On Patriot’s Day, April 17, Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan friar and Roman Catholic priest will run in the 110th Boston Marathon together with members of the FDNY and Boston Fire Department to solicit blood donations for local blood banks throughout the country in the name of injured New York City Firefighter, Matthew Long.
FF Long, a nine year FDNY veteran and accomplished tri-athlete was scheduled to run in the 2006 Boston Marathon, until he was hit by a bus and severely injured Dec. 22 while bicycling to work during the New York City transit strike. FF. Long has thus far required over 50 pints of blood and more than ten surgical procedures while still recuperating from the significant injuries received.
Now age 50 and stationed at St. Francis of Assisi, just ½-block from New York’s Madison Square Garden, Fr. Brian has completed 51 marathons and this will be his 52nd overall marathon and 17th Boston Marathon.
“Since there is a blood shortage in many urban areas, this marathon will serve as a symbolic reminder that we have a civic duty and a moral obligation to go the extra mile and give blood for those in need,” says Fr. Brian. The priest also asserts, “Firefighters like Matthew Long give their blood, sweat and tears everyday on the job. This time, I will give a pint of blood, the sweat from the marathon and my tears of joy when I give the medal to Matthew.”
April 17 is also Easter Monday. The previous week, Holy Week is the culmination of the Christian sacred calendar of the passion, suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That weekend, Fr. Brian will join NYC firefighters and a number of Boston firefighters to prepare and run in the Marathon.
Fr. Brian has known the Long family his entire life, growing up in the same Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn and as a frequent patron of the Long family’s ice cream parlor.