Jessica Osborn – Hemby

We love our friends down at Novant Health and all of the support and guidance they give us here at the Charlotte Marathon. And we love turning over that big check to them after every race, with money we’ve earned, because we know it goes for a great cause — the Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.

There is a lot of good work going on there, and if you’ve ever had to make a hospital stay with your child, you know how important that is. Jessica Osborn is an Ambassador at Hemby Children’s Hospital, where she advocates for the non-medical needs of kids and families during their stay. And she joins us now on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast to tell us how your race entries help kids.

Mike Cooke – Runner

We all have our reasons for running — for some of us it starts with wanting to get more exercise and lose a few pounds, right? Our next guest on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast is definitely one of those folks — a Charlotte native who looked at his high school Senior photo, tipping the scales at 300 pounds — and decided to do better. For the next 16 years, Mike Cooke decided to do better every day, but the journey was not easy.

Along the way he made changes in his food, his drinking, and himself, to get where he is now. We think a lot of you can identify with someone who makes the effort to go from less-than-perfect to better, without necessarily trying to be perfect along the way.

Bekah Eljoundi – Ambassador

In just a few short weeks, our big race will be here! We couldn’t do it without a lot of help, and all of our enthusiastic friends we call Novant Health Charlotte Marathon Ambassadors. Bekah Eljoundi is one of them, though you may know her as Run Coach Bekah. She has more than 13 years of running, coaching, and personal training experience to give you the boost you need for your fitness or racing goals.

Sarah Penney McDonald – Nash’s Ray of Light

It’s a diagnosis that no parent ever wants to hear — your sweet, bouncy, fun-loving, child has a terminal illness and there’s no cure. But if you found out that you could have slowed the illness — maybe even kept it at bay — with a blood screen when your baby was born, your grief then might turn to anger and then to action.

Today we’re talking to a Mom taking action, about a scenario just like that. Sarah Penney McDonald’s son, Nash, had a seizure when he was 5, and shortly after that, doctors delivered a diagnosis of ALD – Adrenoleukodystrophy. A simple blood screen at birth would have prompted testing that might have slowed it down… and that’s what Sarah is trying to get for newborns in North Carolina.

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