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Running for the In-Laws

Alison Dempsey and her Dad.

Alison Dempsey and her Dad.

By: Christine Fanning

Name: Mike Buckley
Age: 29
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Event: 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

It was almost eight years ago at Indiana University when Mike Buckley, 29, met his wife. Buckley not only met Alison Dempsey, he met her whole family, including one member who changed his view on life.

Buckley's now father-in-law, Dave Dempsey's attitude towards living life with paralysis has reminded Buckley that staying positive and upbeat is the way to live. Since meeting Alison, he has become involved with the Reeve Foundation and ran the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon for Team Reeve in October.

Gaining more than just a wife
"Everyone's incredibly supportive of each other," Buckley explains about his in-laws. "They're all there to help one another."

Aside from gaining an additional family, Buckley has also gained knowledge about spinal cord injuries. "I didn't have much experience and I didn't really know anybody too close," he explains. "It's opened my eyes to just see how every day is lived by someone who is spinal cord injured and how difficult the little things are."

Buckley says that Dave Dempsey's strength, physically and mentally, making it through every day has encouraged him to keep going, even through the hard times that happen in life. "When you run into adversity, you just have to push through it." Buckley says he's learning. "Don't let anything stop you, just make the most of what you have."

Mike Buckley on left end with Team Reeve members during the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon weekend.

Mike Buckley on left end with Team Reeve members during the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon weekend.

A little help from the dedicated crowd
Buckley currently works in finance for UBS Financial Services. Not only did he maintain a full-time job throughout his training, he planned a wedding and then married in August 2011 (which can be a marathon within itself!)

"It's just a matter of finding time. You still have to run during the week, you have to get your miles in somehow," he explains. "Fitting it into my busy schedule is a little bit of a struggle, the day job doesn't go away."

The support system that Buckley has from family and friends is just one of the many motivational factors that kept him going. "Seeing the crowd out there for six hours just to see the back of the pack cross the finish line is amazing," Buckley says about previous marathons he's witnessed.

Becoming involved with Team Reeve, Buckley says, was an easy choice. "I think every little bit helps," Buckley explains about his fundraising efforts. "Anything that can get the Reeve Foundation closer to their goal of Quality of Life and the eventual cure."

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders