, Stan and Etta"

    Stan and Marietta Phillips

    Fri Feb 26 09:50:02 EST 2010

    "You are amazing, Dara!!! Good luck with your training! :)"

    Beth and Steve Drewniak

    Fri Feb 19 08:29:21 EST 2010

    "We are so proud of you and we will be out cheering you on again this year! Cian talks about "run Dawa run!" all the time! Merry Christmas, with love Alyssa and Cian"

    Alyssa Porter and Cian Griffin Porter

    Tue Dec 22 11:45:34 EST 2009

    "Dear Dara, Thank you for sharing your beautiful letter. What a loving tribute to your Dad.. All the best with your training, I expect to be out there cheering you on. Iris"

    Iris and Chuck Gleason

    Wed Nov 11 04:28:34 EST 2009

    "Dara - It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday. Thank you for your dedication to fundraising and awareness towards finding the cure for blood cancers. Congratulations on finishing your second Boston Marathon! -Glenn"

    Glenn Griffith

    Wed May 19 10:28:00 EDT 2010

    "Dara, Congratulations on your great fundraising efforts. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tribute to your father. Rich & Terri"

    Rich & Terri Schafer

    Fri Apr 30 03:31:51 EDT 2010

    "Good Luck Dara!!"

    Kara Mahoney

    Mon Apr 19 04:33:46 EDT 2010

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $8,382.05 | Goal: $11,278.00
74 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Sarah M Bisson Family $1000.00
Aunt Linda, Uncle George,... $1000.00
Zach/Ellen/Kait O'Leary $350.00
Aunt Linda $250.00
Laura Peterson $250.00
Uncle Bill, Aunt Liisa an... $250.00
Stan and Marietta Phillip... $250.00
Kristin Croci $250.00
John Graham $150.00
Sarah Barrett $101.00
Glenn Griffith $100.00
Jon Geldart $100.00
Trina Higgins $100.00
Peters Cindy & Jeff $100.00
Jon & Becky $100.00
Ronald Manganello $100.00
Mark Ainscow $100.00
Alan& Carol Belcher $100.00
Hugh Solari $100.00
Lissa Gelbwachs $100.00
Beth and Steve Drewniak $100.00
Charles Krattenmaker $100.00
Alyssa Porter and Cian Gr... $100.00
Harold & Caryn Baumgarten $100.00
Kathy & Steve Rebello $100.00
Tara Mulligan $100.00
Edward Croci $100.00
Charles Bratica $100.00
Gary Sinewitz $100.00
Iris and Chuck Gleason $100.00
Louise Popp $100.00
Armondo Croci $75.00
Glen Ransden $51.00
Stacey Duffy $50.00
Warren Kindred $50.00
Rich & Terri Schafer $50.00
Ann-Marie Dunphy $50.00
Molly LaBroad $50.00
Ruth Zopatti $50.00
Jeanne Murphy $50.00
Kate Jaspon $50.00
John Drewniak $50.00
Jill Santopietro $50.00
Gretchen PORTER $50.00
Mrs Ellen Brown $50.00
Joseph Bratica $50.00
Joseph Bratica $50.00
John Cooke $50.00
H William Snow $50.00
Norma Johnson $50.00
Michael Filippo $50.00
Dr David Moore $50.00
the hopkins family $50.00
Doreen Croci $50.00
Mike Merusi $50.00
Laurie Hogan $50.00
Anna Gapstur $50.00
Westboro Tennis Surfaces $50.00
B.F. M. $50.00
Florence Croci $50.00
N.R.G. Concepts Inc. $50.00
Olivia Bratica $50.00
Cheryle Brady $50.00
Aime Goldberg $26.20
Sandra Griffin $26.00
Catherine Patterson $25.00
Katie Heffernan $25.00
Cassandra Conover $25.00
Robert Drew $25.00
Ann LaBroad $25.00
Judith Benson $25.00
Karen Hoffberger $25.00
Cornelius Murphy $25.00
Robert Paulson $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
Liz Drewniak $25.00
Kathryn Tomasetti $20.00
Kara Mahoney $18.00
The Beall Family $18.00
Julie Southwell $15.00
Stanley Weinbaum $15.00
Mark Brierley $10.00
"Big Papa" Biggins  
The Jewell Family  
Rebecca & Jason  
Sharon Klein