Brian and Conor Long are brothers by blood, but friends by choice. They confided in one another, enjoyed each other's company, and leaned on one another throughout their lifetime.
"I loved this kid so much," Brian says. "He was not just a brother, he was my best friend. We were pretty much inseparable from the moment he was born."
Brian's world came crashing down in July 2018. Conor was just 20-years-old when he lost his life after a tragic hiking accident.
"He was hiking at Zoar Valley and tragically fell," Brian explains. "Our worlds are shattered."
Brian says that although the devastating news makes it difficult to move forward, he continues his younger brother's legacy of kindness and compassion in the community.
"Conor was extremely active, and really did whatever he could to make his school and community better. One of the things he did was help found what is now called the Health and Science Academy at Hamburg High School."
The academy is a vehicle for any student interested in becoming a medical professional, but unfortunately it has always been underfunded. As a result, Conor started the "Bulldog Dash" three years ago to financially support this program. The dash also raises funds for cancer research.
"I am a survivor of leukemia, so Conor always felt compelled to help support those battling cancer, like me," says Brian. "He always wanted to make sure I was okay - an old soul, who wanted to protect others."
This year, the Bulldog Dash is named after Conor to help carry on his beautiful legacy of giving back. The dash is a 5k Race that will be both a celebration and reflection of Conor's life.
The 2018 Bulldog Dash - In Celebration of Conor Long - will take place in the Village of Hamburg, NY.
Those who wish to participate can register here.
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