Running the 2020 Boston Marathon with Thorty's Team is a commitment, a passion, a dream and a love song to someone who meant everything to me that I can’t get back.
My freshman year at Boston University, my grandmother died of Parkinson’s disease. As one of her key caregivers with my family during high school and it being my first time away from home at college, this hit me hard.
To cope with this loss, I started to walk around Boston…a lot. Sometimes after class, I’d walk over ten miles around the city. My junior year, I even completed a 20 Mile charity walk with my roommate. Then, I started to see if I could run. In senior year just before graduation, I had a crazy idea after being inspired by a classmate. What if I ran a marathon for charity in her memory? In 2010, I did it. I ran to raise funds for Parkinson’s research in my city, New York. Little did I know, that was only the beginning of my journey to unleash all the years of pain and baggage that I still carried from that loss and guilt of not being there and feeling powerless to stop a progressive disease. I haven’t stopped running since (even when that little voice in my head tried to trick me into thinking, “This is the last one. No really, it is”). I have now completed 11 marathons (and counting) and raised more than $20,000 for Parkinson's (including a "Pies for Parkinsons" in the face!). I even ran for and worked in communications at the Parkinson's Disease Foundation for nearly 6 years.
While donning those Parkinson's jerseys through the streets of NYC (as well as Chicago, Philly, D.C. etc.) meant everything, my heart always yearned to return to Boston, where I first had the crazy idea to start running and log double digit miles. For 10 years, I dreamed of seeing the Boston Marathon finish line myself, off of the sidelines. I never stopped dreaming up ways to get there, even getting faster and fitter, slowly but surely. Now, a full decade later after my very first marathon, IT'S HAPPENING. The elusive unicorn, the hardest, most prestigious marathon in the world, the years of trying and failure, the 4 AM long run wakeup calls, THE Boston Marathon, ME.
Wearing the Shawn Thornton Foundation jersey in memory of my grandmother, Margaret Quinn, is an incredible honor as Shawn too lost his grandmother to Parkinson’s and understands its devastating impact and the feeling of helplessness it causes on families on the frontlines. The Shawn Thornton Foundation is dedicated to helping find cures for diseases close to Shawn's heart, specifically, Parkinson's and cancer. The Foundation will work towards this mission by raising awareness, funding innovative research and helping to relieve the burden and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
As you may know, Shawn played in the NHL (my favorite sport to watch!) and has won two Stanley Cups. While I covered the Boston Bruins during my college years, his charity work to help fight for a cure for Parkinson's and cancer struck a chord with me as much as his tenacity and grit on the ice (to the point I even added his jersey to my closet of Rangers' jerseys just before my 22nd birthday and graduation!) Both diseases have impacted my family and I'm sure have touched yours in some way.
Every dollar raised helps us get closer to the finish line of a world without PD and cancer.
Thank you in advance for your support. - Margaret
"Every wave that broke me. Every song that wrote me. Every dawn that woke me, was to get me home to you, see.
Every soul that left me. Every heart that kept me. The strangers that protected me to bring me back to you.
Every magic potion. Every false emotion. How unswerving our devotion to the lies we know are almost true.
Every sweet confusion. Every grand illusion. I will win and call it losing, if the prize is not for you." - U2