MILTON (CBS) – Four brothers in Milton are following in their mother’s footsteps by running their first Boston Marathon.
“Our mom who passed away from breast cancer last year was an avid runner- basically one of her main passions in life,” Alec Finigan said.
Duncan Finigan was energetic, active and athletic all her life and she didn’t slow down when she received a devastating diagnosis in October 2014. Doctors told her she had stage four breast cancer.
“It was definitely hard for everyone, obviously. But, she always took it with a positive spirit. I think right away she asked Dr. Winer at Dana Farber what can I do to help other people diagnosed like this and he said it’s simple raise money for breast cancer research. So, she got right to that,” Will Finigan said.
Alec, Duncan, Cavan and Will joined their mother’s mission by riding in the Pan Mass Challenge with her to raise money for Dana Farber where she was receiving her cancer treatments. They rode and raised money together for four years.
“It brought us way closer together. It sort of took this really devastating period of time and made into something somewhat spectacular,” said Duncan Finigan, who is named after his mom.
Duncan also partnered with her company “Oofos,” a recovery shoe brand, to launch “Project Pink.” For every pair of shoes sold online 2% goes to Dana Farber. So far, they’ve donated more than half a million dollars.
“Her goal and mission in life was to make others feel better and what can she do to do anything possible to achieve that mission,” Alec said.
In May of last year, Duncan lost her battle to breast cancer at the age of 59. Now, her four sons are stepping up and running the Boston Marathon with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team to honor their hero and to continue her fundraising mission.
“The ultimate goal is a cure for cancer and then in the near term this money directly funds innovative cancer research that truly went to extending our mom’s life and making her live life to the fullest,” Duncan said.
None of the brothers are big runners, but they have the motivation they need to get through the training and tough runs. Each of them wears a bracelet with the message “What Would Duncan Do?”
“I personally look at it often during my long runs when the legs get tired,” Duncan said. “Running is therapeutic in many ways, but it’s also a way to feel closer to our mom. I personally think of her every time I run.”
This year has brought even more hurdles – the coronavirus pandemic forced officials to postpone the marathon and then cancel it altogether. The brothers are now designing their own 26.2 mile route to run together as part of the first ever virtual Boston Marathon.
“Our plan is to start in the Back Bay at the finish line and run past Dana Farber and then make our way to Milton,” Duncan said.
They won’t finish on Boylston Street with hundreds of cheering spectators, but they will have their own finish line right outside the house where their mother grew up. The same home where she raised them.
“I know the Boston finish in the Back Bay is great and hopefully one day can cross that finish line also, but being able to finish here is pretty special,” Cavan said.
The brothers are planning on running together on Sept. 12.
You can support them at their fundraising page here.