Column: He’s running to honor his father

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on Oct. 12, 2008

David Ellermann of Wasco is hopeful that his 102-degree temperature won’t keep him from running in today’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

And not just because this will be his first marathon. He has a more important reason for wanting to run this race.

Quite a few news stories were written last year about David and his sisters running in the Chicago Marathon to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which funds research, increases awareness, and provides information about pancreatic cancer – the disease that took their dad, Peter Ellermann, away from them on June 30, 2007.

Kellie Ellermann, who entered the race, and her siblings, who ran with her at certain points, raised $20,000 for the network. David ran the second half of the race with her.

David, a 2000 grad of St. Charles High School, knows he won’t be able to reach that dollar mark this year, but he is looking to raise $2,000 for the American Cancer Society and has already raised a little more than $1,100.

Now he just needs to get better in time for the race. He was drinking tons of water on Saturday, and by 4 p.m. he said he was starting to feel better.

“I intend on running,” he said.

David wasn’t always a runner; he played hockey in high school. But losing his dad helped lead him to become one, and temperature willing, he’s ready to run 26.2 miles in memory of his dad and everyone else who has lost their battle with cancer.

I was going to be at the marathon anyway to support my fiancee, Christy, as well as Chronicle courts reporter Kate Thayer, but now I have another person to support at the race, and I will be rooting him on if he is able to make it. If you would like to support David and donate to his cause, visit, click on Illinois, click on the Chicago Marathon, click on Donate and then type in David Ellermann.

“It’s in honor of those folks and everybody who has been affected by cancer in some way,” David said. “That’s why I have to run tomorrow.”

We’re hoping you’re able to, David.


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