Blog Header

Inspired to run the Shamrock Shuffle

Inspired to run the Shamrock Shuffle

I think it is safe to say that the Shamrock Shuffle is considered the start of the Chicago race season each year. For the past three years, for my friends and family, this event means so much more.  This race has become an annual celebration and a reconfirmation of my commitment to living a heart-healthy life.

After I had my heart attack in December 2012, I had decided pretty early that I was going to change my life. Through the support I received from my family, friends and the staff at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehab Program in Chicago, I was able to easily understand what those changes needed to be.

In all honesty, I still struggle. I still have days that I miss the guy I used to be. Then I remember that the guy I used to be was dying and the guy that I have become is full of life. I am still so incredibly thankful for all the people who helped give me a second chance at life.

This year I am not looking to set any records, I am not trying to win any races or to win any medals. I am going to run the race with my mom. We are going to cross the finish line together. We will be greeted by my sister, brother-in-law, some of my nieces and nephews and some great friends.

It is an honor for me to run as part of Team Advocate. I hope I am able to inspire others to get up and get moving. For all of you who are running this year, I wish you the best of luck and remember you have already won.

Related Posts



  1. Good for You Dan! Getting some control over that which we CAN manage, i.e., diet and exercise goes a long way in living a joyful life. It’s no fun to be unhealthy, most of us have experienced a time or two of illness or injury and have had to fight our way back.

    Run and think of those(like me) who have been running for years but are on the healing bench for this year’s early running. I had same surgery(today) as Derrick Rose’s second meniscus trimming and can’t slip on running shoes and head outside for a couple of months.

    Again, good for you and run for those that want to but can’t. #HealthyFeelsGreat

  2. Thanks Margie. I wish you a speedy recovery….

  3. Good luck Dan nothing but good vibes are headed your way!

  4. That is a great article Dan.I am very proud of you and everything that you have done in the last three years. I am proud as you already know to call you my cousin and my godson. I love you and I hope to see you soon.

  5. Yvette Rodriguez March 27, 2015 at 9:48 am · Reply

    Great story! Thank you so much for sharing! Best of luck to you.

  6. Thanks for all the nice messages

About the Author

Dan Cavanaugh
Dan Cavanaugh

A 33-year-old Chicago man shares how he is preparing to run the Chicago Marathon after surviving a heart attack last year.