Stories and Media Coverage

Inspirational stories from patients, families, and medal donors

Medal Donor Stories

“In 2003 my daughter became severely ill 6 months before she was to graduate from high school. I quit my consulting job to help her. I realized I needed to do something that was healthy and show my family we had vigor to take on what was ahead. I trained for my first full marathon in 2004. We took her to innumerable physicians and she had innumerable tests. Six years later she was diagnosed with Long Term Chronic Lyme’s Disease and Babesiosis, and I kept running.  She is now on a solid road to the best state of health she has had in awhile. My races and medals have always meant to keep trying, stay healthy and persevere for recovery. “

“I earned the “Rock CF” medal after running a half marathon to benefit those fighting cystic fibrosis. I wanted to give this medal to someone who is fighting a much tougher fight than I am. Hang in there!”

“I am sending my previous year’s collection of marathon, half marathon and triathlon medals to the Portland Oregon Chapter Foot Traffic Store on Taylor. Each medal represents a milestone to me in terms of distance. I am a lousy swimmer but I get through it. But, it is not in anyway equivalent to the struggle behind the illnesses of those that receive these medals. To me, donating the medals makes them mean so much more when those who can not race can wear these medals as a testament to their real strength, fighting a battle that lasts a lifetime, not just a few hours. “

“I have never been an avid runner but one day I decided to push myself to run something that I felt to be impossible. I trained for a half marathon and from that I enjoyed the training aspect of running. The dedication it takes and commitment. I hope my medals can help those in need and allow them the opportunity to know that I believe in them and am with them every step of the way.”

“Medals are from the various races I’ve participated in since 2009, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. I didn’t start running until I was nearly 30. Before I started running, I considered myself a nerd without zero athleticism. I had no confidence in my body or my ability to do anything that required physical stamina or strength. But then my best friend started training for a sprint triathlon, and she urged me to start going to the gym with her to support her. While training was hard at first, as I gained more fitness, I started enjoying running. Soon after, I hit a rough patch in my life, and running became the way I let go of the frustration, pain, and anger that I was experiencing in my life. As my body grew stronger, running also helped me gain confidence and courage to challenge myself to do things I would’ve never before. I ran a full marathon, participated in sprint triathlons, and tried surfing. These medals are reminders of my perseverance and triumphs during a dark time in my life, and I hope they help provide some light and strength to others fighting their own tough fights.”

“These 16 medals run the gamut for me — they’re made up of some grueling performances and some of my best. The Gear Western Half Marathon medal is from the only race where I’ve earned an Age Group award. Some were earned in rain, some in snow, and more than a few in blistering summer heat. But each medal is a reminder of the hard work that goes in each day to continue to improve.”

“I never was supposed to have participated in the Pacific Half Marathon.  Since childhood, I’d had flat feet.  But having read about a brand new half-marathon that was to traverse the hills and dales of Agoura Hills, California on March 28, 2009, I longed to be part of it.  My plan was to walk the entire race.  Race day arrived, and I was so excited to be at Paramount Ranch, admiring the Wild West storefronts and shivering in the early morning air.  Then we were off!  For the first 10 minutes, there were three folks behind me.  But for the rest of the race, I was back of the pack.  It would take me nearly four hours to complete the race.  By the time I reached the six-mile mark, I couldn’t even SEE any other racers.  At nine miles, there were trucks behind me, removing road barriers.  At 12 1/2 miles, I ran through the park where the finish line was located (the only time I ran) and earned a beautiful finisher’s medal.  I now donate this medal with this message:  Never give up! “

“I will send about a dozen of a sampling of my collection over the more recent years as a tribute to persons who persevere, are heroic, keep themselves motivated, and inspire others through their own difficult times.   Persons who demonstrate the depths of the giving and living human spirit deserve a lot more than medals.   However, sometimes having something tangible to hold on to and to show gives a bit more of a boost to the braveness of their soul that understands the fragility of life and its meaning in giving to others.  To the recipients:  You inspire me!”

“I started running at age 39 to help me de-stress being a mother to three young children and working. Running became so much more to me – my therapy, my calendar, my problem solver, my organizer – it became more than just “going for a run”. In the past 10 years I have run 4 marathons, 20 half marathons, 2 relay races and countless other 10k’s and 5k’s. I was not an athlete as a kid – skinny, awkward and never encouraged. Running has given me a confidence I didn’t even know existed in me. I didn’t just want to throw away my medals – they are special to me however just sit in a box. I found your website and I knew this is where I wanted them to go. To brave kids who are running their own marathon.”

“I began to run after an autoimmune disease left me barely able to walk. I decided I was going to not only walk, but run through the pain, and I also started to run to find quiet and solace in my own mind, and to build personal strength away from friends and family. I just kept going, and have 5 half marathon medals, and a Warrior Run medal.”

“The lunar eclipse metal was my very first medal for running. I saw the impact m4m was making and promised that my first medal would go to the long Island chapter. The woman that runs the chapter is the most beautiful soul. “

“I have been running for the past few years, prior to my then boyfriend’s (and now husband) diagnosis of lung cancer. He has just passed away three years after his diagnosis. I would like to do all I can to encourage all who are undergoing treatment, having experienced first hand how trying cancer treatments can be.”

“I have been competing as an athlete in running, triathlon and cycling for roughly 6 years. My elite athlete standings and ability have won me countless medals for my race efforts. While I love putting in the training, competing and getting results, the medals just sit there, piling up and collecting dust. I have the memories, I do not need the physical medal. I am thrilled that these medals can be given purpose and provide some meaning or excitement in someone else’s journey. “

“Sean Jenkins is a friend of mine that shared a news story of his battle with Parkinson’s disease”

“CHOP was my hospital growing up – they do amazing work. Hope someone out there can enjoy this medal as well!”

“This medal was earned at the Bird-In-Hand half marathon in Lancaster county, PA! It’s a beautiful race with lots of countryside to enjoy during the run! We saw cows, horses, pigs, and more during our travels! The medal itself is an actual used horse shoe. Shoes were collected, then the engraved plate was added to make each medal one-of-a-kind! I ran this race with one of my best friends. It was tough at times, but great company always seems to make things a little easier when the going gets rough! Oh – and I almost forgot! Before the race, they sent hot air balloons into the sky ahead of us!! AMAZING!!”

“My medal(s) come from a life long belief that we are made to perform to the best of our abilities.  The dedication and training that leads up to race day is all rewarded in the end with a great experience and commemorated with a medal.  Like you, I had to endure a life threatening disease.  I spent a year of constant doctor and hospital visits for treatments and therapy.  The medals remind me to give thanks for what I have in life and to make the most of it.  I hope you do the same.  Life is good.”

“Here are some medals from my journey running a marathon in all 50 states. I am on my second time doing this and 2 things happened. I got cancer and my knee is worn out. I am still fighting and I hope the recipient is too.\r\nOne day at a time and one mile at a time. Persistence and patience.”

“Forwarding on to another warrior in his/her race … my medals of the very first triathlon I competed in and surely thought I’d never finish.  Not only did I finish, I took third place for my age division proving at least to me that if you stick with it … you’ll likely see results you never thought possible.”

“I started to compete in my middle 50’s.  I am not really skilled in running, swimming or biking but I enjoy training and am relieved when the event is over. Although I could swim proficiently using breast stroke I could not swim freestyle at all.  So, my initial motivation for a triathlon  was to learn to swim freestyle well enough to complete 1/2 mile and then 1 mile in open water. Each event has been a huge challenge and although I do not have significant times,  I am proud of being a finisher and working toward a goal of doing a little better each time. My husband has become a runner and competes too.  We have a 6 year old goldendoodle who loves to run with us:)  I read about this project several years ago but wasn’t yet ready to part with my medals.  I am now and very appreciative of the  joy these medals bring. I hope they provide good, healing energy. Keep up the great work!”

Recipient Stories

“My 4 year old daughter received a medal during a hospitalization in May.  The message of bravery and strength that accompanied this medal had such a positive impact on both of us.  For her, it validated the journey she has been on since birth…she has undergone 10 major surgeries, countless painful procedures, and numerous hospitalizations across 4 different states…she exemplifies resiliency, strength, courage and grace.  For me, it inspired me to try to bring the smile and joy my daughter felt to another child in a similar situation.  I decided that day to train for my first marathon which I completed in honor of my daughter and this program last week. “

“My 17 year old daughter Maggie was presented a medal at her bell-ringing ceremony after 2 years of treatment for colon cancer. It means more to her than we can possibly put into words. Thank You!”

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Tulsa, Okla. – Medals4Mettle (M4M) will present 85 medals to Ascension St. John health care workers during two ceremonies at Ascension St. John Jane Phillips in Bartlesville, OK and Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 to honor their commitment, sacrifice and essential role in the COVID-19 Pandemic. The medals will be given along with the “Extra Mile” Award for Extraordinary Pandemic Service. The award recipients were nominated by their peers. Read the full press release …
Tulsa, Okla. – Medals4Mettle (M4M) will present 85 medals to Ascension St. John health care workers during two ceremonies at Ascension St. John Jane Phillips in Bartlesville, OK and Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 to honor their commitment, sacrifice and essential role in the COVID-19 Pandemic. The medals will be given along with the “Extra Mile” Award for Extraordinary Pandemic Service. The award recipients were nominated by their peers. Click the image to read the full press release.

Recipient Stories