7 years ago, I met my then-boyfriend's mother, Marjorie Mooney, in Muskegon, Mich., for the first time. She had this positive spirit about her that made me feel at ease right away.

She was a joy to talk with and she was a loving mother and wife to her husband and children. The few conversations I had with her, one stood out, she asked me about my future with college and life and only being a junior in high school at the time, I didn't have much to tell her. She didn't judge or try to guide me in any direction, rather she said, "As long as you enjoy what you do and you have what need, you'll be happy." 

In May of 2013, Marjorie Mooney passed away from Stage IV cervical cancer. I was no longer dating her son but they were still a large part of my life.  

The day after I found out was my graduation ceremony from college. I went to a fabric store and I made turquoise cancer ribbons to wear on my graduation gown and my dress. It was a small tribute but it meant the world to me to have her spirit with me in those few hours.

Shortly after graduation, I was looking around online for something and I stumbled upon the Red, White, & Boom! TC Half Marathon. I remembered how much Marjorie loved to run before she was sick, she found her outlet and her peace and I wanted to share in her name, the joy of running. 

I signed up for the 2013 RWB half marathon and again wore the turquoise cancer ribbon. I ran and when I crossed the finish line, I knew I was hooked. Since then I have run 4 half marathons and will be running 11 more in 2014 along with my first full marathon at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. 

All thanks to a woman who I had only met a handful of times but became my inspiratiom to being the runner I am today.