It was a grueling day for Matt Eagles at the Calgary Marathon in Stampede Park on Sunday.
But the memories of his mother helped him get to the finish line after 42.2 kilometers.
“I miss her every day,” said Eagles. “I certainly could feel her presence with me.”
Eagles, who grew up in Fredericton, is a neurosurgery resident in the department of clinical neurosciences at the University of Calgary.
His mother, Anne-Marie Eagles, died of ovarian cancer in 2018.
Eagles said he was inspired to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Canada. It was his second year in the marathon.
“The disease is very near and dear to my heart and I was blown away by the support from the community, especially in Fredericton,” said Eagles, who ran the race in just over three hours and 26 minutes.
“I kind of hoped to raise a couple hundred bucks for a good cause and, through friends and family and online, I raised over $2,000 for the charity.”
Anne-Marie Eagles was an educator and started teaching in 1984 at Minto Elementary School. She retired as a guidance counselor at Liverpool Street School in Fredericton.
Following her death, St. Thomas University created a scholarship for students hoping to pursue a career in education.
For Matt Eagles, staying active is important. He sustained multiple concussions while playing hockey for the Moncton Wildcats and St. Thomas Tommies.
“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I don’t knowingly suffer from any long-term effects.”
He said his own experience is at least partially responsible for his decision to pursue neurosurgery.