May 7, 2013

May's Inspiration of the Month: Fran

Meet Fran, nominated by her daughter, Gabby, for May's Inspiration of the Month. At 63, she's a breast cancer survivor, has lost over 100 pounds, and is preparing to run her first half marathon.

Fran says she was the "fat kid" growing up, before childhood obesity was an epidemic. She battled weight issues and yo-yo dieted most of her adult life. As Gabby describes, her mom lost weight before her wedding day and then participated in a few NYRR Mini 10K races during the 1980s. "There's a picture of her running the race in 1987...and someone on crutches is ahead of her! She wasn't fast, but she finished, and that's what was important."

In 2002, breast cancer struck. Medications caused Fran to gain weight and lose strength. She bravely overcame the disease, but shelved hopes of being fit. Instead, she counted her blessings and was happy to be alive.

When Fran retired three years ago, she was still 50 pounds overweight. Encouraged by her daughter, she joined a local gym. She hated going - like many do - but stuck with it. In time, she transformed the gym into a personal community. Now she leads an active lifestyle by running and taking fitness classes.

Running's empowered Fran. Right before turning 62, she returned to the NYRR Mini 10K nearly 60 pounds lighter, wearing a triumphant smile. Her perseverance also profoundly impacts her daughter. As Gabby says, "When I struggle with anything in life - running, body image, career, personal relationships - I think of my mother, who turned her life around in her 60s and never looked back, and I know I can follow her lead."

For Fran, her upcoming half marathon is just the beginning. She's chosen a sterling silver 13.1 charm on a rope chain as a reminder of her goal; but her running journey will certainly go much farther. Fran's committed to running NYRR's 9+1 program with Gabby for a spot in the 2014 NYC Marathon! "At a time when most people are slowing down," Gaby reflects, "she's speeding up, with no end in sight!"

Help us wish Fran all the best as she trains for her races. She's beaten cancer and weight issues; no doubt she'll conquer 13.1 and 26.2! Fran, #YouInspire!


  1. Wonderful story, wonderful woman!

    1. We're so glad you agree! Absolutely love Fran's story!