I had heard of T.E.A.L.® via social media and word of mouth, but it wasn’t until a conversation with my friend Danielle Stefania that I decided to get involved. We were having dinner one night shortly after the NYC 2022 Marathon and were inspired by all of the accomplished runners. Danielle, having recently lost her aunt to ovarian cancer, mentioned that we could run and fundraise for T.E.A.L.® in the upcoming United Airlines NYC Half. My mom had also recently passed away from her battle with ovarian cancer, so the idea of getting out there, raising money and spreading awareness for the disease felt like a no-brainer.
Besides crossing the finish line, my goal for the half marathon is to raise as much money as possible for T.E.A.L.® in order to provide support for those currently battling ovarian cancer, as well as survivors, caregivers, and the families of those affected. Having witnessed my own “Amazing Lady” battle ovarian cancer for as long as she did, I understand the hardships that many have gone through, are going through, and will go through. If I can make a positive difference in their lives, even in the smallest way possible, I’ll consider my efforts a great success.
I think what I love most about running isn’t really the act of running at all, but the mental challenge that it can provide. Running has never been my favorite activity, but I’ve always enjoyed the process of cultivating my mental strength in order to run farther and faster than I think I can. This race will certainly be the furthest distance I’ve covered in my humble running career, but I know that I’ll be able to reach the finish line with the support of both T.E.A.L.® as well as my friends and family. Additionally, the motivation to provide support and inspiration for those that need it the most, all while honoring my mom, will certainly push me to keep going.
If I had the power to make a difference in one thing related to ovarian cancer, it would be awareness. Too many women are often diagnosed with ovarian cancer when the disease is already in its advanced stages. Because it is still so difficult to diagnose, it is imperative that women are as aware, educated and proactive as they can be as early as possible. If we can make some noise about the signs, symptoms, and best resources for early detection, we can help to increase the survival rate of this deadly disease, and ultimately save lives.
This is not a battle you can fight alone. It is so important to lean on your family friends as a source of strength and courage.
I’d like everyone to know how hard my mom fought her battle with ovarian cancer. She never once complained and instead chose to face the disease with humility and grace. She is truly my hero, and I am honored to run this race for her.
You can help Henry reach his fundraising goal for the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half here. All donations go to Tell Every Amazing Lady® and help with the fight against ovarian cancer.