I volunteered for the Chicago Marathon about 10 years ago with my high school cross country team, and while giving out water to the runners at Mile 6 I made it one of my goals to run the Chicago Marathon some day. Feeling the incredible energy of the city that and being amongst all the people was this incredible moment which I knew I'd want to participate in as a runner.
Since then, I've had some obstacles in the way that prevented me from running (let alone running a marathon), like a torn achilles tendon from high school track and a multitude of eye surgeries throughout college. Nevertheless, I committed to my goal a few months ago to run Chicago this coming October. I'm currently living in Portland, Oregon, but I can't imagine my first marathon being any other one.
I am running in memory of my grandpa, who died from a heart attack in May of 2007. He was just in his early 60s, and although I know he's always by my side I really wish that he could have been around to witness all of my major life moments since then. Dedush was incredibly loving and supportive of his family, and (no pun intended) had a huge heart. I am also running in support of my mom and grandma, who currently live with hypertension.
Unfortunately most of us know someone affected by cardiovascular disease, and I would really appreciate it if you could help me support the American Heart Association with their research and advocacy efforts to save and improve lives.