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Trifecta teammate, runs to honor her Dad’s legacy

Teammate Takeover
Lauren Machado after she completed the Duke City Half Marathon

Rookie runner, Lauren Machado, is taking over our blog this week to share why she is so passionate about raising more awareness for stroke and heart disease.

In January of 2005, while away at a hockey tournament with my brother, my Dad, Paul, suffered a stroke. He was only 46 years old. When my Dad has his stroke, he was alone, but recognized that something wasn’t quite right, and he called 9-1-1. I was just 9 years old at the time: I didn’t even know what a stroke was, let alone what the warning signs were. I now understand how fortunate my Dad was to recognize that he needed help and that he was able to call 9-1-1 right away.

Photo of Lauren with her family outside their home

Machado Family: L-R; Lauren, Paul, Tori, Helene and John

After a few months of rehab, my Dad was able to make a full recovery. Even with this major health setback, my Dad never let it define who he was. Whether he was coaching softball and baseball, standing in freezing cold hockey rinks, waking up at 6AM on Saturdays for field crew up at the Braintree soccer fields, or sitting in a gym watching a gymnastics meet, he was always there for me, my brother and my sister. Him and my amazing Mom, Helene, were our biggest fans.

My Dad was deeply involved in the Braintree community, and loved giving back to everyone around him. Growing up he would always tell us, “If you are doing something good or performing well, you will know because others will tell you. No need to bang your own drum.” My Dad didn’t do anything for the recognition, he did it because he cared, and he wanted to help as many people as he could.

Unfortunately, 12 years later, on February 11, 2017, our lives changed forever when we lost our hero. My Dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack at just 59 years old. From that day forward, I vowed that I would continue my Dad’s legacy of giving back to the people around me.

Last summer, I joined Tedy’s Team as a part of their “Trifecta Team,” which consists of running the Falmouth Road Race, the Boston Marathon and a destination travel race that changes each year. This year’s travel race was the Duke City Half Marathon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Through my involvement with Tedy’s Team, I have been able to raise life-saving funds for stroke and heart disease research and raise more awareness of the warning signs of stroke in memory of my Dad.

My family knows how blessed we were to have 12 more years with my Dad after his stroke. I hope by raising more awareness, more families can have additional years of memories together too.

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