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Kids Raising Awareness

Molly and her father, Rob Umble

Molly and her father,
Rob Umble

By: Christine Fanning

Name: Molly Umble
Age: 19
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Event: 2011 ING NYC Marathon

Working 13 1/2 hour shifts while standing on your feet most of the time is a lot for one person to do. Working 13 1/2 hours and then running six-miles because you're training for a marathon takes dedication to another level.

Molly Umble, 19, is a full-time student at Hendrix College, working a part-time job as a conference and events coordinator at Franklin & Marshall College, and training for the 2011 ING New York City Marathon in November as a member of Team Reeve.

It runs in the family
Umble's motivation comes from her Uncle Rick, who shattered his C3 and C5 vertebrae during a 2008 high school alumni lacrosse game. "It's so frustrating to sit back and not be able to do anything," Umble says.

"Just being there was such a great experience." Umble says of watching her father compete and cross the finish line for Team Reeve in 2010's marathon. "I really wanted to be a part of it. Seeing my dad work so hard, train every day, and raise all this money. I just thought it was a really cool thing to be a part of."

He's more than just an uncle
After Rick's accident, the Umble family grew closer. "I feel like we're connecting more now because of it," Umble explains. "Before the accident I knew Rick as my uncle and he would come with us on family trips, but I feel like I'm closer with him now that I'm running the marathon."

Molly with members of the Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Club

Molly with members of the Spinal Cord Injury
Awareness Club

"Even when we were in the hospital and we didn't know what would happen to him," Umble says. "He was still making jokes and being really silly like he always is."

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Club
Besides running the marathon, this isn't the first time Umble has participated in an effort in honor of her Uncle Rick. While in her senior year of high school at Lancaster Country Day School, Umble formed the, "Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Club" to help raise money for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "I felt so helpless," says Umble, "and at the time I felt like that was the first thing I could do."

The club did various fundraisers such as DJ middle school dances, make "Team Reeve" and "Stand Strong" bracelets, "Team Reeve" t-shirts, and babysitting. That school year the club raised $3,700, all of which was donated to the Reeve Foundation.

Running with excitement
"It seems crazy, but I'm excited. I'm really excited," Umble explains about the upcoming marathon. "It's made me more appreciative of what my body can do."

Molly's father and her Uncle Rick

Molly's father and her Uncle Rick

"I think there are so many rewarding parts, but partially the fact that my body can do it," Umble explains. Through invigorating workouts, Umble has maintained a positive attitude (and even a blog!) about her training.

Following advice from her father and a plan from the Reeve Foundation, Umble says she's excited about the progress she's making. Through the increasing miles each week, she says she's enjoying the training, "There hasn't been a day where I'm like, ‘I can't do this anymore.'"

Umble says, "Just being able to get out and run, sometimes I get tired and I don't want to do it, but at least I can."

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders