Dr. Shelby Harris
New York, NY
I am a clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Montefiore Medical Center's Sleep-Wake Disorders Center in New York City. I often work with patients who have narcolepsy and routinely see how this disorder can dramatically affect patient’s lives and the lives of those around them.
I’ve chosen to run the Boston Marathon again with WUN for a few reasons. On April 15, 2013, I happily put on my WUN running shirt, got to the start of the Boston Marathon, and ran what was my best race to that point. At mile 26.1 (out of 26.2), my run was abruptly cut short when the bombs went off just in front of (and to the side of) me. Despite utter chaos at the site and the psychological repercussions this had for me in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, I am confident that someone was watching over me and my family that day. My heart continues to be broken for those who were physically injured by the blast.
If you had asked me 2 months ago whether or not I would run Boston again, I would've likely said no. However, as a psychologist who works with patients to accept their reality while moving forward and creating a full life, it occurred to me that I was not taking my own advice. I want my 4-year-old son to see the power of resilience, and that it is possible for anyone.
Narcolepsy is a serious neurological disorder with no cure and limited treatment options. It is greatly misunderstood and stigmatized in the general public, with many patients misdiagnosed for 10-15 years before obtaining a proper diagnosis. Many doctors are not well-versed in the symptoms of narcolepsy, and I commonly see patients mislabeled as depressed, bipolar, lazy, or even schizophrenic.
Despite the multiple obstacles that are thrown in front of patients with narcolepsy, so many of my patients don't give up. I find this incredibly inspiring, and as much as I try to help my patients cope with their illness, they don't always realize how much working with them helps me as well. It took some time, but I'm now excited to be at the start line in Hopkinton on April 21st!
CR Impact Points
Click the VOTE button to give Shelby 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). Vote for the Volunteers and Fundraisers that are answering the call to service, raising money for charity, and making an impact for their causes. Come back and Vote every months. CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.
CR Impact Points
If you're seeing the grey VOTE button, you should feel great about yourself. It means you already voted for Shelby this month. Come back next month and vote again if you still love Shelby. Thanks to your vote, Shelby earned 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.