Running 26.2 miles to end Alzheimer’s is one thing. Now multiply that by four.
Siblings Chase, Cody, Hallie, and Jacob are running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon next month on team ALZ Stars to raise awareness and funds for a cure. The four Wombacher siblings are totalling 104.8 miles—not including the many miles spent training and completing previous marathons.
Every stride is meaningful for the family. They are running in honor of their Grandma Toot, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and their Great Aunt Donna, who passed from the disease in 2018.
The Wombacher siblings shared, “We are going the distance with the Alzheimer’s Association ALZ Stars®, a program to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Association. We are running not just for our Grandma Toot and Aunt Donna, but for all those who have been affected by this terrible disease both directly and indirectly.”
Their Grandma Toot has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for some time. Cody shared about his grandma, “When Grandma Toot was diagnosed with Alzheimers, it hit hard. She was always so strong and independent. Growing up across the street, she was always the first to see me when I arrived home from Chicago and the last to say goodbye before heading back.
“Grandma Toot is a fighter and a competitor,” he shared. She taught the four siblings and their cousins how to be good competitors, starting at the golf course she owned.
”We are lucky enough to still have Grandma Toot with us today but sadly Alzheimers has taken away so much of what we know and love about her…Though she is not the same person she used to be, getting to see those small glimmers of her personality, feistiness and humor come out is truly the greatest feeling in the world!”
In addition to their grandma’s journey with Alzheimer’s, the Wombachers lost their Great Aunt Donna to the disease in 2018. She was like another grandma to the siblings. Having no children of their own, they spoiled the four kids generously.
The Wombacher team, nicknamed Wombie Runners, includes novice and experienced marathoners alike. This is Hallie and Jacobs’ first Marathon, Chase’s third, and Cody’s twelfth marathon! Chase and Cody live in Chicago; Jacob and Hallie live in Iowa City, IA. When they’re not training, they spend time with their families. Some of their favorite post-run treats include chocolate milk, cold beer and Tootie Burgers—a family staple of legendary proportions.
“Running has always been a part of our family,” shared Cody. “And what better way to honor and help bring awareness to this disease than to run a marathon together.”
Learn more about team ALZ Stars and donate to Wombie Runners here.