Running from the heart

I am proud to say I am a part of the Advocate charity running team and not only ran in the recent Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, but will be taking on my first 13.1 (half marathon!) in less than 50 days in Maine. This year I am also excited to be a part of the first Advocate Distance Challenge. With Shuffle under my belt, I plan to take on the Race to Wrigley 5k in May and the Advocate International 5k in October with the Advocate charity running team.

Currently, I am a Major Gifts Officer for both Advocate Children’s Hospital and Advocate Christ Medical Center, and I have been with Advocate for over five years. Fundraising to run is the perfect combination of my passions. Not only do I run to push myself to achieve new heights for my own health, but for the health of others. For me, it hits close to home.

I am raising awareness for behavioral health services at Advocate Christ Medical Center in memory of my father. It has been twenty years since he passed, and twenty years is a long time to miss someone —  especially on big milestones, like birthdays, graduations, weddings and so much more. Losing him has given me more of an open heart.

He sought out treatment at Christ Medical Center back in the 90s, and here I am a few decades later, as an associate in the Advocate Charitable Foundation raising awareness and funds for the same hospital to sustain and grow programs like Behavioral Health.

I have a passion for helping others and giving back not only my time, talent and treasure, but also my heart, by challenging myself, my mind and my body with running. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I have learned to push the limits, and I have found new found strength, determination and best of all, friendship.

Since 2011, Team Advocate has raised more than $1M for Advocate programs and services, thanks to races like the Shamrock Shuffle 8K – and thanks to our runners, like Emily Vernon. To make a donation on her behalf, click here.