WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 21, 2011, 03:34 PM

Father finishes Morgan's Marathon

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The marathon was Morgan's Marathon for Joe Kolling. We first brought you his daughter's story, three years ago. She lost her battle with cancer and now lives on in the memories of the many lives she touched. Today, determination to keep her legacy alive stretched 26.2 miles.

As daylight begins to shine on marathon day, in a pre-race stretch, Joe Kolling is quietly on his own, left with the thoughts of his daughter Morgan.

JOE KOLLING - Morgan's Dad: "Yea, she's definitely in my mind."

Morgan fought for more than a year, battling brain cancer. Her fight came to an end in 2009, but not before she enjoyed life to its fullest in the short 8-years she had.

Joe Kolling: "She was for the most part just happy to be alive."

As Morgan's fight with cancer dragged on, Joe used running to cope.

ANGELA KOLLING - Morgan's Mom: "It was his outlet during her treatment."

So today, it’s only fitting, for the Kolling family that Joe's first ever Marathon is for Morgan.

Joe Kolling: "She would be encouraging, but she would say that I was crazy."

With Morgan's cancer wrist band tattooed on his arm, his race to remember begins, pushing through each mile with a family to support him along the way. Joe's wife Angie had a sign, which says it all.

Angie Kolling: "I think she's right by her dad cheering him on."

On this day, memory of Morgan's bright smile sheds light on a gloomy afternoon and carries her family though another day and a marathon her dad promised not to quit.

Joe Kolling: "She had the strength to carry on as long as she could, and it never beat her. I just feel like I shouldn’t let any leg pain or anything like that beat me."

Joe finished the full marathon in 4-hours, 16-minutes. We have a link on our website to the Kolling family blog. You can donate there to their Relay for Life team and the American Cancer Society.