Name: Denise Illsley
Marathon Experience: I ran the Boston Marathon in 2006 for Team Brigham. As a registered nurse at Brigham and Women's Hospital I was honored to be part of the team raising funds for Passageways which serves women in domestic violence situations and assists women with pre and post-natal care.
I also ran the Baystate Marathon in Lowell in 2006.
Reason For Running: http://w.mattyeappen.org/denise-illsley.html
I am running this year for the Matty Eappen Foundation which strives to educate caregivers and the public about the prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome, now called Abusive Head Trauma, is a severe type of head injury caused by forceful shaking of an infant. When a baby is shaken, his/her brain impacts the skull. This can result in bruising, swelling, and bleeding of the brain which causes permanent damage and even death. SBS is not an accident and can be prevented. Never Shake a Baby!! Sunny and Debbie Eappen lost their beautiful baby boy in 1997 after he was violently shaken by his care provider. They have been able to turn their tragedy into a foundation which helps protect children and support victims and their families. I have a personal connection with the foundation after working closely with Sunny Eappen at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and as a labor and delivery nurse, a mother of 4 grown sons and now a grandmother to a beautiful baby girl, I strongly support the foundations efforts to protect all babies and families from this tragedy.
For me, running is a gift - one I don't take lightly, and to be able to run and give back is an honor and a privilege.
Training Tip: My biggest tip is to join a running group like the one I belong to - Merrimack Valley Striders. It helps so much to have the support of a running group whether you are walker learning to run or a 5 minute miler. With MVS you will always have a partner to run with and your running friends will soon become your running family!! Start slow, build slow and stay healthy!!