My name is Cheryl Knight and on February 24th, 2016 I lost my mother to an unidentified brain infection. I'm running the Boston marathon for the McCourt Foundation to celebrate my mother's life and raise money to support families like mine who were impacted by neurological conditions.
On Thursday, December 3rd, 2015, my mother woke up with a terrible headache. By Sunday, she didn't know the year or who the president was, and was admitted to the hospital. That night, she lost consciousness and I received a phone call at 2:30AM. They were requesting permission to drill two holes in her skull to relieve pressure and told me most people do not survive this type of neurological disease. She initially recovered with some brain damage before ultimately relapsing and succumbing less than three months later peacefully at home. During this time we were faced with the difficult tasks of finding the right neurologists, the right care for her that understood her neurological impacts and limitations, and the best ways to adapt our house so we could bring her home.
The McCourt Foundation supports families like mine affected by health-challenges within the neurology community and beyond. Their Patient Financial Assistance Program is designed to help families cover expenses incurred due to their neurological conditions. Financial help with accessibility measures such as renovating a bathroom or adding a ramp to the exterior of the home can make a huge impact on a family already struggling with adapting to a new diagnosis.
I would have never considered myself an athlete or a runner until recently. I started running about three years ago. I volunteered at a RunDisney event and everyone looked like they were having so much fun! I wanted to harness some of that joy, despite living a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I started with a 5K and found that running was a great way to manage my grief and stress. I worked my way up to 10K and then half marathons. To date, I've run four half marathons. Since I started running, I've lost 31 pounds and gone from a 19 minute mile to a 14 minute mile and continue to improve every week. I'm really looking forward to challenging myself with the Boston Marathon in celebration of my mother's life and raise money for an amazing organization that helps families like mine. I know the Boston Marathon will be challenging, but nothing will ever be as difficult as losing my mother the way I did. Please consider donating and help me reach my goal!
Thank you for supporting The McCourt Foundation’s Marathon team this year. TMF is proud to be a part of Marathon Monday for the 11th consecutive year thanks to the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program.
The McCourt Foundation, established in 1992, is on a mission to change the lives of those affected by life-altering illnesses. As a supporter of Team TMF, you have helped raise funds that directly benefit research, education and financial assistance for patients and caregivers in need. We partner with individuals and health causes to empower communities to build a healthier world.
Thank you again, for supporting our amazing team.
To learn more about TMF and our events please head over to: www.mccourtfoundation.org