2017 Boston Marathon Team WUNners “Runner Spotlight”


On April 17, 2017, Wake Up Narcolepsy will be represented by six dedicated team members at the start line in Hopkinton, MA for the 2017 John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Program. Our team members represent just about every region in the US and Canada, and all come to us with different backgrounds and reasons for running as a member of our Team WUNners.

Mark from Highland, Utah is a team member who is inspired to run for his wife who was diagnosed with narcolepsy six years ago after searching for a diagnosis for more than 16 years.  It is his wife’s courage, perseverance and passion for life that motivates Mark to run. He has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $7,500 for Wake Up Narcolepsy, and he hopes to help Team WUNners reach their goal of $50,000 for narcolepsy research with his efforts. With 36 days to go until the race, Mark has raised $3,100 – almost half way to his fundraising goal. To donate to Mark, please visit his fundraising page HERE.

Mark’s story:

I run because I helps me to clear my head of any worry or stress that I have been carrying. It is the only time that I have to myself to think. For those minutes on the roads or trails, whether it’s thirty minutes or three hours, I feel completely in control, and I am able to focus. There is seriously nothing like it! I have been running now for about 7 years. I began running when a friend of mine convinced me to participate with his family in an overnight relay race. I am always up for a challenge so I accepted, not knowing what I was getting into. I showed up very under-prepared and thought nothing of it! It was such a challenging race, but I had such a fun time. Since that experience, I have run over 20 half marathons, and 12 full marathons. I have had my ups and downs with running. I feel truly blessed to be able to do be able to run, and to have the healthy body that I have. I want to give back and that’s why I am running for Team WUNners.

I am really excited once again to be able to run the Boston Marathon. Last time I was in Boston, it was the year of the bombings. This year, there is definitely a lot more meaning to run on behalf of WUN. To be able to run for Team Wake Up Narcolepsy is such an honor for me. Narcolepsy is such a unique disease that most of the public are unaware of. This is close to my heart because my dear wife was diagnosed with this disease 6 years ago. It has changed her life and our life dramatically. But I completely admire her for her strength courage, perseverance, and passion to live a full life!

Most people don’t know much about narcolepsy other than it makes you sleepy. It is so much more than that. I want to bring more awareness to this disease, and if I can help contribute some funds for research, that would make me so thrilled! My wife has struggled with this disorder for over 20 years and it took her around 16 years before she was able to get a diagnosis. This is why I am doing this, because I love her, she is my rock!

It has been tough asking people for money. I feel like there are plenty of great charities that you can put your dollars towards. However, I am hoping that I can help bring awareness to this unique disease, and also I hope to educate the public so that others don’t need to wait 16 years before they receive a diagnosis themselves.

I look forward to the opportunity and the challenge of the 2017 Boston Marathon, and can’t wait to represent Team WUNners!

Since 2010, our Boston Marathon Team WUNners has raised more than $400,000 for narcolepsy research, and through the efforts of team members like Mark, we are confident that we will add $50,000 from the 2017 John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Program to that total.

Wake Up Narcolepsy is dedicated to supporting narcolepsy awareness and research to find a cure. To learn about Wake Up Narcolepsy, please visit our website HERE.