Marathon #28 – 26.2 for Tova


Tova’s Story:

I am the storm!!! “There is treatment BUT there isn’t a cure YET,” says the optimist in me. Yes, I live with Crohn’s disease. When I flare I push forward. I smile. I am 47 years old and I am the storm!

It all started in 2001 when I was diagnosed with Colitis. I was a new mom running after a toddler and running to the bathroom. My son’s first 4 syllable word was when he shouted in a public restroom if I was having “diarrhea”. I accepted that this was my life but I would always be in charge. I ran my first half marathon in 2006 and even with bathroom stops was running 8 minute miles.

Team challenge found me in 2009 and I trained for the Napa to Sonoma half. I gained more than a medal that weekend, I entered a family. My Team Challenge Family has been with me through flares, celebrations, new meds, and screw you prednisone rantings.

The love really blossomed when in 2014 I made the decision to be in charge of my disease and have my colon removed. My disease was trying to win and that wasn’t happening. Each day I was in the hospital my teammate Jon Cherish sent me an e-mail comparing recovery to half marathon training. Day 1 you set your goal to Day 13 crossing the finish line.

Four months after my second surgery I ran my second NYC marathon in 2014. It was my deliverance and confirmation of my rebirth. It was my “triumph over challenge” moment.

A year after surgery in 2015 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s and although I first asked “why me?” I soon answered “Yes me!!!” because I am the storm and I persevere and smile!

I’ve heard it said that someone’s curse can be another person’s blessing. My Crohn’s is not what I asked for, but I have turned it into a blessing. I am part of a community of optimists who love me and “get it”. I have a loving husband, son, and daughter who support and love me always. I am the storm! I persevere! I smile! I am blessed!

Running 26.2 for Tova!

Marathon 28 – Recap

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