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This is an update to a previous story that can be read here.

In 2013, when his 15-year-old daughter, Kate, first began receiving treatment in our Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, few things gave Steve Marra solace like running. Today, four years later, Steve continues to use his passion for endurance events to raise funds for groundbreaking pediatric cardiology research conducted by Kate’s cardiologist, Christopher Almond, MD.

Kate, now 20 and midway through nursing school, has recently donned navy-blue scrubs and begun her clinical rotations at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Kate is one of only 70 students from an initial nursing cohort of 350 that has made it to clinicals and she hopes to someday specialize in cardiology. We agree with Steve when he says, “Kate’s future patients will be in very good hands.”

“College has pushed me far beyond what I thought I was capable of in terms of academics and growth as a person. As a student nurse and former LPCH patient, I realize how important it is to support medical research which is why I am glad to be a part of my family's fundraising efforts,” Kate shares.

This past September, Steve completed the 2017 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon. This challenging course takes runners up and down 13.1 miles of dirt road through mountains and hills along the scenic Big Sur coastline.

“It was pretty miserable and there were moments I thought, ‘How can I do this? I have so many miles to go until the finish line,’” Steve shares. “Then I thought of all of the families I’ve met in the intensive care unit and their immense courage, and I thought of all the dedicated medical staff I’ve had the honor of being associated with. To honor them, I kept running and running and running and eventually, I crossed the finish line.”

Steve hasn’t stopped running and fundraising and is looking forward to his next events, the 2017 Death Valley Trail Half Marathon and back-to-back half marathons on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. To date, Steve has raised more than $13,000 to support pediatric cardiology research conducted by Christopher Almond, MD, associate professor of pediatric cardiology, and Stephen J. Roth, MD, professor of pediatric cardiology, at our hospital.

Kate and Steve continue to inspire us with their commitment to supporting our patients and the medical community. Congratulations, Kate, on reaching a milestone in your nursing career and as always, we’ll be rooting for you at your next race, Steve!

Please join us in cheering on Steve at his next race via his Champions for Children fundraising page, or join Team Packard as a Champion for Children.

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