1. Why did you join Team Imerman Angels? Do you have a personal connection to Imerman Angels?

I joined for several reasons. A good friend of mine is battling colon cancer that is quickly spreading and it has shook her family to the core. My mother battled breast cancer two years before my diagnosis. This is my “lucky year seven” post-breast cancer treatments and I felt like doing something big to celebrate. I became an Imerman Angels Mentor Angel in 2018 and quickly formed a bond with my Mentee. We talk on the phone often and text back and forth like old friends. This Mentor/Mentee relationship solidified my wanting to do more with Imerman Angels and when I saw the invitation to join the Imerman Angels marathon team, I guess I just went for it! I remember hitting the submit button and running into the living room screaming, “Oh my God! I just signed up for the Chicago Marathon!” My husband was super supportive and handed me a paper bag as I hyperventilated over the decision. Kidding!

2. What does it mean to you to be part of Team Imerman Angels?

It was a very meaningful experience. I am still on cloud nine and can’t stop talking about it with my friends and family. I felt so welcomed and inspired throughout the experience. Everything I needed to prepare for this marathon was provided; training with Chicago Endurance Sports (CES), an outreach coordinator to check on me, the tools to fundraise, panel discussion to calm nerves and answer questions and more. To have this full complement of services was the best way to run a marathon because I could not have finished 26.2 miles so easily without the help provided to me. I was nervous, I am not a seasoned long distance runner, and I’m overcoming some health issues. And yet, I did this injury free and met amazing people. I am in the best shape in my life and I have lifelong friends that I made through this experience. I love my medal, but winning new friends is the true prize for me.

3. What was your favorite part about the entire marathon experience?

Oh gosh, where to start! I will say, entering the Halo Hospitality after finishing the race was so overwhelming that I just broke down and sobbed in my husband’s and son’s arms. To know that I have strangers and friends cheering my name and so excited to welcome me home was an incredible highlight! I loved the after-party and enjoyed socializing with other racers as well as the trained professionals to assist with expected aches and pains. My goodness, best party ever.

4. What would you say to encourage others to consider to join Team Imerman Angels?

Do it. Don’t delay! This is the best team ever. Truly, the staff cares about the mission and they are so freaking nice that you want to run for them. Imerman Angels is a worthy charity – and I can speak as a Mentor Angel and someone that is in the trenches supporting another cancer patient. Beyond the marathon assistance, you are helping others find a safe space for honest talk about their cancer experience. Raising money that allows someone an avenue to communicate their fears, worries, experience, and even to laugh at some of the bumps in the road with someone that understands the cancer journey is worth five hours of running time. Not to mention, Chicago rolled out! I mean there was outstanding support in every neighborhood. Such a cool way to see the city and have fun with the crowds. Truly, nothing like it. So, just do it.

Interested in participating in the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Get more information and join the team by clicking HERE.