One week ago, I completed the NYC Marathon on behalf of the Global Lyme Alliance! I am honored and humbled to be able to represent this amazing organization in such a personally meaningful way.
Thank you to the Global Lyme Alliance, notably Nancy Del Genio (CEO, GLA), Diane Blanchard (Vice Chair, GLA), and Stacy Velarde (Director of Development, GLA), who not only have connected with me on multiple projects during the year but gave amazing support in preparing me for the race.
Running the marathon in support of the Global Lyme Alliance was so personal to me because of my own battle with Lyme disease over the last sixteen years. Unfortunately, my path followed the typical story of multiple doctors, over multiple years, and multiple insensitive comments with simply no answers. The one comment that stuck with me the most, however, was that I was simply complaining because I didn’t know real pain – I hadn’t run a marathon, so I didn’t know what real pain, soreness or recovery were.
Of course, had I ever learned to just let things go, this may not have stuck with me. But one thing most Lyme patients have in common is our stubbornness, which frankly is the one thing that allows us to get better.
So, in December 2018, when my symptoms were in remission enough to exercise again, I did a 5K. Then a 10K. Then a half marathon. Then another. And I thought to myself, if I could get to the marathon level, I could prove to myself (and the people who said I was crazy) that I knew both Lyme pain and post-marathon pain, and I could judge firsthand the severity of what Lyme patients experience.
So, when Stacy contacted me to see if I would be interested, I immediately jumped at the chance to not only run the NYC Marathon, but to do so on behalf of an organization that has done so much to advance the cause of Lyme patients around the world.
When I crossed that famous finish line in Central Park, my friends asked “So, which is real pain? Lyme disease? Or the marathon?” Without hesitation, I answered: “Lyme disease. A marathon is nothing if you’ve found a way to win the battle against Lyme.”