There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis -- a rare, genetic, life-shortening disease and I just so happen to be one of them who also loves running marathons… who would have thought!
It wasn’t always like this though. After graduating from college and having run competitively on a scholarship for the past 4 years, running had now become a chore in my life. I was getting sick more frequently and it was becoming increasingly harder to run. I had signed up for a few marathons but I found myself having no motivation to train and in the end I would never accomplish what I signed up for.
However, I started to feel a piece of hope after a hospital stay and a 2 week round of intense IV antibiotics in September of 2019. A cystic fibrosis specialist walked into my hospital room during one of the days I was there (he would eventually become my future doctor), he introduced himself as Dr. Uluer and then followed up with “would you like to run the Boston Marathon”. My jaw dropped as he said it, what a great way to make an impression on the sick girl!! I began to look at my arm which was currently having antibiotics pumped through it. I looked back at him fully expecting the excitement in his eyes to have changed after telling me, the SICK GIRL, about his “brilliant” idea that I run a marathon… however that excitement in his eyes did not change, if anything it grew!
He had learned from my current doctor that I was a runner but up until then running a mile was hard let alone running the historic 26.2 mile distance. The only thing that intrigued me was that he said he was trying to put together the largest group of CF runners to run a marathon at one given moment. It would be the first time it was ever done here in Boston. Obviously, I wanted to be part of that group but I was hesitant due to my track record with marathons and not starting them.
I told him I would have to think about it before I gave him a final decision. He said he understood but he assured me that if I was down for the challenge that a marathon bib number would be waiting for me. After my round of IV antibiotics, I did find that I was feeling better and I was able to run better than I had before them. However, I was still not 100% convinced I could run a marathon. That was until Dr. Uluer gave me a call to see if my interest in the marathon had changed. Before I could even think straight I blurted out, YES! I have a problem turning down events that involve fundraising, running and being part of a team of other cystic fibrosis runners.
So here I was embarking once again on my marathon journey!!! A few months into my training I got to start taking the miracle drug, Trikafta. It changed me in a way I never thought could be possible. Not only was I running but I was running well and feeling amazing health wise. I was the fittest that I had been since college 3 year ago. I was excited and ready to step up to that starting line in April of 2020 until the unexpected happened... COVID-19!
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT!!!!
So here I am once again training for the BOSTON MARATHON with about 12 other cystic fibrosis runners. I will tell you, we are one stubborn group and we are here and ready to conquer the historic 26.2 mile race but I need all of your support and encouragement!!
An October Boston Marathon is rare but so is cystic fibrosis, it's the perfect combination but with having a rare disease we need the support from all of you to help with our fundraising efforts towards a cure. Thank you to every person who has ever donated towards CF because we have been fortunate enough to now have the miracle drug of Trikafta. Unfortunately, it is not a cure and there is also 10% of the CF population who cannot take Trikafta. We must continue to raise awareness and funds so that CF will one day stand for Cure Found. If you are able, please donate towards my Boston Marathon journey and if you are unable all I ask is that you share my story through this link bellow!! A small donation and a share can go a long way especially when we are talking about someone's life.
I thank everyone who has supported me throughout my journey thus far and if you would like to follow along with me towards the Boston Marathon you may follow me on Instagram @katies_race_to_breathe.
Donation & Share Link: http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/katie_ogrady
Thank you again everyone!!!