Runner Spotlight: Kelly O'Donahoe

July 28, 2016

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Runner spotlight time! Meet Kelly O'Donahoe from Apopka, FL. We celebrate Kelly who has been an incredible addition to Team GP2C. "Not only is she a strong and impactful role model," shares Jen Tucker, GP2C Program Manager, "but she's rocking the #girlpower! We appreciate her compassion and are proud of her leadership, drive and dedication. She continues to make a difference... one step at a time!"

How did you get involved with GP2C?
I was running the 2014 Princess half marathon and while at the Expo and walking past the GP2C booth, Ingrid brought me into the GP2C booth (just her and I were there) to talk about Rett Syndrome. I had no understanding of what Rett syndrome was and Ingrid had such passion/drive speaking that it made such an impression on me that I didn’t forget about GP2C.

I walked away that day with a flower in my hand and Ingrid’s voice in my head. Fast forward to 2016 Disney Princess sign ups. I hadn’t planned on signing up for the Disney Princess at all. I let sign ups come and go. Then realized that I wanted to run the Princess and looked at the charity list. Low and behold GP2C was there again and was my only choice so I inquired and was put on a waiting list. I received an email from GP2C that they had a Glass Slipper bib, not one but two so my husband and I signed up without hesitation. Shortly after I was talking with my daughter Michelle who told me about Lily Detweiler (who is Michelle’s friends sister). Lisa (Lily’s Mom) and I hooked up and it’s been an awesome journey since.

What inspired you to become an athlete?
I don’t consider myself an athlete. However, I do enjoy running and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We started running after my daughter Alyssa ran the 5K at the 2013 Disney Princess run. My husband and I run quite a few races together each year and we now wear our GPC2 running shirts at most races.

What is your favorite part of running for Team GP2C?
The cause, the relationships and of course the families. We hope to meet more families this year. The friendship with Lisa, Lily and her family has been amazing so glad we met.

What keeps you coming back?
Knowing I can make a very small difference in the Rett World keeps me coming back.
The mission to help find a cure #untilshecan #powertheflower

What would you tell other people that are thinking about joining Team GP2C?
That they wouldn’t regret it, all of the dollars for research will help these families. Once, you come out and meet families with Rett Syndrome, you will know what your passion is and what you must do to help. It’s such a blessing to be a part of the GP2C team and they need your help.

Share a few lines of your favorite running song at the moment:
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

What would be a perfect afternoon for you?
To have all of my children together under one roof to spend time with each other.

Share one quote or saying that inspires you to keep going:
“When you think about quitting, think about why you started.”

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I am not only a volunteer and donor, I am also a mother of a Rett girl. This organization is more than inspiring! They made me want to do more than just wish and pray for a cure, but rather become part of finding one! They make you feel so welcomed and understood, as if they have known you all your life. 

— Tarah Miller