My mother, Molly, died in May 2011, after unsuccessful treatment for stage 4 ovarian cancer, a diagnosis she was given only 9 months prior. A year after her death, I ran my first 5k in a local fundraiser for an ovarian cancer advocacy organization. Every year since, my father and I have organized Molly's Team, which comes together for that same 5k; over the past 8 years our team has raised over $50,000 to support efforts to raise awareness of and improve care for those affected by ovarian cancer.
My love for running was sparked by that first 5k, which helped me overcome what was up to that point a life-long aversion to distance running. I ran my first half marathon in 2017, and have been hooked ever since. From the moment I registered for that first 13.1 mile race I set a goal for myself: run a half marathon in every State and D.C. by the age of 51 (#51x51). The United Airlines NYC Half will be half marathon number 8 for me, but more importantly is an opportunity to contribute to the great work being done by The V Foundation to support cancer research.
Basketball was my first love, and as a child of the 80s and 90s, the story of Jimmy V is one that I know well. His ESPY speech continues to resonate after all these years, even more so having gone through the experience of losing my mother to cancer. It's truly a privilege to join this team for this event, which to me is an amazing intersection of some of my life's passions: running, basketball and working towards the Victory Over Cancer®.