Welcome to My Personal Page
Dear Family & Friends,
Another year and, once again, I come with my hand out, looking for your support. This year’s story will be a little different, as it will be an update on the story I brought you last year about my friend, Heather Walker. Here’s a little reminder of her story……….
………. You don’t marry into the Walker Family by being a shrinking violet and Heather Walker is anything but. She is beautiful, fun, brings big energy to anything & everything she does, is the Mom to two beautiful little girls (Sammy, 13 & Taylor, 10) and works in PR for The Boston Celtics (don’t hold it against her……or maybe that makes you love her more!) In July of 2021 she was on her way home from the Press Conference introducing the new Celtics head coach and got into a car accident on Storrow Drive because she couldn’t see to her right. She got sick that night and went to the ER the next day. The CT scan showed a tumor and surgery was the very next day at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The diagnosis was stage 4 glioblastoma. BRAIN CANCER.
Heather fought her cancer like a champion and even while battling her own disease, found the time to run her own home, be a loving Mom and wife, and raise over $665,000 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute to fight Glioblastoma. She was an inspiration to anyone who knew her and saw her in action!
Unfortunately, early the morning of April 26th, Heather lost the fight. Her husband Stephen wrote, “She isn’t fighting anymore and can finally rest.”
About 10 days later there was an amazing celebration of Heather’s life up in Marblehead, Mass. It was a beautiful day, right on the water, and there were over 300 people in attendance. Most impressive was how many of the Celtics “top brass” were in attendance, including one of the owners and President of the organization who gave an amazing, impassioned speech about how much Heather meant to the team and how much she will be missed. What was most amazing was that the Celtics were in the middle of the Playoffs and had a game that very evening in Philadelphia. The speeches were incredible, including an email from President Biden (whose son died of the same terrible disease) and if you didn’t really know Heather before that, you certainly did after.
At the end of the service, Stephen Walker, Heather’s husband, and Taylor & Sammy, Heather’s daughters, got up to speak. You could hear a pin drop and it was hard to breathe. It was hard to look at them without tearing up. Two little girls, clinging closely to their Dad, in front of three hundred sets of eyes. Their loss was written all over their faces.
Stephen did a masterful job expressing his love for Heather, thanks for everyone being there, and how much everyone meant to Heather. Then Sammy (14) got up to speak and could only get out the word “why?” before burying her head in her Dad’s chest, sobbing uncontrollably. She and her sister Taylor are just little girls who now no longer have a Mom. They no longer have that incredible person to celebrate their Sweet 16 with, to share the accomplishment of a high school or college graduation, to experience the joy of a wedding day, or to welcome a grandchild into the world. They have their Dad, but we all know how special our Mom’s are.
I’ve said it in the past, but will emphasize it again today, I swim in memory of my Cousin Clare, but I swim FOR the little boys and girls who lose a parent to this terrible disease. We all take our parents so much for granted, but how devastating when they are no longer with us (especially at such young ages!)
I humbly request your support of me in this year’s Swim in honor of Heather Walker and the incredible family she has left behind.
You can support me online using the below link:
This year I swim on TEAM CLARE, but swim for Heather Walker. Each year those of us who swim do our little part so that those who are literally in the “fight of their lives”, like Heather Walker, can fight the good fight. I hope you will consider supporting me and TEAM CLARE again this year so we can take one step closer to finally defeating this insidious disease and never again having Mom’s and Dad’s needing to have those very tough conversations with their kids about “why Mommy is sick”.
Donations can be made on-line with the link below
Or made by check (made out to SWIM ACROSS AMERICA) and sent to me at:
Mark J. McCooey
56 North Street
Harrison, NY 10528
I hope you all have a wonderful summer and thank you from the bottom of my heart.