As I waited near the starting line about to run my 4th race in the Rock n Roll Marathon series I was asked by another runner standing behind me “Did you know Casey Feldman?” He had read the back of my bright pink running shirt and saw that Casey was killed by a distracted driver and that I was running in her memory. When I told him that Casey was my daughter he looked stunned, teared up and grabbed me in a powerful hug. “I have a 20 year old daughter and I can’t imagine losing her,” he said. I gave him the pink wristband that I was wearing .
I was running to remember Casey and to raise funds so that our work to educate teens and adults about distracted driving could expand. Travelers Insurance Company graciously partnered with us and donated more than $16,000 to our Foundation, $100 per mile run by me and 2 to 3 other runners for each of the 4 races. It is part of their “My Drive Comes From” campaign. In Chicago I was joined by my niece Tess Feldman and her fiancée Michael Cornfeld, and in Virginia Beach by Virginia Wesleyan cross country legendary alums, Michelle Bryceland and David Kidd, as well as Laura Carney, whose father Mick was killed by a distracted driver. In Philadelphia, West Chester University’s Phi Sigma Pi alums, Marilyn Wellnitz and Vincent Meyers, as well as Danielle Gibson, Danielle Dizebba, David Moos, Karissa Tuason and Elizabeth Schmidt donned their pink shirts to run with us. .
In Las Vegas we were thrilled to be joined by members of the Las Vegas Runners Club, Suzi Hanson, Tami Stefanatos and Melissa Farrell, as well as Charles Apprendi of Vineland, NJ, a high school classmate of Dianne’s whom she had not seen in 43 years.
All of these runners were so kind and supportive and eager to run in Casey’s memory. And most of the runners on our EndDD.org team told me that as a result of learning about Casey they had changed the way they drive and had talked to their friends and family about driving distraction-free. Similarly, many other runners at the races , total strangers, after learning about Casey, acknowledged that they needed to drive safer for themselves and those they loved. Runners are an incredible community and the ability to tell Casey’s story to save lives through this new community is a bonus from the Travelers partnership.
Our thanks to Travelers Insurance Company, our EndDDD.org runners and all who took the time to learn Casey’s story. I am grateful for the support of my law firm, Anapol Weiss, for making it possible for me to work so hard saving lives in Casey’s memory. And, many thanks to that anonymous Las Vegas runner who gave me that much needed hug before the race.
In His Daughter’s Memory, Joel Feldman Runs to Stop Distracted Driving– Competitor Magazine, By Don Norcross, Oct. 5, 2015
“I was fighting back tears when I crossed the finish line. I was missing Casey” – The Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon, EndDD.org, By Joel Feldman, Sept. 14, 2015
Running for a cause at Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, The Virginia Pilot, By Lee Toliver, Sept 7, 2015
Kidd and Bryceland to Race for a Cause in Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Virginia Wesleyan College, Sept. 3, 2015