Gina B.

Photo of Gina B.I am … a Caregiver or Family Member.

My dad, Danny Brown, had a stroke six years ago at age 61. Physically, he’s in the best shape since high school, but he suffered cognitive effects that have altered his life, our life.

There’s only so much that can be done medically to help him regain what the stroke took. It’s a hard swallow for me, my mother, my brothers and their families to not be able to snap our fingers and fix things, like my dad has always done for us.

The only thing I can do is raise money to help stroke victims, their families and research opportunities. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ve dabbled with running a marathon for many years. Running New York City, a place I love, in honor of my dad, the greatest man I know, came together thanks to the National Stroke Association.

Dad was a radio guy, a damn good one, too. Radio is communication, listening, verbal. Three things the stroke has left a challenge for my dad.

When you do these kinds of fundraising events, you have to call it something. I’m going with a radio theme, giving my dad his own station to tell his story, his journey, our journey and how despite a lot of change and struggle, he remains the smiling, happy, positive, HILARIOUS, good guy so many of you are lucky to know and I get to call my dad.

I’ll admit, I have not processed what happened to my father well. He’s alive, but the stroke changed life for him, for all of us.

We are all constantly asked to support causes near and dear. I appreciate anything you can offer. If you can’t contribute financially, run with me, send me songs that will get these legs moving, tell me your favorite stories about my dad and if you know someone who has been affected by stroke, help them.

If you’d like to help me fundraise by hosting a dinner party or setting up a lemonade stand or donating proceeds from an event, sharing this link on your social media pages or any other creative idea you might have, GREAT! I will take all the help I can get. I’ve set a goal of $5,000, but I’d like to knock that way, way, way out of the park.(I’ve since upped the goal to $10,000 after hitting $5,000 in 24 hours. Thank you!)

One of my dad’s greatest contributions to my life, other than giving me life, is music. I started my training yesterday. The first song to come on as my feet shifted from walk to jog was Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a favorite of ours he used to spin when I was a kid.

When it comes to my dad, it’s true. “Ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough, baby”

Gina Brown is a member of the National Stroke Association’s Stroke Challenge Team which is participating in the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 4. To learn more about it and to join the team, click here.