April 12, 2019

‘I am a marathon runner’ - which is something I never thought I would say. 

I came to running 8 years ago after being inspired by my cousin, who has been more like a sister to me. I always looked up to her incredibly and was inspired to start running after seeing her run the Boston Marathon for The Dana Farber Foundation in memory of my father who lost his battle with cancer. I remember thinking at the time I was never going to be a marathoner like her.

In 2009 I was in an accident that resulted in a full knee reconstruction. In 2012 I had another surgery to repair the reconstruction hardware. So inevitably, running was always a challenge for me with said knee injury and the terrible arthritis as result of the trauma, but I kept going out there.

I found over the years that running helped me cope with my personal struggles and anxiety. I used it as a tool to help me get through some hard times. Signing up for races also gave me a goal to achieve and the structure I needed. As a woman running alone, one of my biggest concerns in my training was always my safety.

After hearing on the news of runners being attacked more frequently it made me very nervous. Wearing my Run Angel device gives me peace of mind when I go out running alone, that if something was to happen to me, medically, or as result of an attack. As well as this, my family would be notified of my whereabouts. The band itself could also be mistaken for something else so the attacker may not recognize what I am doing. Once the high pitch sound goes off it certainly creates a diversion, which could scare off the attacker, or draw attention to anyone nearby.

This year I am running the Boston Marathon in support of Run Angel’s charity partner Angel Flight NE who have helped a relative’s wife, who I am very close to, and who was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer close to 3 years ago. Throughout that time, her care has been spread across multiple hospitals including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Since she started receiving care at Sloan, Angel Flight NE has been there to help transport her to the specialized doctors for her treatment.

Angel Flight NE have worked countless hours arranging transportation for her so that she can get the critical treatment she needs, allowing her more time with her two beautiful sons, as well as her husband, and less time traveling.

I wholeheartedly cannot express how thankful my family and I are for all the support Angel Flight NE has provided to her. When someone is critically ill and needs to receive treatment, which maybe far away, it is so incredible to know there is an organization out there, such as Angel Flight NE. Inevitably there can be so much stress surrounding an illness of this kind and knowing they can help with that piece makes a world of difference - they truly have been an “angel” to my family.

Allison McCarthy, Boston Marathoner 2019

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