For the love of my DAD

Dad's recent hospital stay for pacemaker. 8/13/2013

Hi Everyone -

This October 13th, 2013, I will be running my first and most likely my only marathon. I am doing this for my dad, my hero. He raised my sisters and I, taught us right from wrong, let us make mistakes and told us about them, he taught us to fight for what we want/believe in.

In November 2000, my dad was diagnosed with a rare disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis, a vasculititis disease that will forever change his life. There is no cure, just a treatment plan. A treatment plan that is a lot of trial and error. Doctors do not know why or how people get it and the treatments are a lot of guess work. I want a better life for those diagnosed with it. The team of doctors that we work with, say he is a miracle as most patients have not lived this long through the fight. Today, his kidney function is about 50% and will continue to deteriorate.

In June 2012, I ran a 5k that was a fundraiser for the Vasculititis Foundation and I was touched my some people that I met there. I knew then that I wanted to do more.

In September 2012, I saw my dad at his worst pain level since diagnosed. That is when I decided to run a marathon in his honor. If he can live in pain each and every day, I can muscle through the pain of training for the next 10 months.

My training will officially start on April 13th, 2013 - 6 months from the Chicago Marathon. I have been running with a Happy Group every Saturday as part of my training and I am loving it! :) Thank you to everyone in that group for encouraging me.

On August 11, 2013, my dad had an episode which landed him back in the hospital. While there, his heart stopped for 16 seconds. He was monitored closely by his team of doctors and together they decided a pacemaker would be the best option. We are thankful to them!

I hope each of you will follow me in my journey any way that you can.

With lots of Love,
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Christa Shumard-Bertolini 
Joliet, IL
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