Run to Breathe: One local woman's incredible and inspiring journey - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

Run to Breathe: One local woman's incredible and inspiring journey

Meet Patricia Fitzgibbon, Marathon Mom of Middle Village. She's a member of the NYC Road Runners (NYCRR) and the Queens Distance Runners. She has completed 5 full marathons, numerous half marathons and countless 5K and 10K races since starting a mere 4 years ago.

How it all started

Back in 2013, Patricia was invited by a coworker to run in the 5K annual Tunnel To Towers Foundation fundraiser. After that one race, she found her passion and has been running ever since. With the help of her friend and running coach, Kazuya Kobayashi, Patricia was soon running not only 5Ks and 10Ks, but also half marathons. She finished her first full marathon at County Cork Ireland at the Cork City Marathon. She's such a dedicated runner that she runs in races nearly every weekend. She has even flown to her ancestral homeland of Ireland to compete in half and full marathons there. Not only did she discover her natural ability for long distance running, but she also found a way to use her talent to raise awareness for a cause close to her heart.

Why she runs

While she was pregnant Patricia discovered that she was a carrier of a cruel and deadly disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Not only was she a carrier, but so was her husband. If both parents are carriers, they have a 25% chance of having a child with CF, a 50% chance of giving birth to a carrier child and a 25% chance of producing a non-carrier child. One of her 2 children is a carrier, but the other, thankfully, is not. Cystic fibrosis robs its victims of being able to breathe properly and often has associated intestinal problems. Among those of Irish heritage, about 1 in 19 is a carrier, as compared to the average American's chances of 1 in 31. Hence Patricia's motto, "Run to breathe". She not only runs because she can, but she also runs to honor those living with CF, and those who have died from it.

Not only is Patricia passionate about raising awareness about CF by running, but she strongly supports other causes such as donating blood and platelets, being listed as both a bone marrow and organ donor, fundraising for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and anything to support the NYPD and FDNY. She is a beautiful person both inside and out.

Tips on getting started

Begin with short runs and incorporate some running and walking to build up endurance. Wear proper running shoes. Find a running buddy. Join local running clubs or NYRR. Compete in local fun runs. Make sure you're enjoying yourself and maybe find a cause near and dear to your own heart for more incentive.

September 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

September 2017 Table of Contents