I will be introducing you to Team Inheritance of Hope Athletes – today and in future posts – through the athlete’s own words. Grace Gerdin is running with the Team IOH 2011 Marine Corps Marathon team. Read what Grace says inspires her running…
Running, in my younger years, was always a great outlet of stress for me. I remember when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a junior in college. I didn’t quite know what to do, so since I had been a runner most of my life, my first thought was to run until my body just stopped. And that is exactly what I did. It felt good to be out on the road, the wind in my face, the pavement moving under my feet. I felt a little sense of control, which is what I needed as my family faced this trial.
Fast-forward eighteen years, and cancer, which had struck many family members over the years, struck again. This time it was my husband. He had battled cancer fifteen years earlier, but it was back. Now I wasn’t a college student or a newly married woman. I was a stay-at-home mother of four, and I was scared. That same out-of-control feeling came over me as it had many years before. This is when Lisa Duscio, Coordinator of Team IOH, mentioned to me that Inheritance of Hope was recruiting runners to raise money for their Legacy Retreats. For me, the timing couldn’t have been better. I grabbed for my running shoes again, and haven’t looked back since.
This is my third run for IOH. I love helping raise money for this organization because I know how important it is to be with others who are facing similar life-circumstances. Kristen Milligan, co-founder of IOH, is a dear friend of mine, and having her as a resource when my husband fell ill was invaluable to me. It was so comforting to know she had walked in my shoes and could offer helpful advice as my family and I navigated through this illness. This is why I run for IOH, and I ask you prayerfully consider making a donation. My goal is to raise $5,000, and I am almost halfway there! Thanks so much, and GO TEAM IOH!