Nearly 25,000 people finished this year’s NYC Half Marathon on Sunday. One man’s goal was to honor his wife, Tony-award nominee and Rockford native, Marin Mazzie.
It was only a few months ago that the lights of Broadway went dark in honor of Mazzie, who died last September after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer.
No one felt that loss more than her husband, Broadway actor Jason Danieley.
“Marin and I were togther twenty-two years,” he said. “That’s a long time. That’s almost half of my life.”
That included a stop here in Rockford, where the two performed together several years ago.
Now, Jason is on a mission: to keep Marin’s name alive, but also to empower others who are struggling with the same cancer diagnosis.
Some of that is through fundraising. “We’ve played all the rooms in New York, and this is by and far, far away our favorite place to play. Here at Feinstein’s, they have a specialty cocktail called Marin’s Sunflower Plant,” he said.
Another part of his mission takes a little more energy. He finished Sunday’s New York City Half Marathon as a tribute to Marin, and he chose a special charity to benefit.
“I’m running for Cancer Support Community, which is a national organization that gives over $50 million in free services to people living with cancer and the families,” he said. “And, they’re associated with the Gilda’s Club.”
Anyone who has trained for a race as long as a half marathnon – 13.1 miles – knows the race can be lonely, and the training, even more so.
But Jason says he’s not alone:
“I can’t do it by myself. She’s will me every step of the way, encouraging me and giving me the strength to do this,” he said.
Jason ran the race with fellow Broadway star Brian D’Arcy James. They finished in well under two hours, just in time for the matinee of his show, “Pretty Woman.”
You can donate to Cancer Support Community here.