Katie Fargnoli

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1) What does StacheStrong mean to you and how do you #LiveStacheStrong?

I hope you know I think of StacheStrong everyday and when things get tough I think of you. This family has always been an inspiration to me, from before GJ was diagnosed. When I met Colin in college, within 3 minutes of talking with him, you learned how important his family was to him. The support The Gerner Family shows each other in every aspect of everyday is a beautiful thing that people could only wish for. The way the Gerner Family has experienced this diagnosis and the struggles and triumphs that come with it has been hopeful, positive, honest and uplifting and it impacts my life daily.

In the line of work that I’m in, I’m often the person delivering bad news. I see different responses from family members as I tell them their loved one is sick or what the plan is going to be. Everyone reacts and copes differently. I always try to put myself in their shoes and think about what needs to be said, while remaining empathetic and understanding. It’s something about my job that I don’t think will ever get easier. I often think of StacheStrong and try to be honest and hopeful and give the patient and family resources and get them in touch with the right people who will be able to help them further than I can. I’ve learned that it’s often a person’s attitude and belief about their diagnosis that is beneficial for their health, not always medicine. The drive and hope to overcome what is in front of them, along with a great support system is what leads to the best outcome. I am reminded of this daily when I think about StacheStrong. GJ has done every single thing in his power to create a great outcome for himself. Reading about each step of the way during his battle and seeing him doing laps around hospital hallways, working with OT and PT and enjoying himself in-between treatments is inspiring and so refreshing to see. I can only hope that my patients have the mindset and support that GJ has and I thank you for sharing the inspiring story; you touch lives in more ways than you know!

2) Why are you personally running?

I am running personally because I used to be a decent runner. Over the years, I unfortunately let life get in the way and put running on the back burner. I can’t think of a better cause to run for. Running has always been a stress relief for me and I would love to get back into it. No more excuses – it’s time to #LiveStacheStrong. It’s important to remember that running is something that can easily be taken away and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I Run for those who can’t