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2012 NY Marathon Image

Meet the 2012 ING New York City Marathon
Stroke Challenge Team!

Nov. 4, 2012


Photo of Allison Bradley

Allison Bradley

Allison had a stroke at the age of 27, just this year. She acted fast and called 9-1-1 for help. Since then, she has worked hard to be able to run again. Allison credits her recovery to her doctors recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke. Because of them, she will have the opportunity to run the ING New York City Marathon and walk down the aisle in her upcoming wedding.

Support Allison


Photo of Brenda McRae

Brenda McRae

Brenda is participating on the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team to support her sister, Carolyn, also a Stroke Challenge team member. Carolyn suffered a stroke in September 2010. Brenda has been inspired by her sister’s ability to adapt and move forward, saying, “I may not be able to walk a mile in her shoes, but I hope to run 26 next to them.”

Support Brenda


Photo of Carolyn Fanning

Carolyn Fanning

Carolyn is 30 years old and a stroke survivor. A year and a half ago, she had an ischemic stroke and stopped running as a result. But now, Carolyn will be participating in the ING New York City Marathon with her sister, Brenda. She hopes to raise stroke awareness by sharing her story—proving that a stroke can happen to anyone, regardless of age or risk factors.

Support Carolyn


Photo of Christine Ciccerone

Christine Ciccerone

Christine has chosen to support National Stroke Association in memory of her father, Joe, who passed away as a result of a stroke. Joe was only 55. He watched her run the ING New York City Marathon the first time, and she feels he will be there in spirit this November.

Christine began running when she moved to Brooklyn six years ago. She is excited to participate as a member of the Stroke Challenge team with her twin sister. They hope to complete the race in less than five hours.

Support Christine


 Photo of Dylan Armajani

Dylan Armajani

Dylan’s father, Rameen, had a misdiagnosed stroke in 2011. He was forced to give up driving, his job and much more. Dylan is very excited to be running his first marathon to benefit National Stroke Association in honor of his father. Dylan says, "My father did so much for me growing up, and I wanted to do something for him. I can't wait to see his face after I cross the finish line, knowing that I raised money and awareness for a cause that has touched him so deeply."

Support Dylan


Photo of Geraldine Carroll

Geraldine Carroll

Geraldine Carroll may not be a natural runner, but she is determined to run the 2012 New York City Marathon for National Stroke Association. She views her participation as an act of courage and action in the presence of fear. Geraldine says, “If through my effort I can inspire others to give, to think about helping any cause they feel close to, then I will have attained my goals and my mission.”

Support Geraldine


Photo of Greg Mateja

Greg Mateja

Greg is running the New York City Marathon for the fourth time in support of National Stroke Association. He runs in honor of his late mother, Elizabeth, who had a number of devastating strokes that left her paralyzed. This experience left him more aware of stroke in his community and its effects on survivors and their families. He runs, in his words, to “spread the message of stroke awareness and prevention.”

Support Greg


Photo of Ilana Semel

Ilana Semel

After running the ING New York City Marathon last year as a member of the National Stroke Association team, it seemed natural to Ilana to take on the challenge again this year. Difficult as a marathon is, Ilana reminds herself that all the training and the actual event are not nearly as difficult as the recovery process for stroke survivors, such as her father. It was almost five years ago that Ilana’s father had a stroke. Fortunately, her mother was aware of the symptoms and acted fast in getting him medical attention. Ilana runs to raise funds and awareness because, as she says, “Not everyone is as lucky as my dad was and, equally as scary, not everyone is aware of the symptoms of stroke.”

Support Ilana


Photo of Ilana Semel

Ivan Saval

Support Ivan


Photo of Joanna Lodzinski

Joanna Lodzinski

Joanna has chosen to participate on the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team in honor of her father, a stroke survivor. Despite his stroke in 2005, he continues to fight for the ability to ski, ice skate and golf. Joanna’s father is an inspiration to her and has motivated her to run a marathon. For Joanna, conquering 26.2 miles will be a mind-over-matter accomplishment.

Support Joanna


Photo of Justin Prunell

Justin Prunell


Support Justin


Photo of Kate Briener

Kate Briener

Kate is an avid runner who has completed five marathons, but never ran the ING New York City Marathon. This marathon holds special meaning for Kate because of her friend Allison, a stroke survivor and fellow race team member. Kate feels that Allison has been a true example of strength and positivity.

Support Kate


Photo of Kelley Octagin

Kelley Octagin

Kelley is an engineer, husband, father and stroke survivor. His sons, present at the time of his stroke, recognized that something was wrong and called for help. Since then, Kelley has come to terms with his stroke and vision problems, and feels very lucky.

Kelley chose to support National Stroke Association as a member of the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team as a way to raise awareness and funds for stroke. Kelley says of his participation, “I hope to be getting the word out to at least a few people; it may change and even save someone’s life.”

Support Kelley


Photo of Kevin Kovalsky

Kevin Kovalsky

Kevin will be running the ING New York City Marathon with his girlfriend and fellow Stroke Challenge team member, Monica. Just before Kevin was accepted to run the marathon, Kevin’s father had a massive stroke. His father is a multiple stroke survivor, having had two strokes in 2012. Kevin runs to honor his father and give hope to other stroke survivors.

Support Kevin


Photo of Lenice and her son

Lenice Hogan

Every aspect of my life has been effected – physically, emotionally, spiritually and not only my life, but that of my families. It contributed to my husband leaving me and my children’s fear that I will have another stroke (I have had three).  I vowed to run on behalf of the National Stroke Association’s NYC marathon team every year that I am blessed to be able to do so because I not only want to raise awareness and money for stroke related issues and research, but I also want to prove that although I suffered a stroke – a victim of it – I am also, and more importantly a SURVIVOR! And I will not let this stroke define my life!! I run for all of those who have not been as blessed as I am and I write all the names of those survivors that I have encountered along the way on my race day shirt! I run for us all!

Repeat after me: Today, this will not be a problem! I will not let my stroke define me, but encourage me to go beyond my wildest dreams and live life to its fullest! Not as a stroke victim, but as a stroke SURVIVOR!

Support Lenice


Photo of Lisa O'Rear

Lisa O’Rear

Lisa is a runner, yoga teacher and stroke survivor. She was active and healthy, with no major risk factors when she had her stroke in April 2011, at the age of 34. Lisa experienced headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, loss of vision and pain, and was frustrated at not being able to walk in a straight line. With acceptance, patience and perseverance, Lisa is now grateful to be able to join the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team.

Support Lisa


Photo of Mark Williams

Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a residential plumber in Orange County, Calif. A native of the U.K., he has lived in the U.S. for the past five years. While he has been a runner for many years, Mark is proud to have completed his first marathon last year as a member of the National Stroke Association ING New York City Marathon team. He is very grateful and happy to be back with the Stroke Challenge team and to raise money and awareness for stroke.

Support Mark


Photo of Melissa

Melissa Leyva

Melissa is a chemist and avid runner who has completed 10 half marathons and two full marathons. Melissa says, “The ING New York City Marathon has been a running goal of mine and I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Stroke Challenge Team. I am looking forward to running my first ING New York City Marathon and raising awareness and funds for stroke.”

Support Melissa


Photo of Michael Darling

Michael Darling

Michael was misdiagnosed with a brain aneurism in 2007, which lead to his interest in stroke. Michael says, “After research, I decided to get fit again and began running. Two marathons later, I am running again this year for stroke. I joined the [National Stroke Association] Board of Directors and am helping to bring awareness of stroke to people in the USA.”

Support Michael


Photo of Monica McLaurin

Monica McLaurin

Monica will be running the ING New York City Marathon with her boyfriend, Kevin. Kevin’s father had two strokes in 2012, which has made the couple ready to run for a cause that is close to both of their hearts. Monica is eager to raise funds and awareness in honor of Kevin’s father and to provide hope for all stroke survivors.

Support Monica


Photo of Naomi Nakamura

Naomi Nakamura

Naomi chose to join the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team to honor several family members who have had strokes. Their struggles prompted Naomi to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.

She is looking forward to running the marathon with her cousin and runs in honor of her grandfather, grandmother, mother and uncle, all of whom had strokes.

Support Naomi


Photo of Nicole Hall

Nicole Hall

After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Nursing and Business, Nicole felt it was time to fulfill a promise to herself to run a marathon. As a teacher of nursing, she often lectures on stroke and recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke. So, she felt that getting involved with National Stroke Association was a logical way to fulfill her promise and combine her interests and experience to raise awareness of stroke

Support Nicole


RafaelCastelblanco.gif

Rafael Castelblanco

Rafael has joined the 2012 ING New York City Stroke Challenge team to support stroke survivors and their families. He is passionate about supporting the stroke community, as someone close to him lost most of the ability to function normally after having a stroke. Rafael says, “Every second after one experiences a stroke is golden. You must get help fast.”

Support Rafael


Photo of Rene Pere

Rene Pere

Rene is an occupational therapist with more than 15 years’ experience working with clients and families living with the effects of stroke. He currently provides home- and community-based rehab in New York City.

Rene chose to support National Stroke Association as a member of the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team because it will allow him to do something he loves—run—while increasing awareness of stroke prevention and increased access to effective rehabilitation.

Support Rene


Photo of Tim Noonan

Tim Noonan

Timothy decided to join the ING New York City Marathon Stroke Challenge team to honor his father, a stroke survivor. Timothy’s father has “gone from the brink of death to re-learning how to move his right arm and finally getting back to what he loves—farming.” Timothy was inspired to run a full marathon and raise money and awareness for stroke after his father expressed a desire to be able to run again.

Support Tim


Photo of Tim van Biesen

Tim van Biesen

As a member of the board of directors for National Stroke Association, Tim is running on behalf of the nation’s 7 million stroke survivors and their families. Through his participation, Tim hopes to support the mission of National Stroke Association—reducing the incidence and impact of stroke—and continue to focus on building programs that expand the role of National Stroke Association in the lives of stroke survivors and their families.

Support Tim


Photo of Tyler Saeli

Tyler Saeli

Tyler is thrilled to join the Stroke Challenge team in honor of his mom, a stroke survivor. Tyler’s mom had a stroke in 2008 while on a skiing trip. She has since made a nearly full recovery, but the experience deeply affected Tyler and his family. This will be Tyler’s first marathon. He feels that by running to benefit National Stroke Association, he is participating in furthering stroke prevention and recovery.

Support Tyler


Photo of Wendy

Wendy Abbott

Wendy is a 38-year-old runner, triathlete and stroke survivor. Even while still in the hospital after her stroke, Wendy was determined to run another marathon. She registered for the Boston Marathon while still in the hospital, then ran the marathon 7 months and 5 days after her stroke. She says, “Just knowing I was registered gave me hope, and a goal to work towards during my recovery. I would like to give hope to other survivors that they can reach all of their goals."

Support Wendy


 

 

TEAM MEMBERS

Please click on a team member's name below to visit their personal fundraising page and make a donation. Visit the National Stroke Association New York Marathon main page for more information about this event.

Allison Bradley
Brenda McRae
Carolyn Fanning
Christine Ciccerone
Dylan Armajani
Geraldine Carroll
Greg Mateja
Ilana Semel
Ivan Saval
Joanna Lodzinski

Justin Prunell
Kate Briener
Kelley Octagin
Kevin Kovalsky
Lenice Hogan
Lisa O’Rear

Mark Williams
Melissa Leyva
Michael Darling

Monica McLaurin
Naomi Nakamura
Nicole Hall
Rafael Castelblanco

Rene Pere
Timothy Noonan
Tim van Biesen
Tyler Saeli
Wendy Abbott

Progress: 93%
Progress: 93%
Raised: $ 83392     Goal: $ 90000


 

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