Cathy MacKinnon

Sylvania, OH

$2,100 of $2,000 raised

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Mara Minkey


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I can’t think of a more gratifying feeling than completing a race that’s tied to a charitable cause. The pride in knowing that I have contributed to the efforts in finding a cure is like no other. It’s why I run. I’ve decided to take that feeling one step further.

I have teamed up with an organization called Team PHenomenal Hope to participate in their #LetMeBeYourLungs program. Team PHenomenal Hope is an organization that raises awareness of a rare
medical condition known as Pulmonary Hypertension. PH is a condition of increased blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs. It can be terminal and there is no known cure.

On April 14, 2018 I will be running in the Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K race in Richmond, VA. I will be running on behalf of a very special PH patient who cannot run for herself. Let me introduce you to Mara! Mara is a smart, adventurous and brave 10 year old girl who was diagnosed with PH in February of 2017. It has been a terrifying year of adjustment for Mara and her family consisting of multiple trips to the emergency room with Mara often asking her mother, Pam, if she is going to die.

For now, Mara is responding well to treatment. She is on several medications including 24/7 attachment to a subcutaneous pump that provides her with life sustaining medication. I’ve been in touch with Mara’s mom and look forward to meeting them both very soon. Pam has told me that despite all the challenges she is facing, Mara is still Mara! She loves animals, in particular reptiles. She has a bearded dragon, leopard gecko and brown anole. She is fearless and does things your typical girl would never do, picking up horseshoe crabs, catching skinks (a local reptile) and frogs. She is all about the critters.

Mara also loves the beach. Pam is hopeful that they have finally figured out how to water proof her site and pump and can get back to the beach next summer. An ideal day for Mara is spending the day at the beach boating, exploring the wildlife, playing in the ocean and building a campfire. When Mara isn’t enjoying the outdoors, she’s using her creativity to draw and play her clarinet. She also loves playing with Legos, and Minecraft. Mara is an avid Star Wars fan! Disney Princesses just cannot compete with Princess Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso and Captain Phasma. 

Mara is also very smart. She loves science and knows more than the average adult about geology, biology, and astronomy. Despite missing weeks of school last year, she made honor roll for the entire year! In my short time getting to know Mara, I am in awe of her incredible spirit. I’ve been working hard at my training and am more inspired than ever. I feel honored to represent Mara and to be her lungs when I run on April 14. If you are as inspired by Mara as I am, please make a donation below to help.

My fundraising will help raise awareness of this rare medical condition, will fund medical research into improved treatments or a cure for those who suffer from it, and will help implement programming that focuses on providing services and hope to Mara and all who suffer from PH. I ask that you join me in my fight against PH. Any amount that you can donate is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Click here to learn more about Team PHenomenal Hope, or here to learn more about PH.

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