I like to live a pretty simple life. I am a blessed mother of four beautiful children. I call them my "bigs" (15 and 20) and "littles" (3 and 5). My children and husband are my life. My passion beyond them is running; it is my outlet. I run for the fun, thrill, stress relief and mental challenge. I love what the open road does to my mind and body. As well I am passionate about health and nutrition. This passion of caring for others, health and wellness drove me to become a Nurse practitioner. My days are filled with caring for others; and honestly it’s what gives meaning to my life. It’s that moment when I am able to lace up my shoes and hit the open road that I am able to take a deep breath, reflect on the blessings in my life, and honor the strengths my body is able to conquer.
I work for Lahey Hospital which has recently merged with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; aligning two organizations that build their foundations on cutting edge research and treatments. These very same treatments help my patients strive towards optimal health and saves lives daily.
When I was offered the opportunity to run with team BIDMC at the Boston Marathon on April 20,2020 I was excited and scared. I would commit to raising money to support a special community outreach program called Bowdoin Street Healthy Champions; it is affiliated with BIDMC. It is located in the economically disadvantaged community of Dorchester. Their mission is to promote healthy lifestyles through nutrition, fitness classes, access to food in their neighborhood, a safe space in a trusted setting. They have programs that harvest fruits and vegetables. Resources that foster community and combat gang violence, domestic abuse prevention with mentoring.
To be honest, I have actually never run a race in my life. Although I am an avid runner logging a great deal of miles each week, I use that time to collect my thoughts and appreciate the moment. I have always been intimidated by races; I am competitive by nature and thrive on goals. This made me question races. Would I lose my love for running while trying to pass the person ahead of me? Would I lose the stress relief of the open road as I push my body to go faster? I took a week to think about if I had the mental strength to do the Boston marathon. On my long run Sunday I noticed how peaceful the road was, how thankful I was to be able to run on safe sidewalks. How my children can ride bikes to school and play at dusk with friends without fear. How my children have a warm house, access to top notch health care, a fridge full of food. I giggled as I thought of a recent "complaint" on a local Facebook site stating how someone had left dog poop in their yard. It was in that moment that I realized how truly blessed my family and community are, that our complaints are dog poop left on someone's lawn or if they will cancel Halloween because of the wind. I pledged mentally during that run to give back to a community less fortunate than mine. To give back to my patients who strive to live a better life and depend on community resources.
I am kindly asking all my family, friends, colleagues, and community members who are so privileged to give back to those who are not. Every little bit counts. If you can donate, like I have already, then I can tackle the Boston Marathon as my first race by putting my whole heart in and crossing the finish. Together we CAN make a difference!
* Submit any donations to your employers as a part of any gift matching program!
BIDMC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and the Tax ID number (TIN) is 04-2103881
Checks should be made payable to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center or BIDMC with the “runner’s name/Boston Marathon 2020” noted in the memo line. They should be mailed to: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Avenue (OV), Boston, MA 02215.
Bowdoin Street's Healthy Champions Program
The Healthy Champions Program is an anti-obesity, education, fitness, and community-building initiative serving children in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. Participants, or Healthy Champions, learn about the importance of healthy nutrition, food preparation, food access in their neighborhood, and fitness and healthy lifestyles. Perhaps most importantly, Healthy Champions serve as "ambassadors of health" to their families and peers in the community, sharing their knowledge about health and wellness while developing a sense of confidence in their ability to effect healthy changes in themselves and in the wider community.