For me, running in the New York City Marathon for CBTF represents so much more than simply running a race. In 1995, I was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor and endured a lot of physical setbacks. When I returned to the fourth grade, it was difficult to readjust to life again, and I found myself struggling to keep up with my classmates in gym. It wasn’t until my dad took me running at a local park one day that my emotions began to shift. On the car ride home, he taught me about the connection between the physical and mental states of the body, and how they are conjoined to create balance. He instilled in me that it didn’t matter how fast or how far I went, but that it challenged me to become a better version of myself. This important lesson follows me every day, and continually gives me a strong sense of determination – not just with running but as a way to overcome life’s challenges, including the long-term effects of my brain tumor
As a young adult, CBTF stepped in and taught me that even as a brain tumor survivor, I could achieve great things including a career I love, moving from a small-town to one of the greatest cities in the world, making great friends across the country, and gaining independence along the way.
After my dad passed away from cancer in July of 2016, I decided to literally hit the ground running towards my ultimate goal of running a half-marathon. I never expected in a million years that I'd desire to run a full one, but here I am - getting ready to do so. I'm taking what my dad taught me to help other survivors realize their full potential. I'm taking the tools CBTF gave me to survive and thrive in life after a brain tumor. And I'm challenging myself so that other survivors and families can find the community and support they need no matter their stage of the brain tumor journey.