That is what a 6-year-old Jayme Nunes, my best friend, yelled at the runners when her father took her to watch a cross country race for the first time. Little did Jayme know that she would join those runners in their mad-dash for the finish line.
Her first experience with running came with her first job in fifth grade. She had gotten a paper route and would rush home and run the entire paper route to get done as fast as she could. From there, her love for running grew. She started middle school cross country and then moved to the high school team when she was a freshman.
She found success in high school and got recruited to run cross country and track at Chadron State College. During her college career, she broke the indoor 5k record, and still holds the 10k record for the track and field team.
“Running has pushed me farther than I ever thought I could go, and I am grateful for that. I am also thankful for the opportunity to put on my running shoes everyday and run for a person who has taught me that giving up is never an option,” Nunes said.
One of her biggest inspirations for running is her father, Jerry. Just a year after Jayme was born, her father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. This disease attacks the immune system and causes connection problems between the brain and the rest of the body. And unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease.
Jayme, an Alliance native, remembers a time when her father could chase her and her siblings around the backyard and help her practice ballet. But as the disease has taken its toll on his body, he now spends much of his time in a wheelchair.
“He faces and overcomes small battles every day and the basic tasks that I take for granted, he struggles with. However, MS could never take away his vivacious spirit or the love he has for his family,” Nunes said.
She has a close relationship with her father and remembers him and his struggles every time she laces up her running shoes. She wants to run for those who cannot. Before every race, her father calls her and says, “Give them the old ‘What for!’” This reminds Jayme to run her best and give the race her all, every time.
Recently, Jayme applied to run a section of a 3,000 mile relay across America to raise awareness and funds to help cure Multiple Sclerosis.
During the MS Run the U.S. relay, Jayme will run a 160 mile segment of the relay beginning in Holdrege and finishing in Lincoln in just six days. That is roughly a marathon, everyday, for six days.
In order to participate in this relay, Jayme must raise $10,000 for the cause. She has many fundraisers planned and has a donation page set up so people can do what they can to help her reach her goal.
“I want people to realize that the donations are not for me. It means a lot to me that they donate to this cause because Multiple Sclerosis has had such an impact on my family, but their donations mean even more to the people living with the disease. I’m doing this for those who can’t. I want a cure for MS, but they (those suffering from the disease) are the ones who really need it,” Nunes said.
Jayme wants to help give MS the old “What for.” To donate or learn more about Jayme or MS Run the U.S., like the Facebook page “MS Run the US – Jayme Nunes,” at https://www.facebook.com/msruntheusjaymenunes/?notif_t=page_fan , or contact Jayme at her email firstname.lastname@example.org.