All races lead to St. Jude
Ryan began his weight-loss journey after running two races in one weekend. But it wasn’t long before he realized what being a St. Jude Hero® really means.
In April 2018, Ryan was overweight and knew that something had to change. He decided that running would be the catalyst for that change, and resolved to run a half marathon later that year at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.
He wanted to participate as a St. Jude Hero – those who fundraise for the hospital while training for an endurance event.
It wasn’t long before Ryan realized what being a St. Jude Hero really meant. He often wore his St. Jude Hero training shirt on runs leading up to the race, and soon started seeing other runners in St. Jude Hero shirts and singlets.
By race weekend, Ryan had lost more than 60 pounds and noticed the drastic change in his whole lifestyle. At the health and fitness expo on the weekend of the half marathon, his fitness journey and the mission of St. Jude truly came into perspective and prompted him to increase his race distance.
He switched his race to the full marathon, and even participated in a 5K the day before.
By the end of his first race weekend, Ryan had earned four medals — one for the marathon, one for the 5K, one for the Remix Challenge (completing two days of running during a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event) and a charity medal for participating as a St. Jude Hero.
But more important than the medals, Ryan experienced his own special moment when he saw countless others in St. Jude gear and realized he was running with a family who were committed to the same purpose.
“Just like a race, there is an end goal for St. Jude,” he noted.
Ryan has since pushed himself even further by committing to run all 15 domestic Rock ‘n’ Roll races in 2019 as a St. Jude Hero.
Thanks to determined St. Jude Heroes like Ryan who are helping raise funds and awareness for the hospital, St. Jude is one step closer to reaching a day when no family has to hear the words “your child has cancer.”