Congratulations to the new members of Team Chris on their successful completion of the Alexandria Half Marathon! Erin Balaban and Erin O'Neill finished strong at the race on May 25th after months of training and raising awareness for our cause. Balaban, who was a friend of Chris' from Pender United Methodist Church, had this to say on her fundraising website:
"I want nothing more than to say thank you to Chris for all the happiness, kindness, and grace that he showed this world and for teaching me to fight back against the pressures of our environment to be stronger in character not in popularity."
Erin O'Neill, a friend of Balaban's, ran in memory of her uncle, Mike Cancio, who passed away in 2012 after a long struggle with drug addiction. He was 44 years old. O'Neill said "The Chris Atwood Foundation is such an amazing cause and I'm so thankful to be running this race for CAF and with my lifelong friend Erin B."
TheCAF is honored to have these poweful and gracious women running on Team Chris and we are so proud of their accomplishments, both in running 13.1 miles and raisng over $3,000 for our shared cause.
Several people also ran the 5k that day including Chris' mother, Anne Atwood, two of Anne's friends, and returning Team Chris member, Katie Ernst. Several people on the course asked what Team Chris was and were very touched to learn about why we run. We hope that every time we share the stories of Chris, Mike Cancio, and others who have lost their battle, we make an impact in someone's life that will ripple into the future and change the way people talk about and treat addiction.