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!

 

16d - 1993 Nana, Abbe and Emily

[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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Two weeks to go!

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Though it’s a little hard to believe, we’re already just under two weeks away from the weekend of Colfax races!

This photo was taken yesterday from the Museum of Nature and Science, looking out at our beautiful city, mountains, and City Park – where all the races begin and end in just two short weeks.

I am so deeply grateful to share that we already have 16 people who have signed up to be part of the Running for Nana/Achieving Cures Together (ACT) team. We cannot wait to share this weekend together, cross some finish lines, and fight back against C. difficile.

Additionally, I am so thrilled to announce that Peter Westerhaus, the founder of ACT, and his family are coming to Colorado from Minnesota to be a part of this weekend! His dad, Jon, will be joining in the 5K race! We are so thrilled to be able to welcome this incredible family to our Denver paradise (please, Denver weather, play nice) and build more connections in the fight against C. diff.

We have additional travelers as well! I am so thrilled to share that my beautiful sister is coming from Minnesota to race in the 5K, and we have two incredible racers (and incredible humans) coming all the way from Austin, TX! We are so excited to have such an extraordinary group of people together in one place. And, if you have friends or family that are interested in joining, there is still plenty of time to register at this link and we would love to have them join!

We also continue to raise funds and awareness for Achieving Cures Together and the fight against C. difficile. I know Nana would be absolutely floored to hear about the life-changing and life-saving research that is helping others like her fight back against this awful infection. If you would like to join this fight, please visit the crowdfunding page here.

My run tonight was full of reflection about what an incredible adventure this has been over the last couple of years, and how none of it would have been possible without each of you reading this right now. It is also such an immense gift this year to be able to race with an entire team – all Running for Nana. I know that every person’s schedule is packed to the brim each day, especially this time of year, and I cannot express how much of an honor it is that you are sharing part of that time with us. Thank you so, so much.

Now back to the pavement – we’ve got miles to go before we race! Cheers to you, Nan. I love you more!

 

A month to go, and the team still grows!

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Happy Sunday and happy Earth Day! In celebration of Earth Day, here’s a photo from a couple years ago on Sanibel Island, one of Nana’s most favorite places.

So. Here’s where we’re at. Clearly someone pushed the fast forward button on winter/spring 2018 because somehow, we’re already a month out from the Colfax Races. How is that even possible?!

And, while I’m not sure the training readiness has moved quite as quickly as 2018, I am unbelievably excited to share that our team continues to grow. [DRUMROLL]

At last count, there are already FOURTEEN incredible humans who have signed up to Run for Nana in one of the Colfax races! I am absolutely blown away by the generosity of spirit, time, talent, treasure, and encouragement with which you continue to grace this adventure, and I’m full of gratitude for getting to walk/run/hand cycle this journey together.

Our team so far is comprised of folks coming from as far away as Minnesota and Texas, in addition to many from our amazing state of Colorado. It’ll be a full weekend of celebration, with seven folks racing in the 5K on Saturday, May 19th, and seven racing in the half or full marathon on Sunday, May 20th. I cannot wait for us to be together, to cross some finish lines, and to raise awareness for Achieving Cures Together and the fight against C. difficile.

If you’ve been thinking about running one of these races but haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time to join the team and we’d love to have you! As a reminder, you can sign up for either the 5K, the 10-mile, the half marathon, the full marathon, or the marathon relay (5-person relay). For more information please click here!

Additionally, we completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” (without pulling out those running shoes) please visit the “How Can I Help?” tab above or visit our Crowdfunding page here!: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/achieving-cures-together1

Honestly, I’ve really been missing Nan recently. I miss her everyday, but the springtime is always a little tougher, as this is when her health challenges began to take a turn three years ago. Embarking on Round Three with you has been such a healing gift, due in large part to the joy and kindness you’ve sent this way. Nana would be absolutely blown away to know about all the folks behind this adventure, and would have thought we were all out of our minds to run these races 🙂 but she would be so grateful for each of you. I sure am, too.

Cheers to you, Nan. More to come soon!

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We’re [literally] off to the races in Round Three!

Hello and happy April!

I am so very excited to share that we’ve officially kicked off Running for Nana: Round Three! In Rounds One and Two, we 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 philanthropic support:

  • Over 100 patients with recurrent C. diff have been successfully treated with the encapsulated microbiota that could not be cured with standard antibiotics – all at no cost to the patient.
  • 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 will be 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 team was able to publish their work in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

This progress would not have been possible without you and your incredibly generous support, and I cannot thank you enough for being part of this journey. For more information, visit the About page above.

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So now, more about Running for Nana: Round Three!! [drumroll…]

In Round Three, we are creating a “Running for Nana” Team to run (and/or walk) in partnership with Achieving Cures Together in the Colfax Marathon Weekend – May 19-20, 2018!! And the best part?! I am delighted to invite YOU to join our team – in whatever way is comfortable 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. Here’s the run down on each race, and you can click the links 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. On the marathon course!
Half Marathon 13.1 Runs through the Denver Zoo, a working fire station, and beautiful Denver streets
Marathon 26.2 Runs through Mile High Stadium, around several beautiful bodies of water, and through stunning west Denver

Wherever 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. Then, select our charity partner, Achieving Cures Together (ACT) from the drop down menu and you’ll be on the team! Once you sign up, we’ll be in touch about more details.

ACT Registration Photo

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. diffplease click here or visit our Team crowdfunding page!

Thank you so much for considering being a part of Round Three!!  Together, we can make a big difference for people currently facing or those that will face C. difficile. More to come along the way!