Jul. 09, 2018

Adrienne Baer: Running for a Loved One

This profile is part of a series highlighting people who are participating in the Team Make Your Mark program. This September, Team Make Your Mark walkers, joggers and runners will take on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia 5K, 10K or Half Marathon. In addition, participants can join the Choose Your Own Race team to run or walk in any race or distance of their preference. For more information, please visit www.lupus.org/makeyourmark.

In early March 2018, Adrienne received the most unexpected phone call of her life. Her aunt suddenly passed away. Growing up, Adrienne knew that her aunt was often sick, but she had no idea that she suffered from lupus. It wasn’t something that her aunt talked about or shared with her.

After the heart-breaking news she received in March, Adrienne knew she had to do something to honor her aunt, while also raising lupus awareness. Following a quick google search, Adrienne decided to take on her first half marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle with Team Make Your Mark.

“I immediately felt like I was part of a team. I had a coach to help me with fundraising, I had coach Dan to help me with training and after our team call I realized I was going to be running with people with stories similar to mine, but also with people that had lupus. It was unbelievably motivating.”

Although Adrienne didn’t know her aunt had lupus and was just learning about the disease herself, she was ready to hit the ground running with her fundraising. “I had to become comfortable with sharing my story and be confident in the fact that people wanted to listen and they wanted to help,” said Adrienne. She started with sharing a post on her social media pages talking about her aunt’s story, her sudden passing and the effect it had on her as well as her family. She also reached out individually to close friends to share her journey with Team Make Your Mark, and soon after started seeing donations come in.

While Adrienne aimed to raise $1,250, once she reached her goal she decided to increase her fundraising, knowing that every goal she set she could pass – which led to her raising $3,200! In the process of fundraising, Adrienne also heard from numerous people thanking her for her efforts and sharing how lupus had affected them – whether through a friend or family member.

When it came to race day, Adrienne was nervous – but she knew she had a huge support team in Team Make Your Mark, a team that became like family. “You can’t miss our purple on the race course!” said Adrienne.

“My best advice for race day and training is to think of that person. There are so many days when you need to do a training run, and maybe it’s pouring rain and you don’t want to do it. Hang onto that why and get out there!”