Jackie grew up in Corpus Christi and found a job in the oil and gas industry after graduating from college. Three weeks after moving to Houston, she was in a horrific car accident. She spent three months recuperating in the hospital, and shortly before she was released, her doctor ordered a routine MRI to confirm she was ready to go home. The MRI showed a spot on Jackie’s thyroid, and she was told she should eventually have it checked out. When she finally made an appointment at another doctor’s office, the radiologist that was drawing the fluid from her thyroid was a young man who was fresh out of nursing school. Jackie says that as soon as he saw the fluid, his eyes bulged and he exclaimed, “Oh no!” Jackie begged him to tell her what he saw. His only response was that he was not authorized to relay the information, but she should “expect the worst.” The next day she received a call informing her that she had cancer and her thyroid needed to be removed immediately. By the time she was admitted for surgery at MD Anderson, the growth had doubled in size and she had new spots on her lymph nodes. Thankfully, the surgeons were able to remove the tumors and she has been cancer free for 10 years. Looking back on that painful time in her life, Jackie realizes that if she had not been in the car accident, she may have died from cancer! She feels like the wreck actually ended up being a blessing that saved her life. After the surgery, Jackie slowly regained her strength and decided to start running. Her workout regimen consisted of running 3 easy miles, 3 days per week. She loved the freedom and stress relief running provided. In 2007, Jackie met her husband. They were married two years later and their sons were born in 2011 and 2013. During this time, Jackie entered a couple 5Ks, but she never wavered from her 9 miles per week training routine until 2014 when she met Bayou City Road Runner’s Larry Lindeen at one of these races. He insisted she should come to Memorial Park and join one of the BCRR Sunday morning long runs. Jackie says the 1st time she showed up @ the Memorial Park Tennis Center for the BCRR 10-mile long run, she was unsure of exactly where she should go. Loris Fusi, another longtime BCRR member, saw Jackie looking lost & asked if she needed help. Jackie says she will never forget that day. She loved being at the Park, but she was also shocked that she could finish the workout since it was a mile longer than what she normally ran in an entire week. Soon, running @ Memorial Park became a key part of her weekly routine & she has developed many lasting friendships through her time on the trail. As Jackie’s workouts began to intensify & her mileage increased, she was thrilled to see her times dropping. However, she also insisted that she had no interest in competing in a race that was longer than a 5K, even though she was training w/ other runners who were competing in this year’s Houston Marathon. Then, in the fall of 2016, Jackie decided to enter the HMSA 25K in honor of Stephanie Bonk, one of her training partners who was injured & could not compete. Jackie ended up winning the 25K & received an automatic Elite entry to the 2017 Houston Marathon. She was terrified @ the thought of racing for such a long distance but decided she should give it a try. The hot weather made the race very difficult, but she was inspired enough to try again at The Woodlands in March where she was the third woman across the finish line. Throughout 2016, Jackie & her husband had been longing to have another child. Despite the joys she was experiencing through running, she was frustrated that she was not able to become pregnant. Her husband suggested she should stop running, but Jackie was worried she would become a total grouch. She says running keeps her calm, helps her focus, & brings her joy. However, in March she decided to heed her husband’s advice & take some time off. Today, Jackie says she misses Memorial Park terribly. She cannot wait until she is able to return to the trail & see her friends. However, she is also excited to announce she is 8-weeks pregnant! She is thankful for this new season in life & looks forward to what the future holds.