Unshakable optimism

"If you wait long enough,

life will undo your certainty." 


#MileWithMollie 2 – All in the Family

Five years ago today, I learned that I had Parkinson’s disease. The two hardest things I’ve ever done were telling my father and my older brother. Our little family unit has been through a lot, and the last thing I wanted to do was cause more worry. But, family is there to help you get through whatever comes along. And that we have all done for each other in spades.

My big brother Matt has always taken care of me – from pointing to my mother’s belly and declaring “that’s my sister!” when he had no way of knowing the gender of the baby she was carrying, to being my main afterschool caretaker for his entire high school career. My big brother is seven years older than I am, and as a result didn’t get away with nearly as much as I did. He’s also wicked smart – he has a PhD in organic chemistry from MIT – and thinks he’s funny, lives just outside St. Louis, and has an amazing family.

He’s always been there for me, and Parkinson’s was no different. So, in true big brotherly fashion, when I told him I was going to do 365 miles in 365 days, he had to do me one better. My brother is running 1000 miles, from the St. Louis Gateway Arch to Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Well, kind of. He will run the 1,036 mile distance during the next 365 days, starting his count at the Arch, and hopefully meeting me here in Boston on September 23, 3019. He’s run marathons, but this, this takes the cake.

He will be reaching out to family and friends over the coming year, and I urge you to support him in any way you can. Because he may be my big brother, but I still have to watch out for him.


#MileWithMollie 2 – Asynchronous mile run by Matt Reding at the St. Louis Arch, and shuffled by Mollie at the Bridgewater High School outdoor track, September 23, 2018

What company do you work for? MilliporeSigma, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

What do you do there? Director of Procurement for Biologics - I lead a team of procurement professionals who manage our relationships with suppliers of products used in Life Science research and pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. (See I told you – wicked smart)

Where do you mostly work – office, home office, on the road? A bit of each, but mostly in our offices in St. Louis, MO

What was your very first job? I was a bag boy and cart collector at Kroger’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan

What was your worst or strangest job? Strangest for me was a job in college where I ran the inventory control system for a ladies’ consignment clothing store. My main qualification was that I knew how to use the mouse on the computer, which at the time was a novel piece of technology.

Is there another profession you would have liked to pursue? Rocket scientist - like, an actual aeronautical engineer who designs and builds orbital spacecraft.

Last book you read? Paradox Bound by Peter Clines

Who or what was the subject of the most recent photo on your phone? Your nephew’s first piece of writing, executed in chalk on the driveway: “MI SGL” (my school). (Totally unbiased opinion, but my nephew is the cutest, smartest kid ever)

What question do you have for Mollie? I just wanted to see if you’ve forgiven me yet for that time I gave you a rather avant-garde haircut when you were 2 and I was 9?

Yes Matt, I have forgiven you. I was more mad at the girl in kindergarten who took safety scissors to my bangs. What was it about people cutting my hair? Anyway, Matt, you are a superstar and I love you. Now go run 999 more miles!


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