Cooney Family

Run for Love and in Memory of a Life Well Lived

36 miles is an ambitious goal for anyone and for Deb Cooney, it’s a promise she made to herself. Deb runs to carry on the legacy of her son, Paul, who passed away May 16, 2020 after a long battle with brain cancer.

In September of 2020, Deb plans to run 36 miles (a mile for every year of her son’s life) on the Torry C. Brown Trail, which is the official name of the Northern Central Rail Trail from Cockeysville, MD to the border with Pennsylvania.

To talk to Deb is to realize the full extent of a mother’s love and a great appreciation for the life that her son lived. In the time
before he became debilitated by the disease, Paul lived and enjoyed life to the fullest, traveling as much as he could and spending time with friends and family. Deb shared, “He truly knew the value of life.”

As time passed and Paul was no longer responding to his treatments at Johns Hopkins, it became clear to all who loved him, that he needed additional care. That’s when Deb sought out the support of Hospice of Central PA (HCP). She had heard about HCP and reached out to the organization as soon as she could in April of 2020.

Deb misses her son every day but noted that she couldn’t have made it through the final weeks without the care and support she received from the staff and nurses at HCP. “They did so much in little ways.” Deb said, “I couldn’t have done it without HCP, it’s a wonderful organization!”

Deb lives in Middletown and is retired from her career with commercial airlines. She runs marathons with her grandson, and is currently fundraising in support of her upcoming memorial run. She is donating the proceeds from this run to HCP.