2020 TCS New York City Marathon Runner for Team StacheStrong
1) What does StacheStrong mean to you and how do you #LiveStacheStrong?
StacheStrong to me is a symbol of strength, bravery and resilience. I met GJ in Spring 2010 as I pledged Delta Sigma Pi, a Co-ed business fraternity. As I got to know GJ, I found him to be a respectful, smart and honorable man full of wisdom and excellent advice. The brotherhood we share with all brothers is a connection that bonds us for life. As I followed GJ’s journey battling GBM, I was blown away by his positivity, bravery, the will to fight, and determination to never give up…always with that “GJ smile”. I live StacheStrong by holding onto that positivity and resilience in my everyday life. Whether it’s a beautiful day starting with yoga and no stress or a terrible day posed with many challenges and negative news. I try to look at the bright side of my circumstances and put things into perspective. As humans, it’s easy to feel defeated and resort to negative thoughts especially when faced with difficult challenges. But it’s the StacheStrong mission that reminds me to think positive, face my fears and fight. I feel strongly connected to that mission because the most influential person in my life, my mother, leads hers with that same positivity, bravery, resilience and a smile.
2) Why are you personally running?
My mother, Ronni, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer this past June 2019. She had been in remission for 16 years since her first diagnosis at the age of 50. Although it is not brain cancer, it is still a monster called cancer, nonetheless. I am personally running for our heroes like GJ and my mom and for the very difficult journey that cancer inflicts on its warriors and all parties involved. Parties including caretakers, family members, friends, and loved ones. When the time came for me to put my life on hold and come home to be my mom’s primary caretaker, I did not know what to expect. As Colin describes it, it’s like a roller coaster with so many ups and downs that’s never ending. On this ride, you receive promising news on an “up” day and the next, you’re feeling “down” at your loved ones’ hospital bedside for months, with nothing but a “GJ smile” to show you that there’s still hope.
Running the NYC Marathon is an opportunity for me to not only raise funds and awareness for brain cancer research, but it is also a testament to my definition of StacheStrong: strength, bravery, and resilience. To demonstrate the strength and bravery that cancer patients like GJ and my mom muster up in their will to fight each day and the resilience they exude when faced with continuous challenges and decisions. I aim to inspire others by showing them anything is possible if you put your mind to it (as cliché as that sounds). I want to represent hope for our warriors and pride for our survivors. Accomplishing a run of 26.2 miles is a tremendous undertaking that has been on my mind for quite some time. I am a firm believer that timing is everything. Since it is the 50th anniversary of the NYC marathon, the same age my mother was first diagnosed with cancer, I am so grateful to have the chance to run in GJ’s honor by putting my mind, body and soul to the true test of commitment, strength, and bravery. Most importantly, the true example of camaraderie being a part of the StacheStrong team come November 1st, 2020 on race day!