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Runner for 2016 MS Run the US - Relay
What: The MS Run the US – Relay is an annual 3,100-mile relay run across America for the MS cause.
The Relay begins each year mid-April near Los Angeles, CA and finishes mid-August in New York, NY. To participate, each runner commits to running 160-miles over 6 consecutive days during his or her assigned Relay segment. There are 18 segments total spanning from LA to New York, thus 18 runners on the Relay team. Once selected, each runner spends months training and fundraising as they prepare to devote one week on the road with the nonprofit while completing their segment’s miles. Donations are given to fund research for a cure through the National MS Society and the Center Without Walls, and to assist those living with disability from MS.
Location: Stow, OH
Hometown: Elkhart, IN
Family: Rhoda (my wife and rock), Jessica (17), Hannah (15), and Joseph (10)
Find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/matt.minichillo.1
Segment: #15. Fort Wayne, IN to Medina, OH. 180 miles. July 18-24, 2016
My route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/561693590
My Runner Story:
In some ways, I am doing the 2016 MS Run the US - Relay for very selfish reasons. On April 28, 2015, my daughter Hannah was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. To say this news was initially a devastating blow to our family would be an understatement. My initial instinct as a father was to do everything possible to raise money and awareness to help those with MS and to assure my daughter had the best opportunity to live a long and productive life.
Coincidentally, a few weeks after Hannah's diagnosis, I received an email from a friend asking for support for a relay runner passing through Akron as part of MS Run the US. As I learned more about the Relay, I felt like fate had tapped me on the shoulder. I could combine my passion for running with my desire to raise funds and awareness in the fight to end MS. Today, I feel honored and humbled to be a member of the 2016 Relay team.
Obviously, my primary focus for running the Relay is my daughter, but I am also running for many others. I have been amazed by the support and care we have received from the many individuals and friends who have stepped forward and shared their stories about their lives with MS. They are an inspiration to me and my family. This includes Ashley and the amazing individuals at MS Run the US. We have further been blessed by the many medical professionals in our area who are working each and every day to advance treatments to mitigate the effects of this disease and to ultimately find a cure. I am running for all of these new members of our larger MS family.
This why I am running farther than i ever imagined. MS Run the US brings us all together to make a difference in the lives of people affected by multiple sclerosis… and each mile we run brings us closer to a world free of MS.