To kick off Chicago Marathon Week, we caught up with Imerman Active teammate, Michael Wall, who not only runs for Imerman, but raises money as well. He was kind enough to answer some of our questions!
- Imerman Active Teammate, Michael Wall
Q: Michael, how are you involved with Imerman Angels?
I am a member of the Imerman Active team, which is a group dedicated to individuals who participate in athletic events in support of Imerman Angels. Imerman Active participants work to raise money and increase awareness to benefit 1-on-1 cancer support through Imerman Angels.
Q: We feel very fortunate to have you on our Active Team. What inspired you to run and fundraise for us?
My family and loved ones have been hit pretty hard by cancer, some of whom were able to beat it and others, unfortunately, who were not. Those experiences and losses have stuck with me. They are why I chose to get involved with Imerman and what have been the driving force behind my training. The special characteristic of Imerman that has really made an impact on me is their focus on the person. All charities and organizations focused on treating and curing cancer are amazing in their own special ways, but the tangibility of the Imerman Angels is what makes it so special to me.
Q: How did you get involved in running? How long have you been a runner?
I started running early in life (The 7th Grade) but I was never a “runner” so to speak. For most of my life, running was a part of offseason preparation for upcoming sport seasons. As I got older, and as my days as an athlete disappeared, I discovered that I had developed a real enjoyment for running and today it is just as much a part of my physical health as it is my mental health. I often joke that it’s my “drug” in that no matter what may be going on in my life I can always put on my headphones and just go. Running often helps me to put life situations into perspective and I often see things more clearly. There just always seems to be something that I experience, or see, or a thought that comes to mind while running that helps me to gain perspective. It’s something I truly value.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about Sunday?
What I’m looking forward to most on Sunday is the experience. I’ve set a pretty lofty goal in that I’m trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which at this stage of my life will be a tough task. I’ve been really working hard to achieve that goal, but even if I come up short it will be the experience that I am looking forward to the most. Arguably the greatest distance runner of our nation’s history, Steve Prefontaine, once said that “the real purpose of running isn’t to win a race. It’s to test to the limits of the human heart.” I could not agree more! It is why I run, it’s why I’ll be running on Sunday, and it’s why I’m running for the Imerman Angels.
Special thanks to Michael for his contribution and all that he does for IA! We wish you the best of luck and will be at the marathon cheering you on!
Adam Levy, Rynell Cook (IA), Eric Bolf, Barrett Lewis (pictured here) had a blast at the Bolf-a-Palooza event last Saturday.
“This years bolfapalooza surpassed all of my expectations! With the dedication of our steering committee, the help of the extremely talent Adam Levy, and the support of an organization such as Imerman Angels, we helped create awarenes for a cause that is very near to my heart… and all of our guests were able to have an amazing evening partying with a purpose. Thanks again for your time and devotion.”- Eric, co-founder and producer of event.
- Blakely Lauria (Steering Committee), JI, Arlyce Seibert (Dir. of Cranbrook Schools), Jamie Reif (Local IA Volunteer), Sarah Jacobs (Co-Chair), Anne Tremain (Steering Committee), Cec Strine
Cranbrook Schools of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan held their first annual cancer solidarity walk on Sunday, September 27th. Jonny shared that, following the event, many people approached him for more information on Imerman Angels’ 1-on-1 match up service for friends and family fighting cancer. This is what we are all about!
Cec Strine, event Co-Chair, called the event a success. Both she and Jonny spoke and shared their messages of hope (pictured below). Even her grandson, Austin (below), turned out for the event and displayed IA pride!
One of IA's youngest supporters.
Cec (above) is a cancer survivor and Imerman survivor angel!
Following the event, Cranbrook allowed Jonny the opportunity to speak to health classes and the football team to educate them about young adults with cancer.
Cec Strine, teacher at Cranbrook Schools Brookside of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, can speak to the impact of community support on an individual. As a salivary cancer survivor, she shared with me the importance of the Cranbrook family, as she took the disease head on:
“The extended Cranbrook family supported us so much. People that you didn’t even know about… who quietly had cancer.”
Joining together with Sarah Jacobs, an alum, parent and breast cancer survivor, the two created an idea: a victory lap against cancer around Kingswood Lake.
Tomorrow, September 27th, will be the first annual “Cranbrook Envisions a Cure Walk” sponsored by the school’s Cross Country Team. Like many things, this event has been a community effort. From the event logo (designed by a 6th grader within the school system) to the preparation for the big day, this has been yet another project where Cranbrook students, faculty, parents, grandparents, alumni and friends were able to join forces.
Cec is close to the Imerman Community for several reasons. Not only was she a teacher of Jonny, who attended Cranbrook as a student, but she also participated in a 1-on-1 pair-up relationship through IA. Tomorrow, she will be walking in memory of her mother to: pay tribute to those battling cancer, support research for a cure, and celebrate life. JI is excited to be amongst those attending, as well as a featured speaker.
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.”- Maya Angelou.
Cec shared that this (above) has touched her through her cancer journey. Though cancer is an ugly disease, she had found that it was also a blessing in disguise and an opportunity for her to give back to those who had shown her love and support. The cancer walk is the perfect opportunity to come out for Cranbrook, Cec, and those fighting cancer all around the country. Stop in and cheer on the walkers!
Optional donations will be made to Imerman Angels.
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IA Board Member, Dr. Greg Roslund, is getting married today in Los Angeles, California! Dr. Roslund is a Emergency Department Physician at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and the Outreach Director for IA.
Dr. Roslund was the recipient of the AMA Young Physician Leadership Award in 2008 and has been an advocate and appreciated contributor to IA. Congrats!
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