Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot. It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.
I happen to be one of those people. As an 18-year-old avid soccer player, I had reconstructive knee surgery after tearing my ACL, MCL and meniscus. Unfortunately, that surgery led to the development of a massive blood clot in my left leg—from my ankle all the way up to my groin—putting me at high risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Fortunately, we caught the problem in time (the immense amount of pain gave it away) and walked away with a year's worth of blood thinners, heparin shots to give myself (that was fun) and a few varicose veins.
Then, 3 weeks before I began training for my first marathon—the New York City Marathon to fundraise for the National Blood Clot Alliance—I discovered I would need leg surgery once more: this time to fix some (not all is reparable) of the serious vein damage left behind by the clots, remove my varicose veins and improve blood flow in my leg to reduce the risk of future clots.
While some would say this is all rather unfortunate, I'm glad it happened—it led to my diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder, Factor V Leiden. Five to eight percent of Americans have this disorder, but very few even know about it until it becomes a major health risk, like what happened to me. I can no longer take any hormonal medications, and at the time of diagnosis, I was told I likely wouldn't be able to run more than six miles at a time due to my vein damage.
Six years and 10 half-marathons later, I'm proud to say I've disproved that notion about running. When I met with my surgeon just a few months ago, the one thing he said likely saved me from having more clots: running. Funny how things work out. And now, I'm ready to run my first full marathon. While doing so, I want to help those who have also been affected by blood clots.
Team Stop The Clot for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon is here to do just that: raise awareness about saving lives! I We will run to honor our own survival or remember someone less fortunate. The funds we raise and the awareness we generate will be a victory for our Team and for the several hundred thousands of people each year in the U.S. who are affected by DVTs and PEs.
Click the big orange DONATE button today to do your part in helping me cross the finish line! And for every person who donates $25 to the cause, I will feature your name on my race gear as I run through the five boroughs of New York City. But no matter what, every little bit counts and I greatly appreciate any and all efforts in helping me raise awareness and conquer my first 26.2! Each donation is tax-deductible—for more information on my disorder and other issues associated with blood clots, please visit their website at stoptheclot.org. Thank you again for all of your help!