Once again the CJ Foundation has a team of dedicated runners, many of who have been touched by SIDS or SUID. Get to know them and support their efforts!
Kyra Oliver: Team CJ Coach/Trainer
Kyra Oliver is a health and wellness enthusiast, dedicated marathon runner, Ironman triathlete, ultra runner and philanthropist who believes that good health is the best path to a happier and naturally fulfilling life. She is a an entrepreneur who coaches others to a lifestyle of wellness and good health through various forms of fitness, to include running races from 5k to full marathon training, food and natural remedies. Kyra is a writer for two of the top wellness advocates in the world, and a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, which allows her to share her passion for physical fitness with others in her community. She has completed numerous races to include two New York Marathons and two Boston Marathons. She is a member of USA Track & Field, USA Triathlon, and an ambassador for the San Diego Tri Club.
A motivator for Kyra’s drive to helps others, Kyra founded the Hayes Foundation upon experiencing the loss of her 4-½ month old son Hayes to SIDS. The Foundation raised over a half million dollars and is reaching families throughout the country through her This Side Up Campaign. Now part of the CJ Foundation reaching millions, she serves on the board of directors and is helping to raise money and awareness to continue her efforts on a national level.
I am a sometime executive in the sports industry and sometime world traveler who is turning my wanderlust into pounding the pavement for a great cause. I’ve had two different close friends who have lost children to SIDS. I’m happy to be part of Team CJ running in honor of them and raising awareness and funds for the CJ Foundation.
On April 10, 1993, my family’s lives changed forever. My cousin, Carly Jenna Hollander, died at just 4-1/2 months old of SIDS. Since Carly’s passing, my Aunt Susan and Uncle Joel have dedicated so much of their lives and their resources into creating the CJ Foundation for SIDS. Their hope was and continues to be that what happened to Carly and their family would not happen to other infants and their families. At the 2016 marathon, the 26.2 miles that I will run and the funds that I will raise are not just for Carly. They are for my Aunt, Uncle and cousins who turned a tragedy into something that would change the SIDS community forever and provide other families with an advocate while sparing so many others from experiencing the grief of losing a child.
I am very proud and honored to run this (my 10th) NYC marathon! This will be the most memorable one for me because I am running it to raise funds for the CJ Foundation while raising awareness about SIDS, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Other Sleep-Related Infant Death. I was happy when my good friend Noel Firth (SIDS dad) invited me to run with this team for a great cause.
Kerry Claire Gargan
I am a mother of six children and my second child, Lucas, died of SIDS at the age of six months. The SIDS Center of New Jersey and the CJ Foundation provided the support my family needed to survive our devastating loss. Now 25 years later, I am running for the cause that changed my life forever so that we are one step closer to ending the silent killer known as SIDS.
Running a marathon, especially the New York City Marathon, has been a fascination for me for as long as I can remember. A former track & field athlete and dancer, training and discipline were necessary means to an end. In 2008, I was in a terrible car accident that resulted in several injuries that required tending. I’ve gone through years of physical therapy and knew that 2016 was my year to do something big as a testament to all the hard work I put in to get to where I am now. I will be running with tens of thousands of individuals with inspiring stories and reasons they wish to conquer 26.2 miles.
I have participated as a charity partner runner before and found it very rewarding. The CJ Foundation is a great charity and I want to do my part to support their work and raise awareness about SIDS and SUID.
Although I haven’t had a personal experience with SIDS, I have seen the devastation that has affected so many men and women in this country because of it. For me, it is an honor to run to support those families dealing with the tragedy of losing a child and to contribute in some small way toward research for the future.