Izzy runs her first full marathon in memory of Mama Ignacio <3
I’m excited to run the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon as part of Team Fisher House, and proud to dedicate this race (my first full marathon!) and fundraising effort in loving memory of my incredible mother, Maria Ignacio.
In the fall of 2015, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer while stationed in Baumholder, Germany. Due to the severity of her condition and the lack of a specialized medical team at the local military hospital, she was medevaced to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
While grateful for the advanced medical care, we then faced a new challenge of finding a place to stay. With my mom on what was to be long-term disability to battle cancer, our options of finding an affordable place to stay were extremely limited in the affluent neighborhood that the hospital was located.
Enter: the Fisher House Foundation.
The local Fisher House graciously provided my family with a place to stay while my mother underwent aggressive chemotherapy, intensive surgery, numerous post-op complications, followed by more chemo once the complications leveled out. It was amazing to have a place to call home during such a difficult time in our lives. The sense of community that the organization fostered was exactly what we needed to give us hope and give my mother the strength needed to power through what appeared to be a constant uphill battle.
During our time in DC, we met with longtime, military family friends and got to talking about how I enjoyed running. They told us about the Marine Corps Marathon, and how it would be a good starter marathon for me to try for my first one. My mom turned to me and said, “Next year, let’s come back so you can run the marathon and so I can visit everyone after I beat this thing.” I told her I would love to.
Despite going into remission in May 2016, the cancer came back in March of 2017 and my mom was finally laid to rest in peace in January 2018.
October 20, 2019 is my mom’s 60th birthday. I wanted to honor her memory by running the Marine Corps Marathon (Oct 28) as we had previously discussed, and I fully intend to visit as many people as possible that helped care for my mom or even just crossed paths with her to make her stay in Bethesda bearable during such a challenging time.
My family is forever grateful to the Fisher House for all they did. To further thank them, my goal is to raise $600 for their foundation through the Marine Corps Marathon. Any amount you are able to donate towards such a caring, generous organization is greatly appreciated!
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