On Sunday, January 14, 35 runners participated in the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason Program in support of the ALS Association of Texas. The Run for a Reason program “connects the philanthropic community to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and raise awareness for meaningful causes,” according to the Marathon website. This is the eighth year that the ALS Association of Texas has been chosen as an official Charity of Choice.
In May, the Marathon committee selected 49 returning charities and nine new organizations. Since the inception of the program in 1995, more than $26 million has been raised to benefit various charities.
Throughout the past several months, ALS Texas runners have had opportunities to participate in events including Global Running Day and the Marathon Expo. Runners have also received support and encouragement through informational packets and emails about fundraising and training, customized goal setting with ALS Texas staff, and regular happy hours with other runners.
The ALS Texas runners have participated and raised funds for numerous personal reasons. Daniel Barvin participated in this year’s race as a way to remember and honor the family members he’s lost to ALS.
“Running on behalf of ALS Texas means that I get to affect the lives of so many individuals,” Daniel said. “Personally, having gone through the trial of family members having ALS, it gives me the ability to think about those who I’ve lost while running. It’s an opportunity for me to remember and honor them. Hopefully we can enact change and better the lives of those currently suffering, and in the future, end ALS for good.”
Carlos Russo has always been a runner, but he didn’t personally know anyone with ALS until December 2017. When he found out that his coworker’s mother passed away from ALS, he attended the ALS Association holiday party, where he met other patients and families facing this disease, including Tommy Todd. He started reading up on what ALS is and how it affects people, and it became a lot more personal to him. He was so moved by Tommy’s story that he decided to sign up for the Marathon in Tommy’s honor. Now he’s raised almost $800 for the fight against ALS.
“I’ve done a lot of races in my life, but this one was probably one of the most personal ones,” Carlos said. “I was so attached to the whole journey. It’s all about giving back in any way that I can. It’s been a great experience and an absolute journey.”
A special thanks to all the runners who participated in this year’s event and helped us surpass our $41,000 fundraising goal: Amanda Adams, Armando Aguirre, Julia Baccum, Daniel Barvin, Harsh Bhasin, Alan Burroughs, Emily Clark, Megan Cooper, Amy Deramo, Jacqueline Dickey, Eniye Elegon, Noha Elsendyouney, Teri Finklea, John Fleming, Tara Gallaspy, Sha Lilly Groves, Natalie Honkala, Leslye Kellner, Brian Kuck, James LaRocca, Richard Lewis, DePaulla Lilly, Randall Lott, Marco Mendoza, Rebecca Moss, Tracey Mountain, Pamela Neese, Christi Pahl, Pranav Patankar, Sandra Perkins, James Reegan, Jack Rendulic, Katelyn Rendulic, Nicholas Rendulic, Susan Rendulic, Allison Richoux, Stephen Ricks, Carlos Russo, Amanda Schaeffer, Naomi Sever, JimBob Sims, Rose Sulentic, Beatriz Thames, Gus Sulentic, and Margaret Woodward.
Funds raised through the Houston Marathon support our mission to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. To donate to a runner, click here.