Morgan Armitage was encouraged to take up running as a way to manage her type 1 diabetes  by a close friend and mentor. She recognizes that she would not be where she is in life without amazing people who have mentored and supported her. Morgan is excited to join in Silver Lining Mentoring’s work to offer mentoring relationships to youth in foster care.  Here she shares why she’s running the 2016 Boston Marathon for Silver Lining Mentoring.

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I don’t need to delve into the rough patches my family has had, because every family has had their own.  What you do need to know, is that over the past fifteen years, our family has never been perfect.  I take that back—our family is perfect for us, chaotic mess and all.

I spent much of my life relying on my older sister, Nicole.  Nicole was the person I turned to when school was too hard, or I thought my parents were being unfair, or I was unhappy in a relationship.  I admired Nicole for her commitment to school and her amazing accomplishments as a dancer.  For most of my life I wanted to be like her.

Nicole went to college, and then moved away permanently when I was twelve years old.  Half of my life has now gone by without my older sister physically by my side, but over the past twelve years I have grown to understand and respect her for what she’s gone through and who she has become.

I have been a diabetic since the age of fourteen, so when my sister was admitted to the hospital recently with an extremely high blood pressure reading, I panicked.  We spent the night texting back and forth as I expressed concern for her condition, her treatment and more.  It was then that I realized—for the first time in my life, my sister might need to lean on me.  I thought of how many times life has thrown her to the ground.  I thought of the challenges she has faced, the times she felt alone, and her drive to become a better person because of it.  I realized it was time for me to be there for her.

I can’t say I am not scared for Nicole but I can say that this experience has taught me how important my relationship with my sister is.  I’ve watched Nicole make poor choices, but she always bounces back and owns her failures.  I could not be more proud of who my sister has become.

Thanks to Nicole, I am owning my training and fundraising for Silver Lining Mentoring!  I am owning both my accomplishments and my failures and I am bouncing right back.