BENEFITING: Imerman Angels
My running journey and why I'm running for Team Imerman Angels
I began running consistently for the first time during my senior year at the University of Michigan. An ACL injury had sidelined me from the club sport that kept me active and healthy throughout college, and after physical therapy and a few lethargic months, I realized that physical activity was a critical part of my life.
Despite my aversion at the time towards running any distance longer than a mile, I signed up for my first race: The Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon. I followed a "couch to half marathon" plan and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. I knew in that moment that I would be a runner for life.
Since then, I've run two more half marathons and a handful of shorter races. There were some long, tough runs involved in training for those races, and I found that they felt easier and went by faster when I turned my focus outward and focused on others rather than myself. I began mentally dedicating particularly tough miles to the people and causes that I love and care about - to my parents, my sisters, my friends and other family members, my church family, or to the people impacted by the many horrific events that have crossed my newsfeed in the last few years.
When the opportunity to train for and run my first marathon on behalf of an incredible charity came up, I knew it was the absolute best way for me to maintain my outward focus while training towards my dream of being a marathoner. And Team IA is a perfect fit because even at 26.2 miles, I won't have enough miles to dedicate one to every person I know who has been impacted by cancer.
What I'm running for
Imerman Angels is a not-for-profit organization that was created on the belief that no one should have to face cancer alone and without the necessary support. Through a unique matching process, IA helps to partner anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world with someone just like them - a "mentor angel" - who is a cancer survivor and has faced their same type of cancer.
These one-on-one relationships give a cancer fighter or caregiver the chance to ask personal questions and get support from someone who has been there before. Mentor Angels can lend support and empathy and help cancer fighters and caregivers navigate the system, identify their options, and create their own support systems.
In 2016, Team Imerman Angels participants raised over $320,000 and created nearly 900 connections between those impacted by cancer and a Mentor Angel. To learn more about the important work your donations will support, click Here.