I’m running the B.A.A. 10K on June 23rd to raise money for clinical research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the little-known chronic diasease that has dramatically changed the life of my dear friend and former roommate, Mary Curran.
Mary and I became fast friends as co-workers at New Profit on my first day when she gave me a “whoop whoop” at a staff meeting after I introduced myself and said I played volleyball in college. Mary was a D1 volleyball player, but then on her first day of spring training her freshman year, she stood up from doing a bench press and couldn’t see straight. Her health began to deteriorate and she had to go on medical leave in April as a result of not being able to walk on her own.
It took over 50 appointments with doctors across the country (most of whom were largely perplexed by her wide-ranging symptoms) before Mary was diagnosed with POTS in 2008. POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) is a condition that affects blood flow circulation as a result of the autonomic nervous system not functioning correctly. This essentially makes Mary’s body think it is laying flat at all times, leading to a whole host of symptoms from dizziness to GI issues that affect normal day to day life. The doctor who diganosed Mary told her that she would have POTS forever and that while she would never run a marathon or climb a mountain, he would help her live as close to a normal life as possible.
Fast forward 11 years, Mary is running the B.A.A. 10K to raise money to support clinical research on innovative treatments for POTS that Dr. Peter Novak is spearheading at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where Mary now works as an Associate Director of Development. I’m running with her because I have been so inspired while living with Mary over the past two years and seeing how she has not only fought to be healthy and active despite dealing with symptions on a daily basis, but has been a champion for so many other people’s health through the work she does. Through raising money for this clincial research with this team of runners and friends, she hopes to help to ease the journey and improve quality of life for the millions of POTS patients around the country, especially those who don’t have the access to the care and support that Mary has had.
In 2008, during a clinical trial with a POTS specialist, he wrote in Mary’s chart, "she is able to walk by dint of willpower alone". That same willpower is going to get her through her first 10K in June. I so appreciate your support, whether you choose to donate or just cheer us on!
More about the B.A.A. 10K:
On Sunday, June 23, hundreds of teammates will come together to run the 2019 Boston Athletic Association’s (B.A.A.) 10K® road race to support Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH ). BWH and BWFH care for patients across New England, throughout the United States, and from 120 countries around the world. Every day, our clinicians, researchers, and caregivers work to find new ways to predict, prevent, and treat the most challenging diseases of our time while delivering world-class care with a profoundly human touch. Our B.A.A. 10K teams are proud to fuel quality patient care, innovative training, and life-changing discoveries that will benefit patients here in Boston and around the world.
More about POTS:
POTS is estimated to impact 1 out of 100 teenagers and, including adult patients, a total of 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 Americans. POTS can cause lightheadness, fainting, tachycardia, chest pains, shortness of breath, GI upset, shaking, exercise intolerance, temperature sensitivity and more. While POTS predominantly impacts young women who look healthy on the outside, researchers compare the disability seen in POTS to the disability seen in conditions like COPD and congestive heart failure