I am excited to be running the NYC Marathon to support the PKD Foundation. As one of the founding members of Team Tampa PKD in 2009, this will be my 4th marathon for this wonderful organization.
In late 2007 and shortly after moving to the Tampa Bay area, I lost my father. I missed the chance while my dad was alive to show him I could be a healthy weight and an athlete. I also missed out on saying goodbye while I still had the opportunity. This had a profound impact on my life going forward. For most of my life, I struggled with weight and when I lost my dad, I was in poor health and weighed in over 265 lbs. My dad’s passing inspired me to change my life and become an inspiration to others with similar struggles. I started slowly but successfully lost over 70 lbs and took on as many physical and athletic challenges as I could find. I began competitive racing 5k’s to half marathons but I knew something was missing and wanted to do something greater to honor him. I wanted to run a marathon and do it in my hometown in front of my family and friends who witnessed my lifelong struggles with weight. I knew this would be quite the challenge especially because at the beginning of my journey, I could not even slowly jog for 5 minutes without stopping to walk. As fate would have it I met Scott Bragan and his wife Erika in early 2009 and learned about their journey, I knew I needed to become involved. Scott told me he was planning to run the 2009 Chicago Marathon for PKD and the rest is history. This was the perfect opportunity to honor my father while giving back and helping save lives.
4 marathons later over 6 years, our team has successfully raised over $100,000 to help in finding a cure. But this year we face one of our greatest challenges. Not only are hoping to continue our efforts to raise awareness and financial support for the PKD Foundation, our teammate Erika Bragan; a wife, mother and friend who is dire need of a kidney which we are hoping to find a donor for her as soon as possible. We hope you can support us in our efforts to put an end to this awful disease.