Cancer Care Center

Locations

The Armes Family Cancer Care Center

15990 Medical Drive South
Findlay, OH 45840
Office Hours:

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

David Dellifield

David Dellifield and his familyDavid Dellifield, a 42 year-old from Ada, Ohio, completed the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on November 2. Dellifield has had the goal of running the NYC Marathon since May 2009, when he finished his very first marathon. The 26.2 mile race courses through the five boroughs of New York City, and with 50,896 finishers in 2014, it is the largest marathon in the world. When Dellifield received his guaranteed entry into the 2014 NYC Marathon through the marathon’s lottery system, he knew this would be much more than just another race.

Less than four years ago, David Dellifield was a Blanchard Valley Health System cancer patient. Diagnosed with stage IV, well-differentiated squamous-cell carcinoma (head and neck cancer), his life was turned upside down on February 2, 2011. For two months, treatment included radiation five days per week and chemotherapy once per week for three hours, but he did not let that stop him from running. On May 1, Dellifield crossed the finish line of the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. The next day, May 2, he reached another significant finish line, this time at BVHS – he finished cancer treatments. David said, “In a way, finishing treatment was kind of like finishing a marathon. In a marathon, you have good miles and you have not-so-good miles. You run some and you walk some, but you keep moving forward. Having cancer, there are good days and there are bad days of treatment, but you keep moving forward. You do what you have to do to cross that finish line.”

Late one night after being diagnosed, David’s wife Jami came up what would soon become the mantra for each of David’s races. Inspired by Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon, she said “This little piggy got cancer, this little piggy said run!” Since then, David’s motivation has been ‘Sending Cancer on a Run.’ As a survivor, marathons have been a platform to share his story, raise awareness of local cancer support services and honor the memory of those who are battling cancer, have battled cancer or have passed away from cancer. This fall, David was able to send cancer on a run once more, all the way to the Big Apple.

Before the race, the TCS New York City Marathon posted to social media, “Tell us your story.” Jami sent David’s story to marathon officials and weeks later, the Dellifields were surprised and excited to learn that David had been selected to represent the United States of America in the TCS NYC Marathon Opening Ceremonies Parade. As one of 1,000 participants from 95 countries around the world, and the sole representative from the state of Ohio, David knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime honor.

After helping kick off the marathon weekend alongside NYC running clubs, pro runners and wheelchair athletes from around the globe, David geared up for the big race. His wave of runners left the starting line at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning. After four hours and 50 minutes of running through 40 mph winds uphill and over bridges and pushing through the aches and pains, he crossed the NYC Marathon finish line in Central Park – a goal David has always dreamed of achieving, officially met.

David had tremendous support throughout the race, from family and friends back home as well as on the course, at Mile 17 specifically, where Jami and their two children, Nora (13) and Ian (11) volunteered. The three worked an 8-hour shift, offering water and encouragement to the thousands of runners who passed them by. “Jami and the kids have been by my side through it all – cancer, the good days, the bad days. Seeing them at Mile 17 was my favorite moment of the entire experience. It was all the motivation I needed to keep going.”

Participating in the world’s largest marathon, representing his country and being able to share his story with hundreds of people is not something David Dellifield will soon forget. “I was honored to run in the marathon, but even more so, I’m thankful to be able and healthy enough to run.” Cancer never slowed David Dellifield down; in fact, it amplified his accomplishments and made him a greater inspiration along the way. But he said running in marathons has never really been about personal achievement: “For me, it’s always been about hope. I know what it’s like to receive that awful diagnosis, but cancer patients don’t have to curl up on the couch or throw in the towel. I want to show people that bad news doesn’t stop you from doing big things.”

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