Kate Mascali, who grew up on Staten Island, ran the world-famous NYC Marathon on Nov. 6. A life-long runner and supporter of Tuesday’s Children, she didn’t just do the race for herself, but for her father, an FDNY firefighter who lost his life in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Tuesday’s Children is an organization born in the aftermath of September 11 to help kids who lost loved ones in the tragic event. Kate was 8 years old when her father Joe, who worked at Rescue 5 in Emerson Hill, died a hero. As a young child, Kate had trouble coping with the loss of her father. But she found some solace when her family urged her to become involved with the organization.
(Kate is on the right in the Instagram post below.)
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Supporting Tuesday’s Children
With her father’s memory at the forefront, Kate, who now lives in Manhattan, ran the marathon to support Tuesday’s Children, raising almost $7,000 for an organization she holds close to her heart.
“When I decided I was going to do the race, I really felt the best way for me to get the most out of it would be to run for Tuesday’s Children,” she said. “It’s been in my life forever since 9/11.”
Since 2001, the organization has expanded its efforts, and today, it helps families and communities impacted by terrorism, military conflict and mass violence.
Since joining Tuesday’s Children, Kate has served as a Junior Board Member. She was recently honored at Tuesday’s Children’s Junior Board’s “Rise Up” Midtown Gala.
Along with her work for the nonprofit, Kate, a physical therapist, cites running track as another way she has been able to heal after September 11. Running the NYC Marathon has always been a dream of hers, and she was first able to do it in 2019—even though she suffered a setback a few weeks before race day.
“I ran it. It didn’t really go the way I planned. I had gotten injured a few weeks before it,” she explained. “But I still ran it, I finished and it was an awesome experience.”
But 2022 has shown to be a big year for the runner. She turned 30 and recently got married, so she knew this was the year to tackle the race again. Running for Tuesday’s Children was important to her, but she’s also proud of her impressive run time. She finished the 26.2-mile course in only 3 hours, 12 minutes and 17 seconds. (The average time is over four hours!)
“I really wanted to give more meaning to those miles. It was just the most amazing day. I trained four months for it, and worked with a coach who was absolutely incredible,” Kate explained.
Remembering Joe Mascali and the Role of Rescue 5
When Kate was little, her father Joe Mascali worked the night shift at Rescue 5. It was pretty routine for Kate’s mom to drive her to the firehouse in the morning so she could enjoy breakfast with her dad after his tour. After their morning meal together, he’d drive her to school.
And that’s exactly what they did the morning of September 11.
“My mom drove me to the firehouse, and I had breakfast with him and some of the guys,” Kate said. “Then he drove me to school and I hugged him goodbye.”
That was the last time Kate saw her father.
She didn’t realize at first what had happened, but the next day she knew.
Like many children who think their parents are invincible, Kate described the loss as “unimaginable.”
“Twenty-one years later, and it’s still unbelievable. It doesn’t feel that it’s been that long. So many things have happened. I’ve grown up, my siblings grew up,” she said. “So many milestones have happened without him, but for some reason it doesn’t feel that it’s been that long.”
Kate gives a lot of credit to her mother, who raised three children—Kate is the youngest—without her husband. She explained that the firefighters and families from Rescue 5 remain close to this day.
“My dad’s firehouse, still to this day, is a close-knit group. The families have really come together,” Kate said. “The Rescue 5 family has really become a family.”
Connecting with Tuesday’s Children
Kate recalls Tuesday’s Children being the first organization to reach out to her family to offer support. They had lots of programs for children and wives to help them cope with the tragedy in those first few days, weeks, months—and beyond.
“To see other kids on the island that this happened to really helped me to feel not alone,” Kate said. “It was nice to be brought together with other kids that this has happened to.”
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