Over the last two decades, we have been fortunate to partner with some amazing people who have volunteered to join Team Next Step. Read some of Team Next Step tales from the trail!
11-time Falmouth Road (2010-2021), Boston Marathon (2019), Spartan Stadion 5k Fenway Park (2021)
“Next Step was, still is, and will always be a very important part of our life. We were “Paht of the staht”. Next Step gave so much to my daughter Emily, and we have a real need to give back to their community. Next Step provided her with a community when there was none.
Entering adulthood can be difficult under the best circumstances. Add a serious illness and it can be devastatingly hard. There is a strong sense of being alone, of being different, of not being able to do what your peers are accomplishing. A community where young adults battling serious or chronic illness can come together to find companionship, share stories, and learn coping mechanisms is vital to their growth. Bill, Next Step Executive Director and Founder, and his staff understand how important the sense of belonging is, and gives all the young adults in their programs a strong voice.
Those that knew Em and her story witnessed the incredible positive changes in her life after she joined her Next Step family. Being involved in Next Step lit a spark in her and she flourished! She found her community! That’s why I run for Next Step.”
2-time Boston Marathon (2016 & 2017) and Falmouth Road Race (2016)
“I chose to support Next Step by running the Boston Marathon because I was moved by its community. I’ve never met a group of more grateful, hard-working, and gifted people, singularly devoted to their mission and the wonderful youth they serve. I couldn’t imagine a more deserving cause for my first marathon.
My favorite memory (hands down) was meeting my crew at Mile 25. Seeing them there was unbelievable; I’ve never felt so incredibly, enthusiastically loved and supported in my entire life!
Do it. It will change your life in the best way and you’ll be supporting the best possible cause.”
Boston Marathon (2015) and Spartan Stadion 5k (2021)
“I am a cancer survivor and I would never consider running 26 point 2 friggin’ miles for any organization other than Next Step. The Next Step staff really makes you feel like you are part of a family and their support in my running of the Boston Marathon was invaluable.
My favorite memory was Bill, Next Step Executive Director & Founder, shouting “I’m so proud of you!” as he chased along aside me. I personally could never have finished the marathon had I not had the support of family and friends (the Next Step staff and volunteers included) along the course cheering me along.
My best advice to finish the race? Run towards someone.”
2-time Falmouth Road Race (2018, 2019)
“I was introduced to Next Step’s community, music and mentorship programs that Next Step offers for teens and young adults living with chronic illness. You always see the news about funding and finding a cure for chronic diseases but you rarely see what’s going on in the life of someone living with one.
At Next Step, their programs help to improve the day-to-day lives of these young people and that’s worth devoting more than money towards.
Have fun with your training! I am pushing my five-year-old in a stroller during each training run to prepare for the 7-mile race.”
Boston Marathon (2014), Falmouth Road Race (2010)
“Next Step has been close to my heart for years. The mission and impact that the Next Step programs have on their young participants is extremely positive and life-changing. Knowing that I could make the choice to run the Boston Marathon for those Next Step participants who may not have the same option was an honor.
At first, the idea of the training for the Boston Marathon and fundraising was a bit daunting. I had never run more than 7.5 miles so I was a bit worried about my ability to accomplish the marathon. I was also motivated to exceed my fundraising goal provided but intimidated by how I would get there. The training program was absolutely clear and achievable and not as bad as I thought. In fact, the time to myself to reflect on my own life during my training was a significant bonus that I didn’t expect. The fundraising was also not nearly as difficult as I had thought. To see your friends and family support you and your cause in such a significant way was heartwarming and extremely motivating.
I have zero bad memories from my marathon experience. My very best memory was running through the “scream tunnel” a Wellesley College with so many women encouraging me along and even giving a few hugs! The crowd and their support, cheers and motivation carried me for at least 10 miles. It was the most tremendous experience to feel that much support from so many strangers.”
Falmouth Road Race (2019, 2020), Spartan Stadion 5k (2021)
“Next Step’s music recording studio in their office has always been super cool to me. I think it’s a great example of the spirit of Next Step’s programming, which as much as possible takes a holistic approach. The lack of resources that so many face who come to Next Step means missed opportunities and milestones across the board, including in outlets for self-expression. Having a recording studio where people can get stuff off their chest and explore their creativity is awesome and speaks to the fact that Next Step understands that it’s a fight on many fronts for those who come through their doors.
It’s important for me to be a part of Team Next Step because it directly supports a community that fights an uphill to thrive amid uncertainty.”