Paul Madison will be running his first marathon on Oct. 8, at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to challenge himself and raise money for a meaningful cause, the American Red Cross.

Paul grew up in Mundelein, IL and is the eighth of 12 children in his family.  He played fullback and linebacker at Carmel Catholic High School for four years and was on the track & field team for the long and triple jumps.

In 2008, when Paul was finishing up his freshman year of high school, two of his brothers, Mark and Patrick, were serving the United States Army in Iraq. Patrick was seriously injured by an attack on his tank.

“It was a time when all seemed lost for me and my family. Growing up, my older brothers had always been my biggest role models and closest friends,” Paul says.

This would be a trying time for any military family, especially a family with 12 children during a national recession. Luckily, after a year at Walter Reed Military Hospital, Patrick made a full recovery from his injuries, to which Paul attributes to the American Red Cross.

Paul spent a lot of time with Patrick during his recovery, escorting him to doctor’s appointments, brining him meals and renting movies so that they could watch them together. Paul witnessed his motivated brother trade his wheelchair for crutches, and then learn to walk on his own again.

“My presence with my brother was the motivation he needed to recover.  I am forever grateful to Red Cross for their support,” Paul says.

Paul’s training for the Chicago Marathon has been going well; having never ran more than a mile until about two years ago, he recently moved to East Lakeview and discovered the lakefront running path where he says, “I could suddenly run forever! Ten miles seems like a walk in the park these days.”

In April, he ran the Illinois Half-Marathon on the campus of his alma mater in 1:50, and hopes to break four hours at the Chicago Marathon.

“Patrick knows I’m running for Team Red Cross because of his experience. He doesn’t want any attention, but I know he will support me on marathon day,” Paul says.

“I will be focusing on our troops and the Red Cross during the race, especially when I am feeling winded. If they can put it all on the line to protect me, I can go all out for 26.2 miles for them.”

Writer’s Note:

While the American Red Cross is widely acknowledged for blood drives and helping victims of weather and fire disasters, their support of military families in need is less well known but just as important.

If you wish, please visit Paul’s webpage:

Thank you to Paul’s brother, Patrick, for his service to our country and for keeping us free and safe.


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