Staffer takes on ancient marathon in name of juvenile arthritis
Since then, the marathon has come to represent the pinnacle of personal achievement and the battlefield for participants to engage in their personal struggle against an opponent often far less tangible than a foe wielding a sword.
For Lisa Hryniw, instructional resources specialist in executive education with the University of Alberta’s School of Business, her battlefield will be the Athens marathon, which will celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of Pheidippides’ journey this fall. Her adversary is juvenile arthritis.
Hryniw’s daughter Maggie was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in the spring of 2009. She was three at the time.
“It happens to more kids then most people realize,” said Hryniw, of this painful, debilitating ailment with no cure that affects one in 1,000 kids. “I certainly didn’t know anything about it before this happened to us.”
For Hryniw the reality of her daughter’s arthritis made her feel helpless. But by fundraising for the Arthritis Society, “I could feel like I was having some effect on how arthritis affects Maggie’s life,” said Hryniw.
“I sort of dove into this as a way to feel like I was doing something,” she said. “I have never considered myself a runner, and I certainly never wanted to run a marathon before. I figured I’m doing this to raise awareness and I’m asking people to help me and really commit to what I’m doing, so I better commit to something big.”
In response to Hryniw’s promise, she has passed the 60 per cent mark of her goal of raising $10,000 for the Arthritis Society’s Joints in Motion training program, much of which has come by way of her extended U of A family.
“I couldn’t ask for more support from [my colleagues],” said Hryniw, who often acts as the first line of support for executive education’s registration system. “They have been tireless in not only cheering me on, but also in helping me organize my fundraisers, and telling people about what I’m doing. I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am with this if it wasn’t for my colleagues at executive education and the School of Business.”
For more information on supporting Hryniw in her quest, go to http://arthritis.akaraisin.com/p/lisainathens.aspx.