BENEFITING: WAKE UP NARCOLEPSY INC
ORGANIZER: WAKE UP NARCOLEPSY INC
EVENT: Boston Marathon 2014
EVENT DATE: Apr 21, 2014
Oro Valley, AZ
Assoc. Director, Xyrem Distribution & Patient Affairs, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
My fundraising goal: $5,000
As you may know, Jazz Pharmaceuticals produces the narcolepsy medication Xyrem. At Jazz, I work with our pharmacy partner on the Xyrem Success Program. I have worked on Xyrem for over 15 years and have an active role in helping create the services that benefit narcolepsy sufferers. It’s my honor and privilege to be able to raise funds to benefit Wake Up Narcolepsy and am hoping that my friends, family, former and current colleagues, and running groups that I participate in will help me be able to raise funds for this misunderstood and rare sleep disorder.
I first heard of the WUNners a few years ago when I met Monica Gow at a Narcolepsy Network conference in Las Vegas. At that time, I was hoping to complete my first marathon, so joining the team and supporting people with narcolepsy – both at Jazz and now as a WUNner – brings me full circle.
I myself am living with a rare disorder, polymyositis, as well as asthma and other autoimmune diseases. I was given a pretty grim prognosis many years ago, and although have been in remission for many years, I got out of shape and overweight. Back in January of 2010, I joined a local boot camp in Tucson, where I learned to run. My first fitness test mile run was equally grim – 18:06 – meaning I pretty much walked most of it. But with perseverance and hard work, I got faster and shed weight – a total of 50 lbs of body fat!
In July of 2010, I completed my first race – a 5-miler. Since then, I have completed well over 30 races, of which 8 were half-marathons, and 2 full-marathons – Tucson 2012 and New York City 2013. I hope to finish Boston in under 5:15. I also became a certified running coach through Road Runners Club of America, coaching with Fleet Feet stores for the past few months and also part of the Race Guards team. It’s such a thrill to encourage other new runners!
As a native Minnesotan, my favorite race was Grandma’s Half-Marathon in Duluth, where I was able to see friends and family. The NYC Marathon this past November was my toughest race, as I battled through plantar fasciitis. I didn’t hit my goal, but I finished and enjoyed each moment of the race! My personal best was a 10K race in Mount Lemmon near Tucson in April 2013, where I placed first in my age group.
Running is a pure joy for me, and it means so much more to me when I can give back to others in the process, especially for the narcolepsy community that I have worked with all these years. It’s an honor to be a WUNner for Boston 2014!
Thank you for your generous support!