Running has taught me about hard work and dedication, even when it seems counter-intuitive. In running marathons, I have learned that you can want to quit, more than anything in the world, but it's worth it to keep fighting. In March of 2020, many of us felt our worlds tilt-- we were all thrown into what we would call "the new normal," and we shifted our home spaces into our work lives into our schools into our gyms into our churches. For me it was no different. But after months of feeling tired and dizzy during workouts, my second day of WFH, the doctor called to diagnose me with a rare blood disorder, called PNH. I made the mistake of googling the diagnosis, without asking the doctor any real questions. 2020 has been riddled with that diagnosis, a gallbladder surgery, and a slipped disc. But, I am grateful to say that 2021 is bringing me back to my running shoes and healing.
In October, I plan to run the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, two years after my last official marathon, also Lakefront. 2020 took a lot from us. It took my sunrise runs, and my intense workout sessions. But it could not, and will never take, my hope and my dedication to being better than I was yesterday. I love to run, and I am so grateful for every mile that I get to run now. I decided to run for NORD because it is important to me that I continue to run--not only for myself-- but because it brings me a sense of hope for the future. NORD's incredible work helps people with Rare diseases find resources, obtain life-saving medications, and is invaluable during the process for a diagnosis. While my own diagnosis came by happenstance, my most fervent wish, right now, is to be an advocate, a supporter, and a champion for others in all that I do in my personal, professional, and athletic life.