By MORE Than Sport
Posted in More Than Sport, on March 05, 2015
We would like to welcome Carrie McCoy as the newest professional athlete ambassador of MORE Than Sport. Carrie is a professional triathlete and as she describes it, has always had a heart to Do MORE. She has been an avid supporter in the fight against ALS for many years. Here is her story:
“I remember watching Jon Blais roll across the finish line in 2005. Its a moment that is etched in my memory, I remember where I was and the emotion that flooded over me. Two years prior a good family friend of ours, Marla passed away of MS. Though MS and ALS are not the same, they have a similar devastating impact on the individuals and there is still no cure for either.
I grew up watching this disease take over my friend’s body… I watched her lose the ability to walk and use her arms. As this happened the quality of her life began to diminish. But Marla never stopped smiling or seeing the best in life, and she never stopped believing in me. So watching Jon roll across the line meant more to me then I could express as it reminded me of Marla, her fight and heart. It was at that point I vowed to Do MORE and I contacted MaryAnn and Bob to work with Team Blazeman in fighting ALS.
In 2007 I hosted the first Columbus branch of the ALS Spin-a-thon. I had just graduated college and I did all I could to raise awareness, funds and bring the endurance community together for a common cause. Fast forward 8 years later and the event is still running strong, its doubled in size and funds raised.
I have always had the goal to qualify for Kona and in 2013 I achieved that. I submitted a request to wear #179, Jon’s number, which was granted and provided me with such an honor to wear it in my first IM World Championship. I was able to share his story with countless individuals during my time in Kona. Though I don’t wear his number every time I race Kona, his spirit will always be with me, as well as Marla’s.
The medal I received upon completing Kona was the largest, heaviest medal I have ever received. I held it dear as it was my first Kona medal as well as the one I received while racing as Jon’s number. However, I wanted to honor another IM and inspire and encourage him as well. In 2012 I got the opportunity to meet, local ALS warrior Danny Hopper who has been battling the disease for a couple of years. He is a strong voice in the community for ALS and his body, like many, is losing the fight. He came to our event, shook hands with all my riders and the hug he gave me is one embrace I will never forget. Since that meeting he had been following my racing season and I made a point of dedicating each race to him. So when I qualified for Kona you can imagine his excitement. To honor him and all those fighting, we surprised Danny this past Spin-a-thon with an IM presentation and at the end awarded him my Kona finisher’s medal. To tell him he was an “Ironman” and to thank him for his constant fight… well there are not enough words to describe the impact of this moment on the lives it touched.”
MORE Than Sport looks forward to working with Carrie and enabling her to Do MORE. If you would like to support the fight against ALS you may donate here.