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Runner for 2017 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 or team commits to running a minimum of 160-miles over 6 consecutive days during their assigned Relay segment. There are 18 segments total spanning from LA to New York. Once selected, each runner or team 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 (18), Hannah (16), and Joseph (11)
Find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/matt.minichillo.1
Please follow my blog at: msdad.wordpress.com/
Segment: #15. Team Hope for Hannah - MS Run Ohio segment from Fort Wayne, IN to Hudson, OH. 207 miles. July 17-23, 2017
My route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/561693590
My Runner Story:
Here we go again. As many of you are aware, my 16-year old daughter Hannah was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April of 2015. As any Dad would do, I immediately sought out ways I could raise money and awareness to help those with MS and to assure Hannah has the best opportunity to live a long and productive life. Through good fortune, I was presented an opportunity that perfectly met those needs and allowed me to pair that with my passion for running when I was invited to participate in the MS Run the US 2016 Relay. I joined an amazing team of individuals who ran from Los Angeles to New York City in four months. For my part, I ran 180 miles across Ohio during the week of July 18, 2016. To say this was a life-changing experience would be an understatement. I became part of an incredible group who I lovingly refer to as my MS Family. I was overwhelmed by the love, support, and generosity I witnessed through words of encouragement, timely hugs, and that needed kick in the butt. Most of all, I was able to raise over $32,000 towards our Relay Team total of $230,000 for 2016. These donations provide much needed support for those living with MS and further research efforts to END THIS DISEASE!
Unfortunately, as of today, there is still no treatment that completely reverses the effects of MS or ends its progression. There is no cure. For that reason, I am again participating in the MS Run the US Relay. This year, however, I take on a different role that comes naturally for a Dad. I will be the head of a team of individuals who will together run across Ohio. One of my fondest memories when I think back on that week last July was the number of friends who stepped up to run with me as I covered those 180 miles. I know there is no way I could have completed those miles without them. These memoires led me to consider what I think is a natural next step for my participation in the Relay. What if I led a larger group from throughout Ohio that could further raise awareness and seek donations on a much larger scale than me alone? We could create an Orange Army of numerous individuals, families, and communities throughout my state that would form a much more powerful force in our battle to defeat MS. For this reason, I am honored to lead Team Hope for Hannah for 2017.
As I trained and prepared for the 2016 Relay, I developed a mantra that encapsulates my reason, my why. I live it each and every day.
I cry, I fight, and I run for Hannah.
I cry, I fight, and I run for all those living with MS.
Together, as the Hope for Hannah and MS Run the US Family, we can make dreams come true. Together, we can create a world FREE OF MS!