Megan Passarelle

2020 TCS New York City Marathon Runner for Team StacheStrong

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

StacheStrong means being courageous in the face of adversity and always remembering to see the bright side of situations in order to truly live life to its fullest. I believe that means being able to realize what is important to you and making sure to prioritize those things each and every day. When my Mom was battling breast cancer, a day did not go by that she didn’t have a smile on her face and she would make sure everyone around her had one too. My mom’s favorite thing is laughing, especially with those she holds dear and the fact that she could do so while going through chemo and radiation really impacted my outlook on life. Everyone has battles, some harder than others, but I believe in strength in numbers and having a strong support group with you every step of the way makes all the difference. And I believe that is at the core of being StachStrong. It’s not just about one person, but a group all fighting for the same goal. A world without not only GBM, but all cancers and diseases that take our loved ones from us too soon.

I personally bring the StacheStrong mentality with me to work each and everyday as an acute care physical therapist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville TN. Having previously worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC I saw first hand how difficult it can be for patients, families and friends to go through treatment. Being a part of a support group for each individual I work with motivates me to come to work each day.

2) Why are you personally running?

I am personally running for everyone that cannot. I work everyday with patients who are fighting some of the toughest battles of their lives. Everyday at work, I strive to be an advocate for my patients. Right now, due to the COVID-19 spread, visitors are no longer allowed at the hospital, so I believe it’s more important than ever to be a voice for them in their hardest times. I believe the mission of StacheStrong supports that and running for this team is an honor and affirms how far I try to go for my patients (literally and figuratively).

I also want to challenge myself to strive for greater heights. Having never run a marathon (only half marathons previously) I want to put my body to the ultimate test and gut out 26.2 miles. I know it won’t easy, but I also know that I will have a strong support group to lean on from family, friends, and the full StacheStrong community who are relentless in their support of others.