Every Endo Woman finds her own way, be it through art, therapy, writing or exercise. For Courtney Hickson, it was running, and run, she did.
Hickson’s first challenge was a series of misdiagnoses, dating back to high school, one of which led to an appendectomy. Once endometriosis was determined to be the cause of her symptoms, she was on it, choosing running as a way to make her feel better.
In 2018, Hickson signed up with the Endometriosis Foundation of America to run the Rock n Roll half-marathon in Washington, D.C, training diligently with her running partner, Scott Arrington, And then, tragically, a car accident ended her life. Arrington stepped in, asking the Foundation whether he could run in her place, wearing her bib. He received an immediate, yes.
All members of Team EndoFound raise money for the cause during their running regime. Hickson applied herself to what might seem to some like a herculean task, spinning fundraising into fun, fruitful events. At Mystryde, a running studio and Everybodyfights, a boxing gym, Hickson orchestrated classes, applying admission fees to the cause. She also organized a raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses in Chelsea, Massachusetts, bringing her total to $1,111. After her untimely demise, contributions continued flowing in, quickly surpassing $10,000.
Courtney’s generosity knew no bounds. Running partner, Scott Arrington extols her virtues: “She was an extremely intelligent, strong individual who was dedicated to our community [Chelsea].” As a lawyer, she was passionate about inspiring young people to achieve great heights in her field, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds. She co-taught a course for the Future Lawyers Club, sponsored by Chelsea Community Schools, training a group of students ages 9-12 in order to participate in a mock trial at Chelsea District Court presided over by Judge Matthew Nestor. In addition, she ran a 5K last year, to support the local Boys & Girls Club. And last but not least, she had recently applied for and been approved for a seat on the Chelsea Planning Commission.
Her core group of friends, all acquired at a meet-up appropriately named Chel-yea — reflecting the enthusiasm of Chelsea’s residents for their community, are carrying on Courtney’s work. Their next event is a silent disco on February 17 at Chelsea Station Restaurant. “We’re planning to keep her memory alive through EndoFound; it’s one way our core group of friends has found to preserve her legacy,” friend Beth Novak says.
Courtney’s spirit is inspiring. Eight people have already signed on with Team EndoFound for the Rock n Roll Marathon Series in D.C. on March 9, with the majority opting for the 5K. Three slots await eager runners; send an email today to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours. Team EndoFound will also be running at Rock n Roll events in Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, and the New York City Marathon.
The half-marathon route is steeped in the history of the nation, following the banks of the Potomac River, winding through Foggy Bottom, skirting Capitol Hill and finishing at RFK Stadium. It is being held in March, Endometriosis Awareness Month.
All participants including patients, family, friends, and medical practitioners, benefit tremendously. For patients whose condition has improved through surgery or other treatment options, this may be the first time they are ready to take control of their bodies, affording them an incredible sense of accomplishment.
And this year, when Team EndoFound lines up at the starting line at the Rock n Roll marathon in D.C., Scott will be there, running a poignant tribute. Courtney’s friends will be cheering him on.
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