The Supporter: Tracy Rosenstiehl
I spent a lot of years in a cubicle, and [running] is kind of busting out of the cubicle.

As told to Britt Julious

In 1995, my mother was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma of the lung. Later, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had a major crisis that led to the understanding that I was going to live on medication for the rest of my life unless I made radical changes in lifestyle. I hadn’t been to a gym in 20 years, but I did like the idea of being outdoors. I thought, what if I attempted to run?

I look at Dec. 6, 2011, like a rebirth. That night, I figured out that running will be my life’s sport and that I’ll always work on my best fitness with the goal of being able to run. By running, I could elevate my story.

I just started walking outdoors, and that led to actually attempting to run. There’s so much nuance to running. It transcends age, gender, ethnicity, and race. I love the idea that there aren’t walls [or] barriers. [Running] is a platform to be able to present things I’m passionate about, to fundraise, to really engage [with people], and to bring awareness.

In March of 2015, my dad […] had surgery to completely remove blocked lungs full of fluid, and that fluid tested positive for mesothelioma. By the time he passed away, I was sick from being his caretaker. It was a powerful [and] overwhelming experience.

While filling out thank you cards with my brother and sister, I got an email saying they had 10 openings for the London marathon. I had told both of my parents that I intend to travel the world, and I’ll do that by being a runner. That email was divine intervention. I think my mom and dad brokered a deal with God. I looked at my siblings and I said, “I just got my first email from heaven. I’m going to raise $5,000, and I’m going to travel outside of North America for the first time in my life.” And I was able to do that. I have now raised more than $50,000 to support the mission of the American Cancer Society. I’ve also fundraised for St. Jude, my dad’s charity of choice.

I spent a lot of years in a cubicle, and [running] is kind of busting out of the cubicle. We’re going to go beyond the bounds of a box and do great things.


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