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NFE Athlete Spotlight: Jennifer Marshall, NYC Marathon

By October 28, 2015December 5th, 2023Awareness, NF Endurance, Ways to Give

On Sunday, November 1, Jennifer Marshall will run the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon as a member of the NF Endurance team. For the last six months, Jennifer has been training and documenting her journey on her blog, 5boromother.

Why Jennifer is running
I will be running in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon for my daughter Persephone who suffers daily from the physical symptoms of brain and spinal tumors as well as learning difficulties associated with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis or ‘NF’. I am running as a member of the Children’s Tumor Foundation Endurance Team.

Training around the world
With 8 weeks to go until D-day the logistical nightmare of fitting in runs whilst travelling throughout the UK, America and Italy with three small children has proved to have been worth the effort. Having trained in my home town Grand Cayman for months, the hills of the English countryside and Tuscany were a bit of a shock to the system – flying downhill into Tuscan sunsets felt amazing, and running back uphill in the dark predictably painful …. often necessitating a post-recovery glass of Chianti. However, with the help of some very dear friends and family (in the form of affordable childcare ..!) I’ve kept up my training and my mileage and am now ready for the real work to begin!

Pushing through the tough weeks
This week has been a challenge – having come down with a ‘mother’ of a flu bug. I’ve missed my training desperately, feeling blobby, weak and flat. I’ve attempted, rather unsuccessfully, to soldier on through a week of interminable after-school activities, projects, writing deadlines, temper tantrums and near-meltdown situations involving little more than ’spilled milk’. It has been an incredibly frustrating and humbling experience and made me even more grateful for my health and ability to take on this challenge – in the hope that it will lead to an improvement in my daughter’s quality of life through increased funding, research and treatment for NF.

Nearing the finish line
With mounting nerves and uncertainty for November 1st, it’s time to ground myself and feel grateful for what ultimately has been an incredibly rewarding journey over the last ten months – emotionally, physically and mentally. Every time I catch myself feeling daunted by the 26 odd miles that lie ahead, I think of Persephone who faces her own daily challenges with such strength of spirit and enthusiasm that I can’t help but be in awe of her and everything she takes in her stride.

Read more about Jennifer’s journey on her blog, 5boromother, and don’t forget to cheer for her and the entire NF Endurance team Sun., Nov. 1!