EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
"According to statistics, one in three people are affected by cancer," said Navy Cmdr. Matthew Scott, 33rd Maintenance Squadron commander. "Recently my wife's sister passed away just this March from breast cancer."
From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Scott ran with purpose for his late sister-in-law, Grace, during a Relay for Life event May 11, 2018, at the Mullet Festival Fairgrounds in Niceville, Fla.
"She battled breast cancer for more than a decade," said Scott. "It was a good way to raise money for cancer research and honor her life, her struggle, and also honor the people that loved and supported her all the way to the end."
As a tribute to Grace's 53 years of life, Scott's goal was to run 53 miles. After a long seven and a half hours, Scott finished at 35 miles.
"Running over seven hours is a very small contribution and tribute to support those who survived cancer, those who have fallen victim to cancer and the family members left behind," said Scott.
Scott had an individual goal but didn't go about the overnight race alone.
"My wife, Gloria, is definitely my biggest supporter," said Scott. "She was out there all night long, cheering us on, providing water, not just to our team but to all the runners. No question about it, she's always there for me."
He was also joined by Airmen and Sailors from the maintenance squadron. Scott's team ran a total of 192.3 miles between 37 participants, each running for their own reasons.
“My racing bib said ‘I race for Grace,’” said Scott. “To make it more personal and run with more meaning, I encouraged everybody on the team to write a name of someone who was affected by cancer on their bib.”
Next year and the years to come, Scott plans to participate in the Relay for Life event to contribute his time and support for those battling cancer or as a tribute to those who lost the battle.