I am honored to be part of the story behind how Olivia came to dedicate her first marathon to this cause. From her blog:
After thinking hard about taking on this new challenge, I decided that I didn’t want to run the marathon just for myself. I wanted to run for a greater purpose. My friend, T, and her family have always been near to my heart. As T and I grew closer throughout college, she shared with me that her sister, K, was recently diagnosed with MS. Her sister, like T, was a fantastic musician and a bright and vibrant presence to all around her. Despite the new change in her life, K, didn’t let it stop her from chasing her goals. K grew knowledgeable about how her mind and body worked instead of giving up.Her persistence inspired T and her friends (me included, of course!) to participate in the annual MS Walk that is held in Chicago every May. The walk was fun – the walk along the lake was beautiful and we had many laughs among our group – but it also felt good to know that we were doing this for K along with many others who struggle with MS every day.
Olivia raised over $1,600 for MS, blowing beyond her goal. And she is currently demolishing mile after mile in the race! I feel like I share in every stride - she is running for US, including those of us who could never take on such a challenge because of the disease - and I am loving the empowered feeling! She is showing how extraordinary the human body is and can be, a welcome counterpart to the other side of what the human body can be that MS teaches. Go O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!K is just one example of those who have influenced my decision to Run for MS. A member of my family was also diagnosed with MS in his 20s but passed away after fighting the disease for about 50 years. All involved in his physical care and emotional support were deeply affected. This year I started working on the neurology unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Each day I meet patients who are diagnosed with MS for the first time or are experienced with the ups and downs, the flares and the remissions. I feel so honored to be assisting them in their care. I try to make their day brighter amid the pain and confusion they and their families are experiencing.Therefore, it was easy for me to choose to such a worthy cause. I didn’t hesitate to join the KarmaStriders and commit to raising $1,500 throughout the 3 months leading up to my training. I Run for those who can’t, I Run for the weak of body but strong of mind, I Run for MS.
I will be interviewing Olivia soon about the race experience, so you can look forward to that.