My Why: Angela Huang

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on October 22, 2021 # Team Reeve, My Why

Angela holding her NYC Marathon medalsOn Sunday, November 7, 2021, Team Reeve will take on the TCS New York City Marathon! 2019 was a record-breaking year for Team Reeve NYC, raising over $420,000 for paralysis research! We want to continue the momentum for 2020! We want to continue the momentum for 2021!

Angela Huang

What inspired you to join Team Reeve?

On November 24, 2019, my beloved father, Yunji Huang, was hit by a car while training for the 2020 Boston Marathon. He fought for his life for 20 days in the Trauma ICU at Medical City Plano, before he passed away from his injuries on December 14, 2019. I felt a lot of loss, pain, and regret in the wake of this tragedy, but I knew almost immediately that I had to continue his legacy and run the marathon for him. Now, almost 2 years later, I can proudly say that I have run the Boston Marathon in his honor not once but twice, and that I am continuing to honor his legacy and keep his marathon dream alive by going for the 50th NYC Marathon this November.

I chose to run for Team Reeve, as their mission to provide ever-advancing research and support for those impacted by spinal cord injury, is one that was especially highlighted to my family and me in the wake of my father’s accident. His brain and spinal cord injuries were extensive, and we would never know what sort of mobility he would have regained had he survived. Still, even in those 3 short weeks, we were researching extensive long-term care and therapy options for possible paralysis. I have been determined ever since to do what I can to provide support and bring awareness to a cause that impacts so many other families like mine on a daily basis.

Angela and her dad after a marathonWhat has been the hardest challenge that you have overcome?

Surprisingly, 2021, not 2020, has been my toughest year yet. I faced a lot of challenges across all facets of my life that severely impacted my mental health, which was already strained from the delayed processing of my dad's accident. I had 2 marathons lined up: Boston and NYC 2021, and I was running both in honor of my dad and for charities that were meaningful to my family, but before long, my training and fundraising efforts for both were curtailed by the struggles I faced with my mental health.

I definitely conflated the success of fundraising for and finishing these marathons with my self-worth, and when I found myself at the lowest, I believed that I had failed my dad and my family. However, against all odds and my own doubts, I was able to take the first steps in overcoming these obstacles by successfully running the 125th Boston Marathon just 4 days ago, and in doing so, I was reminded of why I run, why I should live, and how much strength and resilience my father has passed onto me. I have fallen in love with Angela running during the Boston Marathonrunning all over again, and I feel very lucky to have found an avenue in which I can still feel a link to my dad.

What are you looking forward to on the day of the race?

I am so excited to experience the little moments: getting that little push, a bit of inspiration to continue running by seeing another runner blaze past (maybe even being able to provide that burst of energy for someone else!), and the immense energy and support from the crowds of spectators as we all take in the amazing city of New York are the moments I look forward to. Feeling that connection with the volunteers and other runners by seeing why or who they are there for makes running the marathons special.

I have come to be in awe of just how special the NYC Marathon is, as people from all walks of life, maybe for hundreds of different purposes, are brought together to share and experience such a special moment and event. I cannot wait to have a whole slew of new experiences as well as new versions of the little moments I have just listed. I hope to see you all on November 7!

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.