Hope Express – 500 miles in 3 months
The moment I walked into THON for the first time as a freshman, I knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of in whatever capacity possible. THON is an experience that can’t be described—it has to be witness in person. It is unreal and unimaginable the energy and impact it has on not only the people that attend, but those all around the world. During my remaining three years at University Park, I involved myself with THON in capacities that included the Public Relations Street Team, a Merchandise Captain, and also representing my Singing Lions show choir group as a dancer during my senior year. This cause is something that has stayed with me since graduating in 2010.
In February of both 2015 and 2016, I participated in The Hope Express, which was a relay fashion team of runners who did about 18 miles of running over a 24 hour period from Penn State Hershey Medical to the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend. I had many supporters throughout these two experiences and together, we were able to raise over 10,000 for pediatric cancer research: 4839.50 in 2016 and 5257.75 in 2015.
During the summer of 2016, we learned that The Hope Express would not be returning in 2017 and I was devastated. I felt the need to do something since the cause has always been so close to my heart. So, I set out in December of 2016 with a campaign to run 500 miles in hopes of raising 3,000 for pediatric cancer research. After three months, when it was all said and done, I had 502 miles under my belt and 4,223 raise for pediatric cancer awareness.
Well, this year I’m at it again with even more energy and drive to find a cure to this terrible disease. Over the course of 2019, I will be working hard to raise awareness and funds to those around me while hopefully getting others to join in the fight of supporting me on my journey.
People I run for:
Kristin—Kristin was a former colleague of mine that I met through mutual friends during my high school days at Warwick. She was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer and passed away at the age of 27 in 2015.
Ellen—I got to meet Ellen during my time with The Hope Express. She was a soul full of light and courage even when battling the toughest of times. She passed away in 2015 at the age of 15.
Sally—Sally was a colleague I met at my first job after graduating college. She was an incredibly brave soul who fought right up until the end.
Carlene—Carlene was a mother of four, including my best friend, Devin. While I never met her, I’ve only heard stories about her love, compassion, and genuine heart to her not only her family but countless others as well.
Wendy—Wendy was a beautiful soul that I met during my very first show at EPAC. She had a thirst and passion for life and even when she was hurting from the pain, she would give the world the biggest smile.
Lexi—I had the pleasure of meeting her after graduating college. Her smile was always guaranteed to light up a room no matter what. She lost her battle to cancer at the age of 6 in 2010.
Pat—Pat was a dear friend that I met through the theater who passed away in 2018 after battling cancer for over a year. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of working alongside her during her last artistic journey with Peter and the Starcatcher in March of 2018.