Meet a Champion of Yes!

Stephane and Margaux

Running for a Reason

"I run for a reason that is close to my heart. I run to support research for Marguax and all children like her."

Each year, tens of thousands of people train with purpose, heart and determination to run the 26.2 mile, five-borough course of the TCS New York City Marathon. Every runner has a story and for the 25 who run on the Arthritis Foundation’s TCS New York City Marathon Team, their story is about arthritis.

In 2014, Stephane Charbonnier joined the Arthritis Foundation Marathon Team for his daughter, Margaux, who was diagnosed with arthritis when she was 18 months old.

Despite having run two marathons (Washington, DC, and Chicago), the NYC marathon tested Stephane’s determination more than he planned.

“I overcame so many injuries to get to that starting line,” said Stephane. After recovering from a serious car accident over the summer and dealing with a knee injury, Stephane sprained his ankle just the week before the marathon. “By the night before the marathon, I still didn’t know if I would be able to run.”

But his resolve and the support of family, friends and two million enthusiastic spectators pushed him to the finish line and led him to be the top team fundraiser, raising $17,500.

“The connection with the crowds from the start to finish was like nothing I anticipated,” he said. “You cross the bridge to Manhattan and you can hear and feel the intensity of everyone cheering for you. It literally gives you goose bumps,” he said.

An avid runner today, Stephane only started running when he turned 40. “I ran 10 minutes and was out of breath and felt miserable,” Stephane says of the first time he ran. Fifteen months later, he completed his first marathon.

“I run for a reason that is close to my heart,” Stephane said. “Margaux is now 17 years old, and day after day she shows great courage and resilience,” said Stephane. “I run to support research for Margaux and all children like her.”

This year, the Arthritis Foundation is a New York Road Runners Charity Partner for the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 1, 2015. Running on the Arthritis Foundation Team provides guaranteed entry to the marathon. Runners need to commit to a minimum fundraising level in support of our efforts to find a cure for arthritis.

Learn more about becoming a member of our team!