I am happy to announce that I will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon. While I would never have considered myself a runner, this is something that I have wanted to do for the past two years.
On April 2, 2017 I lost my best friend, Olivia Brodt, to a rare form of childhood cancer, Aveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. On April 15, 2019, I will run for her. When I approached Caroline and Brenda Brodt (Olivia’s sister and mother) to request their help in finding a charity to run in for Olivia’s memory, it didn’t take long to get a response. Together they chose Dream Big! A foundation aimed to help girls from low-income situations achieve their dreams by providing them with basic equipment and program fees to enable them to participate in sports and physical activities. If you knew Olivia personally, there is a good chance you two were intertwined through dance, swimming, or volleyball. Olivia was the shining emblem of athleticism, intelligence, and grace. She grew up playing (and standing out) in every sport she tried. She used sports to develop her leadership skills, and even pushed her volleyball career to the collegiate level, at Babson College.
That’s where I come in, I had the gracious opportunity of being Olivia’s mentor from the first day she committed to Babson Volleyball. Being honest, when Olivia joined the team, I was upset I was no longer going to be the baby freshman. However, Olivia became my shining light, while she was supposed to be someone I would mentor in her first experiences in college, she soon became more like the little sister I never had, and one of my closest and dearest friends. I was supposed to be the older one looking out for her, but I think she did a lot more looking out for me (and still does). Olivia was by far the most selfless person I have ever known, even in the worst of her sickness she was more concerned about how she could help others than the horrific sickness she was enduring. Although the most inspiring aspect of Olivia was her pure strength, when she was diagnosed in April of her freshman year, we laughed about it because there was no question, she would make it through. The most difficult part of her sickness was having to sit on the sideline and watch her teammates play volleyball or dance without her. Nevertheless, we were hopeful, if not certain she would make it back to as starting setter for her Junior season. Even in her last month – her hope never left her.
In her passing, Olivia’s light has never seized to go out as she has lived through everyone she has touched, whether this was through volleyball, academics, or the millions of other organizations she was involved in. So, it made perfect sense, DreamBig! Was is exactly the type of organization that Olivia would want to support, this is how Olivia would want to be remembered, by a charity the represents her as the selfless, strong-willed athlete she was giving back to those in need.
Over the next six months the Dream Big! Marathon Team comprised of myself and 21 other runners will work to raise $250,000. This money could go towards buying a new volleyball net for a high school, goggles to an aspiring swimmer, or a scholarship to a so a girl can take dance lessons for the first time. All of these things can happen with Dream Big! My personal goal is to raise $10,000, and I hope that you will join me in supporting Olivia’s memory to help out all the little girls with big dreams who will grow up to be successful athletes, smart leaders, and selfless humans. If you just have a little bit to give, or looking to make a large impact, any support you can give will make a difference! No donation is too small, if you would like to get more info on this charity, go to: www.dream-big.org
...and please check to see if your employer will match your donations as Dream Big! is a qualified 501(c)3 charity – EIN#: 27-2204294.