In memory of her friend Bill Roth, Wendy Hague completed a half-marathon – 13.1 miles – October 4 in Portland, Maine and raised $1,800 for the Life Raft Group.

“It was a great day, and I couldn’t have done it without the support and motivation from all of you!,” Wendy wrote in a letter to her family and friends.

As a runner, Wendy thought a marathon was the perfect way to honor Bill’s memory.

“Bill Roth was a friend of mine for a long time,” she said. “He kept me motivated in spirit during my run.”

Bill’s son-in-law, Jerry Cudzil, is President of the LRG Board of Directors. Bill battled GIST for more than five years and passed away October 15, 2008

Wendy had worked with Bill in New York more than 15 years ago, but the two kept in touch after her move to Maine. She was always glad to see him at a trade show each year. “It was a long friendship,” Wendy said. “He was a really nice man with a wonderful family.

It was very hard this year not to see him.”

Wendy was thrilled that her fundraising efforts could benefit research through LRG. She said the LRG website was extremely helpful in educating her supporters about GIST.

“Not a lot of people know about GIST,” she said. “I notified all my friends and family and described all the good work the Life Raft Group does.”

Wendy hopes her fundraising efforts will encourage others to do the same.

“There are things out there a lot bigger than yourself,” she said. “It’s always good to pay it forward. Even small deeds go a long way.”

Written by Belinda Ehrlich