Alexis Verone ’12 | Boston Marathon
April 16, 2018, is no ordinary day for 2012 Bishop Grimes graduate, Alexis Verone. It’s the day she will be able to cross a major item off her bucket list – running the Boston Marathon. Those 26.2 miles will not only be a huge personal accomplishment for Alexis, but they’ll also have a very special purpose.
Alexis is running the marathon through the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Charity Program for Team Challenge ALS in support of the ALS Association. Team Challenge ALS is an endurance program that challenges people to accomplish physical and fundraising achievements for those who cannot. In order to land one of the six spots on the team, Alexis had to go through an application process and prove past success with running and fundraising efforts. All members of Team Challenge ALS have been given a minimum fundraising goal of $7,500, all of which will support research efforts to find a cure and provide care service programs to ALS patients and their caregivers.
Not only will Alexis be raising money for the ALS Association, she will also be raising awareness of the disease that took her grandmother back in January of 2007. Mary Verone, Bema as her family called her, was diagnosed with ALS just three years before that in 2004.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which eventually leads to muscle paralysis. It’s 100% fatal. There is no known cure and people with ALS live an average of 2-5 years after diagnosis.
The disease attacks everyone differently, but for Mary, it started in her throat making it difficult for her to speak, eat or swallow. She had a feeding tube for majority of her illness and even used a machine that would speak for her when she lost that ability. She was essentially a prisoner in her own body – unable to move, communicate, or express herself.
Awareness of the disease and advancements in research has come a long way since 2007, but the fight is far from finished. That fight to find a cure is a sign of hope to those suffering from ALS. A hope that one day, people won’t have to lose their loved ones anymore to this disease.
“I’m doing this for Bema, and the thousands of other people currently battling ALS,” says Verone. “I’m doing it for someone else’s grandparent, parent, child, sibling, cousin, friend who have hopes of creating memories, celebrating milestones, and surviving this disease.”
Join the fight against ALS by supporting Alexis and her marathon campaign in the link below: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/alsassociationofmassachusettsboston2018/alexisverone
You can also follow Alexis’ journey to the finish line on her blog: https://boston-beginnings.com/
She will be posting updates on her training progress, info on upcoming fundraising events, and more about her mile motivations for the big race.