When Colorado brother’s Nathan and Stephen Rice first signed up to run this Saturday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon, they had no idea their decision would have a huge impact on their lives.
“On February 14th, I ran alongside Stephen at the Washington Park Valentines Day 5k in Denver. Post race, Stephen and I saw a booth with a sign that read, ‘Run the Seattle Marathon for free,’" said Nathan. “Right below this sign were medals from the previous year; we were hooked.”
A week later the two showed up at an informational meeting for the American Cancer Society’s Team DetermiNation. Both were concerned about the fundraising commitment, and Nathan was worried that a lingering injury would affect his ability to train.
“At the end of the meeting I explained in depth to Meghan, the DetermiNation coach, that I used to run NCAA for CU Boulder and quit due to injuries,” Nathan said. “I told her that it sounds great, but it is not realistic.”
But for some reason, the two decided to sign up anyway, at the time not quite sure why they were taking on the challenge. Two weeks later their younger brother, James, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
“Everything all of a sudden made sense. I decided to take a semester off from school just about the time we signed up with DetermiNation,” Nathan said. “Our unmotivated state quickly evolved to being and ultra motivated state. Our one rule was that we would only go through with it as long as James could come along with us.”
To date Nathan and Stephan have raised nearly $8,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year alone, 208 members of Team DeterminNation have raised more than $600,000 in the fight against cancer. Since 1998, more than $269 million dollars has been raised for charity through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.
“James is doing great now, treatment is over and a CAT scan is schedule in July,” said Nathan. “He loves that we are running for him, but he knows that it is not just for him either. We are doing this for him, Jose, and Rylie.”
Jose is a 12-year-old Colorado boy with an inoperable brain tumor, given less than a few months to live. Rylie is a three-year-old little girl with Leukemia, being treated at Denver’s Children’s Hospital. She’s been given less than two weeks to live.
“I only hope I never consider anything else more important than what can be done for these many children with cancer,” said Nathan. “I am 22 years old, and I finally think I know what I will do for the rest of my life. I am not yet sure how, but I am sure that everything will fall into place.”