Whenever she travels, Sarah Emerson tries to run a race in her destination city. Invited to visit a friend in Memphis, Tennessee, last year, she signed up for the 2015 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
Emerson, who lives in Westbrook, Maine, registered for the race as a St. Jude Hero, committing to raising funds to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I can’t go down there and not raise money and be a Hero,” she said. “That didn’t feel right to me.”
That was only the beginning for Emerson.
“The minute I crossed the finish line, I felt I needed to come back, and I needed to do something more,” she said.
Emerson, 32, has now raised more than $8,000 for St. Jude: She ran up New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in a St. Jude Hero cape; coordinated and ran a 12-hour run around an outdoor high school track; rode an ElliptiGO® — an elliptical on wheels — on a 190-mile trek from Kennebunk to Bar Harbor, Maine, and coordinated a 5K in her home state for a St. Jude patient named Nicholas, who returned home after completing treatment.
She will also travel to Memphis again this December for the 2016 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend to run as a St. Jude Hero.
“St. Jude is where my passion is, and where I want to focus my energy,” Emerson said.
As a parent, Emerson said her support was inspired because St. Jude treats children from every state and from around the world.
"These are real kids who live right in our own communities. You never know, your next door neighbor could be benefiting from St. Jude."
Sarah Emerson, St. Jude Hero
Sarah Emerson with her son, Tyler.
Emerson is also moved by the fact that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
“Once I started learning about St. Jude, I felt that I needed to support it,” she said. “This is the right thing to do. This is how we should be caring for our children — or caring for anybody, really.”
Join Sarah in supporting the kids of St. Jude by signing up for the 5K at the 2016 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.