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NF Endurance Goes Virtual: My Personal EndNF Challenge

By June 11, 2020February 5th, 2024NF Endurance, NF2-SWN, Story of NF

By McKinnon Galloway

Earlier this year, 2019 NF Ambassador McKinnon Galloway planned to train for and run her first half marathon. But then life happened and the coronavirus happened and it made more sense to focus on a virtual 5K. Never one to give up, McKinnon shares her thoughts on training, her health, and why she’s more committed than ever to completing those 3.1 miles.


March 2020

Hi, I’m McKinnon Galloway and I have NF2. I was the 2019 National Ambassador for CTF, and this year I decided to take on a new challenge: to run the 2020 NYC Half Marathon with the NF Endurance team.

I’ve always wanted to run a half marathon, but I never had the drive to push myself to train for one, because it wasn’t “for anything.” And let’s be honest, I’m not a natural runner! I complain about walking to the subway stop (which is four buildings down)! But when I saw this opportunity, it gave me willpower to finally take on this challenge and check it off the bucket list.

I started training in January, and got my fundraising off to a great start. I am so grateful for my community that supported me with encouraging words and financial support on the way to my goal of $1,310 ($100 for every race mile!).

But for those of you who know about NF, I’m sure you understand that my life is constantly molded by doctor’s appointments and the news that comes with them. At the end of February, I went in for an Avastin treatment and got news that my kidneys were leaking protein like they never have before. I had to take a moment, step back, and reassess everything and how I was going to move forward: my work, my diet, my habits, my routines, and my stress. One particular thing I had to reexamine was my goal of completing the NYC Half Marathon on March 15.

After much consideration, I decided to eliminate all mental and physical stress, to give my body the best shot at recovering fully so that I can continue on Avastin, and unfortunately that included training for and running the NYC Half. I felt defeated, like NF had won. I feel like I go through these moments in life that I don’t want to be defined by NF, but it’s hard sometimes to not feel that way.

With the half marathon, one thing in particular that was important to me was my platform. I had decided to run in honor of those who had lost their lives to NF and out of respect for their families. I knew I couldn’t run the 13.1 miles, but I also didn’t want to let down my community, as they meant so much to me.

When I approached CTF that I would not be participating in the half marathon, I found out that there were other options.

So, I decided to run in a virtual 5K. This allowed me to uphold my commitment and complete the challenge I signed up for, acknowledging those who have supported, honor the memory of those who have lost their life to NF and honor those who continue to fight.

Physically, I am deferring my bib to next year, after I have healed and can complete my goal with pristine health.

I feel grateful for this new option as it gives me a chance to participate and run for a cause that I so dearly hold so close to my heart. I will see you all virtually at the starting line.


April 2020

Oh, how things have changed in the world we live in. But adjustments are a part of life and I will keep moving forward. Since my last entry I have moved to North Carolina and begun extensive care of myself. Since then my medical problems have stabilized somewhat and I have positive hope for the future which is exciting to get back into my exercise routine.

However, with the medical issues I have encountered of having NF2, the coronavirus plays a whole new role in my health. Because my health is already compromised, I have to be extra careful about running outside. I can’t risk it. However, I am still working out in a makeshift gym that I have made in my apartment.

Nothing is impossible and I am building up muscle for when I can run outside again. I think with having the whole world go on a bit of a lockdown, it is easy to give up, but nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. When things open back up, I am excited and ready to run my virtual 5k and I am excited to have you join me!


This month, June 1-30, the NF Endurance team is hosting a virtual running campaign, the End NF Challenge. There’s still time to join! Visit for all the details.