MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run
The MMRF is proud to honor Megan Parker as a 2014 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, given at every MMRF Race for Research 5K event to a person who inspires hope and shows extraordinary commitment to the MMRF. Megan has touched the myeloma community with her strength of character, her kindness and her embodiment of hope.
Posted: May, 2014
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize Megan Parker as the 2014 MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run Spirit of Hope honoree. Megan participates in this annual event to pay tribute to the memories of both her mother Joan Parker and her mother’s friend Laurie Anderson.
As soon as Megan found the MMRF she knew she wanted to get involved to be a part of the great strides taken by the MMRF to find a cure. In 2010, she discovered that the MMRF had a 5K race to benefit myeloma research and, even though she had never run a 5K before, Megan decided to register in honor of her mother, who was diagnosed with myeloma two and half years earlier. The rest of the Parker family were also new to running but decided to unite and form a team of their close family and local friends and ran under the slogan “Jogging for Joan.”
Joan walked the 5K that year with her dear friend Laurie Anderson, who had been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Joan and Laurie had a great time participating in the 2010 race. They never could have guessed that Joan would pass away from multiple myeloma in November of that same year.
When Laurie passed away in 2012, the Parker family asked Laurie’s family to join Team Parker at that year’s 5K. The team name was changed to Team Parker & Anderson so both families could celebrate their moms together.
Megan and her team see the race as an annual chance to get their family and friends together to remember their moms in a positive, fun and impactful way. Each year they create team shirts for the race and have a pasta party the night before the race. Megan knows you don’t really “carb” load for a 5k but that doesn’t stop them from trying! Race morning the families gather together to catch up and walk/run together and everyone on the team stays at the finish line and cheers until each team member has finished.
“This award is an immense honor. God sent me the MMRF and running at the exact time He knew I would need them. There is nothing more humbling than training for a race. It breaks you down to your core. It is effective and ruthless therapy. I started training for the marathon for MMRF after mom died. On long runs I would break down in tears thinking about her. There is nothing more motivating than stopping someone else from feeing that pain. We must find a cure.”
Megan has had a busy year fundraising for the MMRF. In addition to her annual participation in the 5K, she ran a Ragnar Relay in October 2013 through the MMRF Endurance Events program with a team of 12 women, including two multiple myeloma patients, that ran 200 miles in about 35 hours! Then one month later, Megan raced in the 2013 NYC Marathon as a member of the 125-person MMRF team and she also joined the MMRF Young Professionals Group of New York City who recently hosted their first event ‘Mingle for Myeloma’ in Manhattan.
“My mother always said ‘faith makes things possible, not easy,’ shared Megan. “No one is here today because what we are working on is easy. We know it’s hard but we also have faith. And faith makes things possible not easy.” Since Megan became involved with the MMRF Race for Research she is thankful for having the opportunity to meet many beautiful, inspiring, courageous people that are living with multiple myeloma. She has found their courage to be contagious. Training for MMRF events has taught Megan that she is capable of amazing things and we are proud to recognize all that she has accomplished!