Why I Run: Julie Somora

Julie and one of her sons running strong, for their family and for a great cause.

October 12, 2008: My husband, Andrew, and I ran the Chicago Marathon. A first for both of us.

April 20, 2009: I ran the Boston Marathon. Andrew was there to see me cross the finish line.

Boston Marathon.

October 11, 2009: The Chicago Marathon again.  This time, I cheered him along the streets of Chicago.

August 9, 2010: One day after our 12th wedding anniversary, we learned Andrew had Stage IV colon cancer. He was 37 years old. Our boys were 8 and 5.

November 7, 2010: I ran the NYC Marathon. Despite the fact he was on week 10 of a 12-week chemotherapy regimen, Andrew was there to cheer me on. It was an “off” chemo week.

July 9, 2010: Over 200 of our friends joined Team Somora and ran the Kansas City Get Your Rear in Gear 5Kto promote prevention and early detection of colon cancer and to provide support to those affected. Our team raised the most amount of money in Kansas City and our team was the largest of any GYRIG race in the country. Andrew ran the entire race.

The Somora family.

October 28, 2011: My husband, the father of my children, and love of my life, lost his battle with colon cancer.

October 7, 2012: I will run my second Chicago Marathon. While I won’t have my husband there in person to support me, Andrew will be with me in spirit, every step of the way.

October 28, 2012: I will host the first annual Bringing Up the Rear 5K,  Kansas City’s Race to Defeat Colon Cancer to honor Andrew and raise money for the Andrew J. Somora Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization I established in December 2011 to help families who have been financially impacted by colon cancer and to help spread awareness of the symptoms of colon cancer and the importance of early detection.

October 29, 2012 and beyond: Running has kept me—and will keep me—going as I try to navigate my life without him. I have to be strong for my boys, but when I run, I can let the tears run and no one can see. I can talk to him and no one looks at me like I am crazy. I can try to solve problems, make decisions and plan my future without him, and yet still feel like he is, in some way, with me the entire way.

Andrew and I ran our entire marriage. Running kept me going through his diagnosis and treatment. I ran for both of us when he could not. Now I run because it’s what Andrew would have wanted me to do.



35 responses to “Why I Run: Julie Somora

  1. Julie….you are such an inspiration! Your strength and determination makes me want to strive for bigger and better goals not just in running but life itself.

  2. You are an inspiration to many, a wonderful mother and a truly good person. It is a privilege to know you! You are an amazing woman!!!

  3. Julie, your strength amazes me. I worked with Andrew at PS and know that he was a wonderful man devoted to you and your sons. My heart broke for all of you when I heard of Andrew’s illness. I’m putting Oct. 28 on my calendar and will continue to have you in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I will be cheering you on. I lost a grandmother and a dear friend to colon cancer . its just not fair. thank you for raising awareness.

  5. I am googling the symptoms now. My husbands father had colon cancer. He is fine as far as I know now but my husband is at greater risk. Your story is heart breaking and inspiring.

  6. I am a colon cancer survivor, barely. 5 years and 7 major surgeries later I am planning to take up running, with a goal of entering the Pacific Crest duathlon in June 2013. Today my lead surgeon told me he would join me. I will bike and run for all those who did not make it. My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. It is a terrible disease. You are an inspiration to me.

  7. Don’t know you but sending a big hug. Hang in there, running sister. You have made sure a lot of us will be thinking of you when we run. Hope you feel the push of our thoughts.

  8. Your story could not have hit much closer to home for me. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at 39 years old. We have two girls, age 9 and 7. It’s been over 2 years and he is still fighting it.
    I hope running continues to help your healing and coping with life. Sounds like you are doing wonderful things in his memory.

  9. Bless you and your boys. We’re all cheering for you in your daily challenges and in the positive things you are creating in memory of your husband. I hope to see you on the course in Chicago! <3

  10. God bless you and your efforts to raise awareness. My beloved aunt died 13 years ago next month of colon cancer. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. I knew what was coming but still had goose bumps when I got to October 2011. Thank you for writing and thank God for running!

  12. My heart just breaks for you. I’m so sorry. Running is so healing – as I have found time and time again myself – I hope you find beautiful surprises of healing and joy on your runs.

  13. There are times that I’m blown away by the resilience of the human spirit – this is one of those times. Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. Thank you for what you’re doing to raise awareness of colon cancer. My mom died in 2006 after a 2 yr battle with it. My heart goes out to you and your boys (super cute, by the way). I hope you continue to find strength and relief in running.

  15. Peace be with you and your family and know that many, many mother runners will be rooting for you along your race routes.

  16. What an amazing story. We lost my grandfather last year to colon cancer and this year I am running a race each month trying to raise funds and awareness for the Colon Cancer Alliance. Thank you for sharing your story.

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