Runner spotlight time! Meet Melissa DeAngelis from Wakefield, Massachusetts. We are honored to have Melissa as part of Team GP2C. “Not only is she a strong and passionate,” shares Amei Prachthauser, GP2C Program Manager, “but she is a fierce fundraiser with a team that rocks #girlpower! We appreciate her dedication 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?

We discovered the GP2C website shortly after Tessa was diagnosed, set up her page, and immediately got our purple cards.  Meeting so many people who understand what we go through has been incredible! 

What inspired you to run?

A local Rett family sponsored a 5K in 2014.  I hadn’t run in years, but it felt like it was something meaningful that I could do to try to make a difference.  Then I caught the running bug…

What is your favorite part of running for Team GP2C?

How supportive everyone is.  Everyone has the same goal for our girls and it is the warmest environment.  Team GP2C makes you feel like you are home!

What keeps you coming back?

The people, the amazingness of the Disney experience and knowing that what we are doing is going to help make a difference in Tessa’s life.  Our fundraising goes toward real research that will impact her life and the lives of so many other girls with Rett.

What would you tell other people that are thinking about joining Team GP2C?

Do it!  My first year with Team GP2C, I was the only runner on Team Tessa. Then last year I had 3 friends join, and they LOVED the experience.

Share a few lines of your favorite running song at the moment:

My favorite running song right now is “The Greatest” by Sia.  Some of my favorite lyrics are:

And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb
But I, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, I need another lover, be mine
Cause I, I, I got stamina
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

What would be a perfect afternoon for you?

An afternoon date with my husband – lunch and the movies with popcorn

Share one quote or saying that inspires you to keep going:

I saw this one on Instagram and I always come back to it “I can do this, I thought.  And even if I can’t, I have to.” That is basically my life in a nutshell.

What else is important in your journey, fight and experiences:

Having a child with a serious illness puts so much in perspective. My wish would be that everyone in life could experience that perspective for just one day.  Nothing I will ever endure is as hard as what Tessa endures everyday.  So that keeps me going – her strength and her perseverance are what fuel me.