Running For Emmy
For anyone who has ever met me, even if only in passing, I can guarantee that you left the conversation knowing that I am the ninth of ten kids. It is impossible for me to characterize myself without referencing my huge family.. It just explains so much. As the ninth of ten, my siblings have influenced every aspect of my life, not only as a great “fun fact” for an ice breaker, but more importantly as the single most influential force in shaping my personality today.
On March 24th, 2016, the bedrock of my family foundation was shattered as we suddenly lost my sister Emmy, three months before her 25th birthday. Emmy was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital heart disease in which the structures on the left side of her heart were too underdeveloped to properly deliver enough red blood flow to support her body. Or, as Emmy loved to phrase it, she was “born without the left side of her heart.” Although living with HLHS posed significant challenges, Emmy would never let you know it. Following multiple open heart surgeries as a child, Emmy set out to live her life just like the rest of us, if not for a few restrictions.
Despite our knowledge of Emmy's heart condition, her death absolutely shocked us. Her crazy, spunky, fun-loving, "dont-mess-with-me" attitude completely overshadowed any possibility that her condition could take our sister away. She started a successful business, she fell crazily inlove, she crushed personal goals, and she had big dreams for her future. She looked her condition in the face every single day and told it to stand down. She was the strongest person I have ever, and will ever know.
In dealing with such a large crack in our foundation, our family decided that we could respond in one of two ways. We could either allow Emmy's death to consume our lives and break our family unit down, or we could act as Emmy did everyday, and look this challenge in the face and respond with action.
It is in the spirit of Emmy that I have decided to run the Boston Marathon with my two siblings, Kate and Peter. We want to channel our grief into this unimaginable challenge while raising money to support the hospital that allowed us the privilege of 25 years with our incredible sister. We want to give back to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Boston Children's hospital that have given us the intangible gift of time.
Please consider donating to support our mission. We may not have another day with our sister but we can help another family earn more time with theirs.
We love you Emmy.