I am running in the 2018 Chicago Marathon for my dad. Bert Cooper died in 2009 from a heart attack. He was in heart failure, but that didn't stop him from living life to the fullest. In the Bahamas with his brother, on the rapids portion of the lazy river, a rush of excitement was the last thing my dad felt. Not a bad way to go.
I wish my dad's heart could have been as healthy as it was kind. Bert had a unique way of making people feel special. People would say "He'd give you the shirt off his back," and "He always made you feel like talking to you was the best part of his day."
When I was younger I would try to get my dad to exercise and eat healthier. He thanked me for encouraging him, and he tried to do better. As I honor my dad, replicate what he did right, and strive to not repeat his mistakes, I hope you will help me by contributing to the American Heart Association, leading the fight against heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.