I chose to run the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon with team Tell Every Amazing Lady® in honor of my incredible aunt Janice Cook, whose battle to ovarian cancer ended in November, 2019.

My aunt was a thrill seeker; always up for an adventure. She was also the person who taught me what hard work really is. Two of the most important factors needed when training for and running 26.2 miles. When I heard about the TCS New York City Marathon and T.E.A.L.®’s involvement, I thought, what better way to pay tribute to such an amazing lady than challenging myself to complete something I have never done before?

My goal for the TCS New York City Marathon is just to finish it. I have never run this distance before, so it will be an accomplishment simply to have fun, spread awareness, raise money, honor my aunt, and finish for her and all of the women who are battling this disease. The loss of my aunt has drastically affected everyone in my family: her husband and children she left behind, her three older siblings, and her many nieces and nephews. I am doing this for my family and for all of the families that can benefit from our teams fundraising towards ovarian cancer.

If I had the power to change one thing related to ovarian cancer, the obvious answer would be for it to not exist. If I am thinking more on the practical side, it would be to see earlier detection and better education. I see far too many women who are only being diagnosed with ovarian cancer once it is already in its later stages and has metastasized. Ovarian cancer is one of the leading cancers taking the lives of such amazing women. Education is so important and I feel gynecologists should start educating women on cancers during their yearly visits. We shouldn’t be waiting until it’s almost too late to have these discussions.

To all of the amazing ladies fighting their battles, you are not alone. To all of the amazing ladies who are in remission, I commend you for your fight. To all of the amazing ladies whose cancer made their journeys end early, you will forever be missed. To my aunt Janice, I miss you every single day. You were my role model, my best friend, and my mentor. I am the woman that I am today because of your impact on my life. I know you would think this was so awesome of me to challenge myself and complete this marathon. This one’s for you, Jan, I know you will be with me every step of the way.

To support the Team Tell Every Amazing Lady® 2020 TCS New York City Marathon fundraising efforts, please visit https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/team-tell-every-amazing-lady-2020-tcs-new-york-city-marathon