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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Boston Marathon Dedication

Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney
"A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."- Proverbs 18:24

I always dedicate my marathon run to someone. It helps to motivate me and get me through the miles.  When I dedicate the race to someone I feel like I can't quit or I am letting them down.

My first marathon I ran for my nephew Brandon. The Madison marathon  was my first Boston qualifier  and I dedicated  it to my mom who had recently passed away. The Marine Corp Marathon I used to qualify for this Boston I dedicated to all the members of Team CMT.  Last year I dedicated my Boston run to HNF President Allison Moore and Team CMT member Joyce Kelly.

This year I am dedicating my Boston run to friends Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney.  They say when bad things happen in your life you find out what you are made of.  That may be true, but I have found you also find out what those around you are made of.

I have friends from high school that I have not heard from since the day I announced I had CMT. I have siblings that have never acknowledged my CMT. My own sister who has two kids with CMT has not donated one dime to any of the three fundraisers I have done.

Cheryl was there from the very beginning of my quest to qualify for Boston. She was there when I first talked about forming Team CMT. She listened patiently as I talked about my CMT.  She looked at endless designs for our Team CMT singlet.  She has run in countless races usually far ahead of with. If I asked her she would run right beside me.  On Monday in Boston she will be one of my two guides.

Cheryl has provided much needed support. In Madison she was there in the last mile to cheer me on when I needed it most. Last year in Boston she was at mile 16 and mile 25. I don't think I could have finished without her support. She truly has been a friend who has been closer than a sister. We have known each other since we pledged to the same sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi at UWM.  She has shown the true spirit of sisterhood when I needed her most and I am forever grateful.

Cheryl and her fiance Robert Kearney were the first two members of Team CMT.  They ran our debut race in Brown Deer Wisconsin in April 2011.   Robert and Cheryl have continued to faithfully run races and ride in bike events even when I couldn't due to injury last year. Robert agreed to be on the team and has run in events just because I asked him. That says a great deal about the type of person he is. I remember one of the first times I met Robert, Cheryl and I were running in a half marathon and he was doing the 5 K at the same event. He said Cheryl and I were hard core.
  He has run countless events for the team including the Dublin Marathon last October.  Robert is hard core now too.He will be my other guide on Monday. I am grateful for his friendship and support, especially since he makes my friend  Cheryl so happy.

My friends stick closer than a brother and a sister. I am so proud we will all be representing Team CMT in Boston on Monday.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 121 members in 26 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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