It’s crazy how something so inevitable can still take you by such surprise. That’s how I felt when I hung up my cleats for the last time. For all of my life, soccer has been engrained into everything that I’ve done. It was the topic of every family dinner conversation. It was the excuse that allowed me to travel to Vegas, Florida, and the Carolinas. But more importantly, soccer was the reason why I fell in love with Tufts.
Without question, soccer at Tufts has been the best part of my collegiate experience. It has become my identity. It’s part of who I am and how others look at me. I wouldn’t give it up for anything else in the world. However, now that my senior season is over, I am looking for something to fill the void.
I was thrilled when I found out that I would have the opportunity to run in the Boston Marathon this April. Running in the marathon means a lot to me. As a freshman, I witnessed the bombings at the finish line and watched the Boston community recover graciously. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that community, and that is one of the big reasons why I have decided to run.
Going into the marathon, I wanted to fundraise for an organization that meant something special to me. However, in trying to brainstorm potential organizations, all I could really think about was TUWS. The people that I have been able to play with and the coaches that I have been able to work with all have been incredibly inspiring.
Coach Whit joined us this year as a third assistant coach, making this season the most memorable by far. Whit had a comforting presence on the sideline, yet also an intense passion contagious to anyone around her. As a former TUWS player, she understood and embodied the team culture.
However, Whit’s post college life wasn’t all that easy. On the evening of February 20th 2014, Whit was struck by a car while out for her daily post-work run. The accident put her into a coma for ten days, with only a 5% chance of living. Yet two years have passed, and miraculously, Coach Whit is on her way to recovering from a traumatic brain injury that nearly took her life. Her recovery story has had a huge impact on every single woman who has gone through TUWS. It has left a lasting impression not only on Tufts, but on the greater Boston community as well.
That being said, I am choosing to fundraise for The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA), as this organization has been instrumental to Whit’s recovery. The BIA is a nonprofit organization helping patients who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries, offering awareness and resources that make cognitive rehabilitation more readily available to TBI surviving patients and their families. I feel honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to be coached by Whit. Your donations will help patients like Whit recover from life threatening injuries that have changed their lives forever. I am looking forward to running for Whit and appreciate any contribution that you can make!