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My mom always said she knew I was destined to be a nurse because I was born at 7 in the morning, right at change of shift for the nursing staff. After graduating from high school in Pennsylvania, I decided to pursue a degree in Nursing from Penn State University. After college, I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take a position as a neurosurgery nurse. It was there that I met my future husband, Dave, who was completing his Orthopedic residency. After two years in North Carolina, Dave and I decided to move to his hometown of New Orleans, where he started his practice and I found an opportunity as an Orthopedic nurse. Dave and I married in the summer of 2005 and were living a happy, healthy and active life. We were affected by Hurricane Katrina that same year and made the choice to stay and help rebuild New Orleans.
In November of 2006, my husband suffered a rare, devastating stroke, leaving him severely physically impaired. After months in hospitals and rehab facilities, I brought Dave home and my role of wife transformed into full-time caregiver. Fortunately, his mental state was intact, but his physical needs took quite a toll on me. After being his primary caregiver for more than six years, I recognized that I needed an outlet where I could renew myself, find some clarity in my life, and focus on my own health and happiness. I started jogging and set a goal of completing a half marathon. Once I achieved my initial goal, I realized my love for the sport. I now run almost every morning and compete in a few half marathons every year. Running provides my own time to briefly escape from the world, challenge myself, and stay healthy both emotionally and physically. I run to put into perspective all the opportunities I have lost.