Monday, March 23, 2015

Introducing Fran!

In a previous post ( I mentioned that I have gotten involved with the Running for Rare Diseases team. I am the patient partner to Fran Crofts who is running the Providence Marathon on May 3 in Rhode Island. I promised a more detailed post introducing Fran, and here it is! These are questions I sent to Fran for her to answer, so everything is in her words =)

When did you get into running?

I started running at age 13 when I moved from humid Texas where we moved as slowly as we could to the cool foothills of Salt Lake City, Utah. I stopped running around 24 years of age, and after an 18 year break and 2 kids, started running again a few years ago.

How many races (5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, etc.) have you run?

Good question! I don’t know how many 5 and 10k’s. I’ve run 5 half marathons and 2 marathons, including Philadelphia in 2013 and NYC in 2014.

What is your favorite race that you have done and why?

It might be the Philadelphia half marathon in 2012. It was my first big city race, and the crowd support and signs were a lot of fun and helped the time go by quickly. Plus, it was a beautiful day!

What do you do for a career?

For the past 17 years, I was a toxicologist supporting development of medicines. I recently changed careers slightly and am working in a business development group within the same company, helping manage a partnership with a small company working on treatments for genetic cardiomyopathies and evaluating new investment opportunities.

Do you have any pets?

We have 2 pets. A cat named Kitty, and a rescue mutt named Zoey.

What do you like to do when you're not running or working?

Read and hang out or hike or ski with my husband and 2 kids.

How did you get involved with Running for Rare Diseases?

I heard about the group a couple of years ago and applied to be a runner and to partner with a patient this year. I was fortunate to be paired with Kylene.

Why do you want to be involved in the rare disease community?

Because I wanted to be supportive. Since then, I’ve heard many touching and heart-felt stories and learned how difficult it can be for many patients to get an accurate diagnosis. I now have a smart, inspirational patient partner, Kylene, and I’m looking forward to “running for rare” in the Providence Marathon on May 3rd!

I hope this gives you a glimpse of who Fran is and her desire to be a part of raising awareness for rare disease research. We have been paired as runner and patient partner to be a part of the Running for Rare Diseases 2015 Team to raise awareness for rare diseases and funding for the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at NIH. Had we not found answers with Dr. Afrin for me, this program was on our radar as a possibility, as our last resort to finding answers. This cause is very personal to me, and I am glad to be a part of a team that is committed to helping others find answers. If any of you would consider joining us in raising awareness and funding by donating to Fran's fundraising page (, that would be awesome!

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