I am incredibly excited (although nervous) and beyond honored to run the 2017 New York City Marathon with The Herren Project (THP). The mission of THP is to provide those suffering from addiction with assistance in taking the first steps towards recovery and a life of sobriety, to sponsor educational and mentorship programs to increase awareness on the signs of addiction, and to ultimately bring hope for a better tomorrow. This is a mission that hits very close to home for me and my family.
On March 3, 2014, I was informed that my older brother, Ryan, was struggling with drug addiction. I'll never forget how it felt to first learn that my only sibling was struggling with this powerful disease. I was scared-I was terrified that he was putting his life at risk, I was angry-I was mad at myself because I didn't detect this illness sooner, and I was upset-I was sad that there was nothing I could do to cure him.
My brother has always been the most ambitious, hardest working, and most driven person I've ever met and I was terrified to lose him to this battle. But I never truly understood the power of his work ethic until I watched him climb the tallest mountain he ever faced - recovery. The past three years following this discovery have been a rollercoaster. There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but I am proud to say that my brother has finally found sobriety.
As part of his recovery, my brother ran the 2016 New York City Marathon to prove to himself that he could accomplish whatever goal he put his mind to. With minimal training, he ran the marathon in 4 hours and 17 minutes. On Christmas morning a few weeks later, I unwrapped a box labeled "To Jenna, From Ryan." Inside, I found his marathon medal with a note saying he could not have gotten through any of this without me. The medal, his sobriety, and the acknowledgment that I helped him through this journey have been the most meaningful gifts that I have ever received.
This year, I am running my first ever marathon with The Herren Project to pay it forward. The money that I will raise for The Herren Project will give others the same gifts that my brother has given to me. I am grateful for any donation you are able to make to help me raise funds for this incredible organization.
About the Herren Project:
The Herren Project and THP RUNS is truly honored to once again participate in the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon. Please join us as we provide assistance in taking the first steps toward recovery, and a life of sobriety, through treatment navigation, educational programs, mentoring resources and support groups. We seek to increase awareness on the signs of addiction and bring hope for a better tomorrow. Step by step, The Herren Project team is truly making a difference, one person, one family, one community at a time! For additional information please visit www.theherrenproject.org and www.thpprojectpurple.com.