Michelle Fischetti

Donate on behalf of Michelle Fischetti

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

To me, StacheStrong means being mentally tough. It is the ability to push through despite hardships. Being able to continue pushing even when it is easy to quit and you think the task is impossible. StacheStrong is about defeating the odds.

I live StacheStrong by pushing every day to succeed in my career and get through hardships in life despite obstacles. Having lost my dad to cancer, I know the difficulties that come with the awful disease. I push myself harder and harder every day in honor of my dad and to make him proud. I started running in order to be a fighter like him. Starting with my longest run being 3 miles, I eventually pushed to run a half marathon and then a marathon in his honor. Every day I push myself to get strong, run faster and run longer in order to #LiveStacheStrong.

2) Why are you personally running?

Almost 5 years ago, I lost my father to stomach cancer. Despite undergoing CAT Scans and an endoscopy in March 2014, the cancer was not detected. By May 2014, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Stomach Cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. Although all of the odds were against him, my dad truly embodied what #LiveStacheStrong means. I watched him fight the odds every day. Although the doctor’s continually told him that they didn’t think he would make it past the weekend, he managed to fight through and continue living. He never took the smile off of his face although he was in pain from the cancer spreading to his bones causing breaks that inhibited him from walking. He always maintained a positive attitude and continued to fight the cancer for my mother, sister and myself. After 2 months of fighting in the hospital, my dad passed away.

Whether it be stomach cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer or any other type of cancer, I run in order to find a cure. I run because no person or family should ever have to face the shock and sadness that comes with a cancer diagnosis. I run for everyone that has suffered from this terrible disease. As with all my runs, I run in memory of my dad.