13 Athletes Run with Team NHF in the 2019 NYC Half Marathon
Thirteen runners, nine states, thirteen miles, and one great cause: Team NHF are avid athletes who are excited to run on behalf of the bleeding disorders community. Together, they embody our community: passionate, dedicated, tough, and willing to take on new challenges. Meet the team who we’ll be cheering on in March.
Chrissy Holt | Annapolis, MD
Chrissy has been an advocate for access to healthcare for nearly all her adult life. Unaware that she was a carrier of hemophilia A, her first son died four days after birth from undiagnosed bleeding. Her second son, Colin, was diagnosed shortly after birth but with that came a second diagnosis: “uninsurable.” Chrissy and her family moved to Maryland to obtain insurance, and ever since she has been on the front lines fighting for insurance and care. She has testified in the Maryland state house, on Capitol Hill, and recently ran for state senator in Maryland. While this is her first half marathon, “I’ve been committed to Team NHF for decades.” Click here to support Chrissy!
Motto: Overcoming adversity and thriving!
George Skarpits | New York, NY
George is new to running, but he’s not letting that hold him back. Born with severe hemophilia A, he shied away from sports and physical fitness as a child but is determined to not only complete the NYC Half Marathon, but the full NY Marathon in 2020. “It took a bit of determination to get started,” he admits, but he is now comfortable with his training regime and is proud to run for Team NHF as an example of what people with bleeding disorders can do. Click here to support George!
Motto: What would Goggins do?
Julie Tarr | Indianpolis, IN
Julie Tarr is a living example of what it means to “go the extra mile.” While not personally affected by a bleeding disorder, she is godmother to one of two brothers with severe hemophilia A. Seeing their experiences dealing with the disorder as they grew up, it inspired her to become a donor of not only blood, but also plasma and platelets for the past 23 years. “Some people with bleeding disorders need things money can’t buy,” she explains. The 13 mile course will be her first time seeing New York City, and she is excited to take in the sights, as much as she is proud to run for her godson, Lucas. Click here to support Julie!
Motto: I think I can, I think I can!
The Little Sister
Leigh Langley | Yukon, OK
Leigh’s inspiration both as a runner and a mom of a child with hemophilia is her big brother. When they were children, her brother didn’t have the benefit of prophylaxis and now lives with two fused ankles. Despite that, three years ago he asked her to run with him in the Oklahoma City half marathon. “I wasn’t sure he could do it without a joint bleed,” she said. “We crossed the finish line together, and it was one of the most fulfilling times in my life.” She is grateful for the advances in treatment that promise a better future for her six-year-old son, and has joined Team NHF to show thanks. Click here to support Leigh!
Motto: We are blessed.
The Memory Keeper
Mark Ince | Kerryville, TX
When Mark’s father Jerry passed away in 2008, he was, Jeffrey believes, the oldest living person with hemophilia in the US. His father’s positive attitude throughout his life has made Mark realize how important a hopeful outlook is in the face of adversity. His father participated in many research studies, and Mark is determined to carry on that spirit of helping others as a member of Team NHF. Click here to support Mark!
Motto: Discipline, motivation, determination.
Michael Altese | Ann Arbor, MI
Michael has been pharmacy director for Cascade Hemophilia Consortium for more than 11 years, and during that time, he has gotten to know and appreciate the families living with bleeding disorders that he encounters. He has also seen the impact that the integrated care model can provide for those families. “Doctors, nurses, social workers, PTs and of course pharmacists coming together to care for a person – that’s how health care should work!” He is running for the entire bleeding disorders community. Click here to support Michael!
Motto: Supporting the whole community.
Nathan Schaefer | Brooklyn, NY
Nathan is acutely aware of the importance of access to care for people with bleeding disorders, and it’s his job to do something about it. As senior policy analyst for NHF, he helps build chapters’ local advocacy programs and helps monitor potential issues affecting access that might arise. “I need a quote,” said Nathan. “Something inspiring and moving.” He is running for the mission of NHF to improve the lives all people with bleeding disorders. Click here to support Nathan!
Motto: Your voice matters!
Neal Dannenberg | New York, NY
Neal is a marathon machine. He’s been an avid runner for six years, and in that short time has been able to complete 30 half marathons and seven full marathons, including four NY full marathons and six NY Half Marathons. He aims to finish under 1:50. He has mild hemophilia A, and is running with Team NHF to make a connection to the bleeding disorders community. Click here to support Neal!
Motto: We can do anything anyone else can do!
Nicole Kaes | Brooklyn, NY
“People are always surprised to learn that my husband has hemophilia,” says Nicole. Her husband has mild hemophilia, but she is aware of the challenges that the entire bleeding disorder community face. But the often-invisible nature of the disorder is what is inspiring her to run on Team NHF. “I'm still learning the challenges he faces on a daily basis, but I have learned this: people with bleeding disorders can have a happy life with the right approach, care team, and support. Running in the half marathon is a great way to show that while raising money for an important cause.” Click here to support Nicole!
Motto: We are growing stronger together.
The Big Sister
Rhielle Widders | Park City, UT
“Running,” says Rhielle, has brought her “incredible joy.” She joined Team NHF on behalf of her two sisters with von Willebrand disease. Seeing them unable to participate in activities due to joint bleeds or cramps so intense they can barely move has inspired her to both run and fundraise on their behalf. “Because a bleeding disorder has prevented my own blood (pun intended) from enjoying this sport, it’s only fitting that I use it to bring to light the challenges that come from living with a bleeding disorder.” Click here to support Rhielle!
Motto: Running is my life.
Zach Oatley | North Canton, OH
The youngest member of Team NHF, Zach was diagnosed with hemophilia B at birth. He is a senior in high school and has lettered for four years in cross country and track. He also maintains a 4.4 GPA and is an avid cellist. With plans to eventually become a doctor/hematologist, he is excited to run for Team NHF. “Being a part of Team NHF combines my two passions: running and hematology.” Click here to support Zach!
Motto: I will finish in the top ten for my age group!
James Uyeda | Tahoe, CA
As Senior Manager of Individual Giving, part of James' job is to meet with families affected by bleeding disorders and hear why they value NHF. Doing so, he's learned a lot about the community. "It's inspiring when you meet parents and grandparents of children with bleeding disorders, and how determined they are about the future for their kids or grandkids. You never hear, 'I can't,' or 'I won't.'" He's running for all the families who give back to the bleeding disorders community in so many ways. Click here to support James!
Motto: Living the dream!
Ian Landau | Brooklyn, NY
Ian has come to know the bleeding disorders community through his job as an editor and writer for Manifest, the company that produces NHF's quarterly magazine, HemAware. "In my work for HemAware, I have heard amazing stories of perseverance and marveled at the support that NHF provides." He is excited to run to raise awareness of NHF's mission. Click here to support Ian!
Motto: Don't run away from challenges. Run over them.