Fueled by Inspiration: The Stories Behind NHF’s Half-Marathon Team

The team ran the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half

On March 18, nine athletes laced up their sneakers to run 13.1 miles in Manhattan and help people with bleeding disorders. Each team member of Team NHF has a connection to the bleeding disorders community. Together, they raised $25,725 to support NHF’s mission. Meet the team and learn more about their reasons for running.

Dawn Evans

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dawn eats marathons for breakfast. She has 35 marathons under her belt and has run the New York City Marathon seven times. She is also the walk and event manager of the Northern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation. She dedicated her run to her son Dylan, who has severe hemophilia A; her husband, Brad; and her father, Don, who passed away from complications of hepatitis C.

 

Stefanie Polsinelli

New York, New York
A native New Yorker who regularly runs in Central Park, Stefanie dedicated her run to her sister Danielle, who has factor V deficiency, which affects approximately 1 in 1 million people worldwide. Her family became involved with NHF when Danielle was diagnosed. Stefanie was inspired to “raise money for the foundation that has been such an important resource for all of us.”

 

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Staten Island, New York
Jacqueline has been involved with the bleeding disorders community for most of her life. She ran for her brothers John and Alex, who have severe hemophilia A, and her son, Justin Rey, who has severe hemophilia A with an inhibitor. She ran with the hope that more people will learn about bleeding disorders.

 

Daniel Stellar and Deborah Cohen

Phoenix, Arizona, and Tenafly, New Jersey
The brother and sister team of Daniel and Deborah were a package deal: They raised money together. Daniel has severe hemophilia A and Deborah is a carrier. Daniel’s been running for more than 20 years, while Deborah started in the past two years, but both rose to the challenge. In fact, Daniel posted the best time of all of Team NHF, coming in at 1 hour, 50 minutes. Daniel dedicated his run to all the people in the hemophilia community who died of HIV/AIDS. Deborah ran for her brother and all the people around the world living with a bleeding disorder.

 

Jordan Wechsler

Scarsdale, New York
Jordan’s connection to the bleeding disorders community is through his job at Pfizer, Inc., supporting two hemophilia brands. He dedicated his run to the future of the community and is “looking forward to a better tomorrow” for all people with bleeding disorders.

 

Henry Witkop

Traverse City, Michigan
Henry is an experienced runner who has run the Boston Marathon several times. His connection to the community is through his wife, Michelle, who worked as a hemophilia treatment center nurse in Michigan for many years before joining NHF as head of research in 2017.

 

Garrett Hayes

Plano, Texas
The youngest member of Team NHF, Garrett is part of NHF’s National Youth Leadership Institute (NYLI). He’s been active in the bleeding disorders community for many years. As someone with severe hemophilia A, he hopes running the half-marathon shows that having a bleeding disorder isn’t a barrier to staying healthy and active.

 

Jessica Beggs

Westminster, Colorado
Jessica’s story is sadly familiar to many in the community. When she was 4, her brother Christopher, who had severe hemophilia A, passed away from AIDS at the age of 9. Her run was dedicated to her brother and the desire to keep his memory alive.