We’re off to the races for the 3rd Annual Running for Nana Team!

Happy 2020! I hope this post finds you healthy and happy in the new year.

I am so excited to be writing to you today. I’ve been reflecting so much on this past year, as well as the past four years of Running for Nana. Because of you, a dream to run a marathon, celebrate my Nana, and fight back against C. difficile became a reality and has transformed into something I could never have imagined. Here are some of the highlights from last year alone.

Whole Team

Peter and Emily

In 2019, 38 people joined our Second Annual Achieving Cures Together team at the Colfax Marathon weekend to “Run for Nana” and fight back against C. difficile, plus many more who came to cheer everyone on. Folks joined us from Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Minnesota, including the founder of ACT, Peter Westerhaus, who ran the 10-mile race! By some great coincidence, Peter and I finished our races right around the same time.

The team grew so much last year that we qualified for our very own Achieving Cures Together tent in the Charity Village. It was an indescribable feeling to look around and see so many people that I love so much crowded together in those blue ACT shirts, getting to know each other and spreading awareness of C. diff. She would be so grateful to each and every one of you and absolutely floored by the progress you’re supporting to help end C. difficile. Tent

Before I announce our 2020 adventure, I want to celebrate some highlights of that progress. Since 2016 we’ve partnered with Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and Dr. Alexander Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two of the leaders in C. difficile research. Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, we’ve now raised over $80,000 for the MTP and ACT since we started. Because of philanthropic support:

  • Over 590 patients with recurrent C. diff that could not be cured with standard antibiotics have been successfully treated at the University of MN through the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) procedure – all at no cost to the patient. In 2020, the team hopes to share the treatment with clinicians across the US.
  • The MTP developed capsules of the FMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. diff.
  • As the team has expanded and manufacturing costs have come down, they have increased their ability to provide the capsules for critical clinical trials. The team manufactures the therapeutic microbiota in accordance with GMP protocols, which are required for all pharmaceuticals.
  • There are five active research trials utilizing the treatment including the MATCH Trial, which is a multi-center, placebo-controlled study at the VA. This is the largest study of its kind. The team continues to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff, and the other active trials are for patients with advanced liver disease, autism, ulcerative colitis, and intensive chemotherapy.
  • The MTP also has 3 additional research trials expected soon.

This progress would not have been possible without each of you and we cannot thank you enough for being part of these advancements!

So…that brings us to 2020!!

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I am thrilled to launch our Third Annual Achieving Cures Together team that will “Run for Nana” (or walk or handcycle) in the Colfax Marathon Weekend, May 16th-17th, 2020! Most importantly, I would like to invite YOU to join our team!

Now, before you get nervous, don’t worry. You don’t have to run a marathon. You don’t even have to run a half marathon. There are 5 races to choose from. An overview of each is below, and you can click the name of the race to learn more:

Race

Miles The Good Stuff

5K

3.1

Walk/run/handcycle, stroller, and dog friendly

Urban 10 Miler

10

Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course

Marathon Relay

varies

A 5-person relay, with distances from 4 to 6.5 miles

Half Marathon

13.1

Runs through the Denver Zoo, a working fire station, and beautiful east Denver streets. Handcycle friendly.

Marathon 26.2

Runs through Mile High Stadium, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

The 5K race is on Saturday, May 16th and all other races take place on Sunday, May 17th. In whatever way you feel most comfortable, we would love to have you as part of this very fun race weekend.

To register, simply click this link and choose the race that suits you best! Once in the registration page, just click “Yes” to “Raising funds or awareness for a charity,” and then select Achieving Cures Together (ACT) from the drop down menu that appears. It should look something like this:

colfax registration

Then you’ll be on the team, and you’ll get an email from me soon after you register with more details. Also, if you register before 11:59 pm on January 29th, you’ll get the early price! Thank you SO much for considering being a part of our Team.

Now, all that said, I completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and help us fight C. diff, please visit How Can I Help? or our team fundraising page (link below). Our goal this year is to raise $20,000 in our Third Annual Colfax Race Weekend, and all dollars raised will go directly to Achieving Cures Together and their fight against C. diff and other awful conditions.  ACT Fundraising Page here: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon!

More to come soon but until then, please feel free to add your email to the “follow” box on the blog to be updated whenever there’s a new post. Here’s to you, Nan!

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It’s GO time!

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I’m finding it hard to believe that we’re finally here, so I figured I should do what I always do when I need to sort things out: make a list. Okay, so here are the things I know to be true.

  • This weekend (May 18th and 19th) is the Colfax Marathon Weekend in Denver. This includes a 5K on Saturday and a 10-mile, half marathon, full marathon, and full marathon relay on Sunday.
  • The Second Annual Running for Nana Team is 38 PEOPLE STRONG. We have team members joining us from Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, and Illinois.
  • Each of these extraordinary humans will be raising awareness for Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and their incredible life-saving efforts to end C. difficile and other awful conditions like it.
  • The immense generosity of so many has made it possible for us to raise almost $5,000 already of our $20,000 goal for ACT. These funds directly support treatment for those suffering from C. difficile, and will help make it possible to continue to provide treatment and research in the future.
  • This is all true and really happening, and is not a dream in my head (don’t worry, I just pinched myself to make sure).

I just want to thank you again for being a part of this adventure. I truly believe that because of the work of ACT and its partner agencies, there will be a day when people won’t have to suffer from C. difficile like my Nana did. And that is just plain incredible.

If you’d like to support ACT in this mission, please visit our Fundraising Page, linked here: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon

Also, here is a link to a wonderful information/resource sheet that was put together by Peter Westerhaus, founder of ACT, and Dr. Khoruts, with the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program. It details some of the current work, and also looks toward future goals: ACT Write-Up for Colfax Marathon

This will be the last post until after race weekend, and I know you are all busy people, so I’ll sign off for now with just one more thought.

DSC_9159When my sister and I were in high school marching band, our parents and Nana used to come to all of our parades and competitions. I could always find our family along the parade route, because as we got closer, I would hear “Gooooooo Emmie!! Heeeeeeyyyy Abbe!!,” and any other iteration that would get our attention (which of course, was never broken, as good marching band students…). When I think about running this half marathon, I just try to picture Nana on the sidelines and can hear her say, “Gooooooo Emmie!”. And, she would have learned the names and faces of each one of our team members, and she’d be yelling just as loudly for each and every one of them as well.

Here’s to you, Nan. We wouldn’t be here without you, and what a gift it will be to be together. I know you’re with us this weekend somehow, too.

I love you more!  Love, Emily

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A month to go!

Greetings to all on this beautiful April day!

It is with immense joy and gratitude that I write this post to share with you that there are now 37 incredible individuals registered to Run For Nana and Achieving Cures Together during the Colfax Marathon Weekend in May!! This includes 30 people who will take on the 5K on Saturday, May 18th, 1 person in the 10-mile race and 6 in the half marathon on Sunday, May 19th.

Two of these individuals decided that one race wasn’t quite enough…and will participate in both the 5K and the half marathon! We also have team members coming to town from as far away as Illinois, Texas and Minnesota, and of course many from right here in Colorado. Some individuals encouraged family members, friends, and significant others to join as well, so I’ll get to meet new faces on race weekend, too. Honestly, I could write a whole blog post about each member of our team and what makes them each so special and extraordinary, but suffice it to say we are so beyond lucky that we get to go on this adventure with each and every one. We are just so excited and grateful.

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I don’t know about you, but I can say that 2019 sure has been off to an incredible busy, but also incredibly rewarding start. Sometimes it’s easy for me to get caught up in and distracted by the day to day, so I’ve been trying to reflect more recently, especially on this journey as we get closer to race weekend. It’s been over three years since I first started to run for Nana and the fight against C. difficile. What I thought would be a one-time race to finish a marathon and raise awareness and funding for C. difficile research is now something I never could have imagined or dreamed it would be.

When I reflect on what Nana might think or say about all this if she were here today, I think she would be absolutely floored to know that so many people not only know about C. diff, but are also participating in a weekend to raise awareness and funds for Achieving Cures Together. She would be so very grateful to know that because of organizations like ACT and the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program, over 590 individuals have been cured of recurrent C. difficile and get to spend more time with the ones they love the most. For Nana, there would be no greater gift.

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Through this year’s Second Annual Running for Nana Team, we are also raising funds for Achieving Cures Together as well. So far, we have raised over $3,000 toward our $20,000 goal. If you would like to “Run for Nana” in a way that doesn’t involve as much running, I would invite you to visit the ACT Fundraising Link here: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon. You can either indicate the runner you’re supporting or select Achieving Cures Together Team – all dollars go directly to ACT to support their fight against C. difficile and other awful infections. Thank you so much for your consideration!

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it’s been a bit of a tricky scheduling dance to find time to dedicate to training for the half marathon this spring. But, every time I get overwhelmed by schedules and the like, I think of each one of you and the incredible gift you’ve given by being a part of this adventure in all the ways that you have. Nothing feels insurmountable when surrounded by that kind of support, love, joy, and kindness, and I just honestly can’t thank you enough.

That’s all for now, but more to come as we get closer to race day!

Love, Emily

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April Showers Bring May…

colfax-5797…Colfax Marathon Weekend happiness? Okay, so that rhyme didn’t quite work out, but now that you’re here…

Good morning, all, and happy April! This week, I’m so thrilled to share a guest blog post from Peter Westerhaus, Founder of Achieving Cures Together! We have been so lucky to work with Peter and to support the incredible work he and Dr. Khoruts are doing to fight C. difficile and other awful conditions, and we are so happy to have him today on the blog post. Registration links and newest team updates follow his post. Please enjoy!


Guest Blog Post from Peter

I’d like to personally thank each of you for your support and generosity to the Haller family and Achieving Cures Together. I first met Emily and her parents, Tom and Kim, in 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They made the trip north to participate in the Twin Cities 10 Mile Race on a cold and rainy October day. Upon meeting the family, I immediately saw their deep passion and care for others!

The Haller family experienced great sadness when they lost their Nana (Joan) to an antibiotic resistant superbug, Clostridium difficile in 2015. As many of you know, it’s painful losing a loved one. Remarkably, Emily took this pain and used Nana’s wisdom of “You can’t wait,” to drive change and make a difference. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Nana. However, through the Haller’s work and your generosity, her legacy lives on.

Through your support for Running for Nana, Achieving Cures Together continues to accomplish our mission; to save lives by advancing microbiota research. To date, we’ve supported treatment for over 590 patients suffering from C. difficile at a cure rate greater than 90%. You have all contributed to this work! Additionally, we’re also using microbial restoration therapy as the basis for research projects targeting other applications like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, Autism, Depression and others. There’s still a lot of work to be done and we thank you for your continued support and generosity!

Last year, I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting many of you at the Colfax Marathon in Denver. I was very impressed by your group and it was one of my 2018 highlights. Not to mention, you’re a fearsome group of runners. In fact, you were so inspiring that you sparked my competitive juices and I will be joining you this year for the 10 mile race. While I’m not normally a long distance runner, I could not be more excited to be there with you all! Thank you for all you’ve done and I hope to see you at the finish line!

Best,

Peter Westerhaus

Founder – Achieving Cures Together


We cannot wait to welcome Peter to Colorado along with all of our other Running for Nana Team members in May!! To date, we have  TWENTY SEVEN people on our Team, and thanks to your remarkable generosity, we have also already raised $2,800 for Achieving Cures Together and their continued fight against C. difficile and other awful conditions. I cannot tell you how grateful we are to everyone who is on this journey with us.

We have a little over 6 weeks to go until race weekend and still plenty of time to register or donate to this adventure. AND if we have either 6 more 5K participants or 3 more Sunday race participants register by April 15th, Achieving Cures Together will have a tent in the Charity Village at the finish line!! If you’re planning on registering, now is the perfect time! Below are the quick links:

Colfax Registration Link (be sure to select “Achieving Cures Together” when it asks if you want to run for a charity): https://www.runcolfax.org/races/register/

ACT Donation Link (you can specifically select the team member you’re supporting now too!): https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon

Thank you again to Peter for sharing this post and to each of you for reading! Sending you all big hugs.

We’re March[ing] toward race weekend!

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Hello all, and happy March!! I hope this post finds you well and warm in the midst of this chilly week. [To the Minnesotans reading this: I know, we have nothing to complain about in Colorado. But still.]

It has been such an exciting and fun first month of planning our Second Annual Running for Nana Team for the Colfax Marathon Weekend (May 18th-19th, 2019)! I cannot describe the amount of gratitude that I feel toward each and every one of you for the love, support, good wishes, and joy you bring to this adventure. It is such an honor to support Achieving Cures Together as they work to end C. difficile and other awful conditions, and it’s an even bigger joy to get to do it with all of you.

There are a couple months still until race weekend (phew, for training purposes…) but I’ll be sharing a few brief updates along the way as we get closer. So, here’s what’s new!

 

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[Side note in case you have to scoot before finishing the rest of the post: registration rates increase next week, so if you’re planning on joining us, now is the time to get the best price! Registration link is here and see bottom of post for additional registration info.]

  • The Team. We are thrilled to share that we already have 13 people on our team! Currently, folks are registered for the 5K, the 10-mile race, or the half marathon – and one person is doing both the 5K AND the half marathon. AMAZING.
    • Also, Peter Westerhaus, the founder of ACT, is coming into town from Minnesota and will run the 10-mile race!
  • The more team members, the merrier! We would simply love to have you join the Running for Nana team by participating in whichever race sounds most fun for you. As a reminder, you can sign up for are the 5K (3.1 miles), 10-mile race, half marathon (13.1 miles), full marathon (26.2 miles) or the marathon relay (5 people, each leg is between 4 to 6.5 miles). The 5K is on Saturday, May 18th and is walker, stroller, runner, hand cycler, dog, and kid friendly. All other races are on Sunday, May 19th.
    • NOTE: To get the lowest registration rate, register by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, March 13th. When registering, don’t forget to select Achieving Cures Together as your Charity Partner! See the bottom of this post for additional details.
  • Fundraising for ACT. If running isn’t exactly your favorite thing but you’d like to “Run for Nana” in another way, we’re also raising funds to support ACT’s fight against C. difficile. We’re at the beginning of our $20,000 goal for ACT, and we’ve already raised $450 so far! Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated and to all those who are considering making a donation. ACT is truly saving and changing lives for the better, and you have been such an important part of making that a reality. We could not do this without you.

I’ll stop there for now and wish you all the best until the next post. Please let me know if you have any questions between now and then! 

All my love, Emily


REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Once you’re in the registration page for any of the races, there will be a section that says Additional Questions. The first question asks: “Are you considering raising funds or awareness for a charity?“. Click the button for “Yes” and a drop-down menu will appear. From the drop-down menu, select Achieving Cures Together. Once you finish the registration, you’ll be on the team! You’ll get an email from Emily with further details.

Race

Miles The Good Stuff

5K

3.1

Stroller, walker, and dog friendly

Urban 10 Miler

10

Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course

Marathon Relay

varies

A 5-person relay, with legs ranging from 4 to 6.5 miles

Half Marathon

13.1

Runs through the Denver Zoo, a working fire station, and beautiful east Denver streets

Marathon 26.2

Runs through Mile High Stadium, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

In whatever way you feel most comfortable, we would love to have you as part of this very fun race weekend!!

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Please join us in May to “Run for Nana” and fight C. difficile!

Greetings, and Happy 2019! I hope this post finds you healthy and happy in the New Year. It’s been an exciting year already here at Running for Nana.

First though, we’ve been reflecting with immense gratitude on 2018, when we launched the first ever Achieving Cures Together team at the Colfax Marathon Weekend in Denver, CO! We had 16 amazing individuals “Run for Nana” in the 5K or the half marathon, plus many more who came to show their support in the fight against C. difficile. It was a weekend we will never forget and we can’t say thank you enough to everyone who was involved. Nana would be floored that so many people have joined this adventure and she would be thrilled at the progress we’re supporting to end C. difficile.

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Since 2016, we’ve partnered with Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and Dr. Alexander Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) to fight back against the C. difficile infection. Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, we’ve now raised over $50,000 for the MTP and ACT since we started. Because of philanthropic support:

  • Over 590 patients with recurrent C. diff have been successfully treated through the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) procedure that could not be cured with standard antibiotics – all at no cost to the patient (140 patients received the capsule FMT and 450 had a colonoscopic treatment)
  • The MTP was able to bring Dr. Matthew Hamilton, PhD, back to their team. Dr. Hamilton previously worked with the MTP to develop capsules of the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to fight C. diff.
  • In 2018, the team started providing the capsules to the VA to carry out a multi-center, placebo-controlled trial to treat C. diff. The hope is to make the treatment widely available to similar patients across the country, and to continue to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff.
  • The MTP currently has 6 additional research trials planned for 2019.
  • Achieving Cures Together (ACT) has also been cited in 6 research publications about this breakthrough treatment.

This progress would not have been possible without each of you and we cannot thank you enough for being part of this journey that continues to grow.

So…what about 2019?!

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Needless to say, we’re ready to roll into 2019…and we’re hoping you will join us! Are you still trying to think of (or stick to) a great New Year’s Resolution? Well, we might just have the perfect thing for you…

Today we are officially launching the Second Annual Achieving Cures Together team to “Run for Nana”! The 2019 Colfax Marathon Weekend will take place on May 18th-19th, 2019. And the best part? We are delighted to invite YOU to join our team – in whatever way is most fun for you.

Now, before you get nervous, don’t worry. You don’t have to run a full marathon. You don’t even have to run a half marathon. In fact, there are 5 races to choose from. An overview of each is below, and you can click the name of the race to learn more:

Race

Miles The Good Stuff

5K

3.1

Stroller, walker, and dog friendly

Urban 10 Miler

10

Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course

Marathon Relay

varies

A 5-person relay, with legs ranging from 4 to 6.5 miles

Half Marathon

13.1

Runs through the Denver Zoo, a working fire station, and beautiful east Denver streets

Marathon 26.2

Runs through Mile High Stadium, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

In whatever way you feel most comfortable, we would love to have you as part of this very fun race weekend.

To register, simply click this link and choose the race that suits you best! Once in the registration page, just click “yes” when the screen looks like the photo below. Select Achieving Cures Together (ACT) from the drop down menu and you’ll be on the team! Once you sign up, you’ll get an email from Emily with more details. Also, if you register before 11:59 pm on January 30th, you’ll get the early price! Thank you so much for considering being a part of our Team!!

colfax registration

Now, all that said, we completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and help us fight C. diff, please visit the ACT Fundraising Page here: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon!

Our goal is to raise $20,000 through our Second Annual Colfax Race Weekend. We’re aiming high because we know that together, we can make a big difference for people currently facing or that will face C. difficile. 

More to come soon on this exciting adventure. Until then, please feel free to “follow” the blog to be updated whenever there’s a new post!

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THIS weekend!

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Bibs…check. Snacks…check. Water and gear (including raincoats)…check.

Extraordinary humans Running for Nana and supporting Achieving Cures Together…CHECK.

I still can’t believe it, but race weekend is now upon us! The fun starts bright and early tomorrow morning with the 5K race, and continues through Sunday with the half marathon. We simply cannot wait to be together and could not be more grateful for the ways in which you continue to support this journey from near and far.

It’s getting late in Denver, so this will be a short post (they say sleep is a good thing!).  Tomorrow, May 19th, marks three years to the day since we brought in hospice care for Nana during her fight against C. diff. We talked often about how she was going to “prove hospice wrong” and she sure rallied time and time again.

She wouldn’t want to focus on that tomorrow, though. Instead, she would be absolutely beside herself just thinking of the incredible ways in which you have helped advance better outcomes for people with C. difficile. She would be there (despite the rain) in her lawn chair and her umbrella (probably with a blanket or two), and I’m sure she’d be sitting at the finish line – keeping an eye out for each of our team members and yelling as loudly as possible when each crossed.

We’ll be listening for you, Nan. I love you more!

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