Marathon Monday will have local runners hitting the pavement on 26.2 mile, running for the cjhallenge or to help local charities raise funds. Either way, runners will be pounding their bodies harder than the course. Monday will the culmination of many months of running hundreds of miles in the cold, rain and snow.
From the starting line in Hopkington to the Wellesley College scream tunnel to the steady climb up Heartbreak Hill to finally sprinting towards the finish line on Boylston Street, thousands of runners will be cheered on by the tens of thousands of onlookers.
One local runner is Araeyus Vakil, a Boston University student, who will be amongst thousands this April to run the 120th Boston Marathon. While his eye will be set on the finish line for the grueling 26.2 miles, the real finish line for Araeyus, who is running as part of Tedy’s Team, led by former New England Patriots linebacker and stroke survivor, Tedy Bruschi, will be an end to stroke. Araeyus is running this year’s Marathon in honor of his mother and stroke hero, Niloufer.
In October 2014, Araeyus’ mother suffered a stroke. Fortunately, his father was able to get her medical attention fast, which kept her from having any permanent paralysis.
“I felt helpless at the time and I wish that I had known more about stroke and how to recognize the warning signs,” explained Araeyus. “Through my participation with Tedy’s Team, I want to raise funds and awareness to help minimize the impact of stroke and prevent others from going through what my family has.”
On Monday, April 18, Araeyus and his teammates will be motivated by their stroke heroes as they tackle the 120th Boston Marathon®. They will celebrate the passion and inspiration of Tedy’s Team, honoring both the survivors and the loved ones lost to the region’s No. 5 leading cause of death.
“It’s an honor for me to be running the prestigious Boston Marathon with Tedy’s Team,” Araeyus said. “Crossing the finish line in honor of my mom will be a very special moment for me.”
On February 15, 2005, just weeks after winning his third Super Bowl and days after playing in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, Tedy suffered a stroke at the age of 31. As he recovered, Tedy and his wife, Heidi, dedicated themselves to raising awareness of stroke and being advocates and inspiration for stroke survivors throughout Massachusetts, New England and all over the country.
Since its inception in 2005, Tedy’s Team has raised over $3.5 million for stroke research and educational programs with the support and dedication of close to 1,000 participants. This year’s team of 40 runners is on track to raise $400,000. In addition to raising funds, Tedy’s Team continues to raise awareness of stroke and its warning signs and symptoms.
To support Araeyus’s fundraising efforts, visit http://tedysteam2016.kintera.org/araeyusvakil.