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Sunday May 4, 2014     Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
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BT and me celebrating after my first 1/2 marathon!  She's also been at every Tri and made me a believer!
BT and me celebrating after my first 1/2 marathon! She's also been at every Tri and made me a believer!

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Ms. Mary Ann Gaskins Cox

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I want to share with you the nomination I wrote for the U.S. Triatholon's Rudy Athelete of the month, which BethAnn won in September 2010!

BethAnn has inspired me over the past 2 years where I met her through my husband Ben.  She has been there with me from my first 8K, through a number of sports events including my first 20K where she worked her way up to the podium to have the announcer say my name and have a race volunteer hand me an American flag to carry across the finished line.  She coached me through my first ? Marathon and most importantly through my most recent event, which was my first Sprint Triathlon.  What makes BethAnn so very special is she was diagnosed with brain cancer five years ago. But that doesn?t stop her from participating in her own marathons and triathlons ? or raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS).

In July she let a local Swim Team in a swim-a-thon in her honor, with some 100 members of the 125-person team ages 4-18 obtaining pledges per lap, and people donating whatever amount they wanted. They swam a total of 6,860 laps to raise nearly $5,000 for Team BT, Telford?s fund-raising organization for the NBTS.  In April she lead TeamBT in raising over $50,000 for brain tumor research, won the race as the leading female survivor and has had a grant in her name given to a researcher who we pray will make a difference.  She recently completed the IronGirl and is training for her 5th Marine Corp Marathon.  Before the Marathon she will be competing in the Richmond Marathon to qualify for her second Boston Marathon.

She works and trains hard, and was a role model for me and everyone she touches to see somebody whose daily life is a struggle, but she keeps pushing herself.  While BethAnn begrudgingly accepts what life?s dealt her, she also uses it as a springboard to propel her to achieve as much as she can, for as long as she?s able. She is constantly smiling and happy, fit and trim and if you met her you would not know anything?s wrong with her. She is doing her all she can to defy doctors? expectations.

Her first surgery was in 2005 to remove a tumor from her brain, and they told her then she'd have difficulty walking or running.  However that fall, she again ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  She relapsed several months later and that fall had another surgery. But that didn?t stop her or keep her from having a positive attitude.  This spring she qualified and ran her first Boston Marathon.  She has completed the Iron Man Triathlon in Lake Placid for the past two years and would love to qualify for the Kona Iron Man in Hawaii and I won?t be surprised when she does! 

She never ever gives up and has done so much to inspire me and all those who are blessed to know her. She allowed me to train using her top-of-the line Triathlon bike, she was at the end of the swim lanes cheering me on, yelling for me to pass and keep going faster at both the indoor trial and outdoor Sprint event.  She maneuvered my kids up to the finish line at my first 1/2 marathon to allow me see them cheer me on past the finish at which time they told me I was their hero!  As an older and overweight athlete trying to get back in shape and be a positive role model for my kids and lead a healthier life, she has given me courage and the ability to know I can turn my life around and reach goals I would have never dreamed possible.

For these reasons, I know she would be so touched and honored if she could be recognized as the Rudy Project Athlete of the Month.

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