Join me in my efforts to support the American Heart Association!
Thank you for supporting me as I train for the Chicago Marathon in memory of my dad! I'm running to raise awareness, fund research, and remember those who’ve lost their lives to heart disease.
March 1, 2002 was a life-changing day for my family. While my dad was on a business trip in Chicago, he passed away due to an unexpected heart attack in his sleep. Despite maintaining a healthy diet and staying quite active, heart disease took his life.
I was 4 years old at the time, and my dad was just a month shy of his 50th birthday—only 49 years old. Far, far too young. On that day, my 38-year-old mother lost the love of her life, became a widow, and stepped into her new role as a single mother of 3 young children.
For those who never had the pleasure of meeting him, my dad was a passionate, admirable man. He had an insatiable desire to learn, earning 2 degrees at Duke University and teaching middle school Social Studies for a number of years. He loved entertaining people with his music, always armed with his harmonica and guitar. He woke up early each morning to run, bike, or do some form of exercise. Most importantly, he was a devoted father and loved helping his community and lifting people up at all stages of his life and career. To this day, I'm still learning about the breadth of his impact.
Though heart disease has brought tragedy to my family, I have first-handedly seen the amazing impacts of lifesaving science. My grandmother, who struggled for years with an irregular heartbeat, got a pacemaker installed 8 years ago. Because of this tiny, miraculous device, my grandmother and family live with much more peace of mind, knowing her heart will keep a steady pace. Not only that, but her pacemaker has given her a second lease on life.
I am fueled by this glimpse of hope of what groundbreaking research and scientific advances can bring. Even though my dad can’t be here, I will train and run the Chicago Marathon for him—26.2 miles to honor Dad. I know he will be proud at the finish line.
On behalf of all those we have lost too suddenly, too soon, and too young, I ask that you please consider donating to the American Heart Association. Your donation will fund innovative research that literally keeps hearts beating and helps people live longer, healthier lives. Your contribution is greatly appreciated <3