Cancer survivor continues to run with purpose
A man who lives with HIV and survived terminal brain cancer is spreading his message of wellness here in the Maritimes.
Richard and Jodi Brodsky have travelled all the way from Long Island, New York, to run the Nova Scotia Marathon along the Southern tip of the province. The trip was inspired by a travel brochure that Richard picked up as a child.
"Nova Scotia has the best travel brochures, I still remember it to this day," says Richard Brodsky.
After 44 years, Brodsky finally got to see the postcard view in person. This is the couples second year back.
"We are thrilled to just come here and run the marathon," says Richard.
Their first date was a run through a park, but life hasn't always been easy.
Richard contracted HIV in the late 90's, and then terminal brain cancer, and was told he only had a couple years to live- that was 15 years ago.
"I feel very fortunate to be alive, and I want other people living with HIV and cancer to know not to give up on life," says Richard.
"Richard writes on his shirt 'HIV Positive' and 'brain cancer survivor', and tells me that people are touching him on the shoulder and giving him a thumbs up," says Jodi Brodsky.
Richard hopes to run fast enough at the Nova Scotia Marathon to guarantee himself a qualifying spot at the Boston Marathon next spring, which would allow him to check another item off his bucket list.
The couple started a foundation to improve the lives of people living with AIDS. They run marathons to raise awareness and help eliminate the stigma of the illness. They've also done a lot of work from hosting races, raising tens of thousands of dollars to build an orphanage and offer medical care in Kenya.
"The doctors, the nurses, the therapists, all get to run with the Kenyans on World AIDS day, and if you're a runner, there's nothing more exciting than to get to run with the Kenyans," says Richard.
They refer to their zest for life as reverse aging, as it seems the older they get, the faster they run.
"Right now we are enjoying the ride, and you know, even if we get slower, he says one day we will be the fastest couple marathon runners in the world. So we will shoot for that," says Jodi Brodsky.
They'll keep racing marathons but plan to take life at a slower pace, enjoying every moment of the time they've been given.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl.