Advocate Mike Smith Runs Pittsburgh Half Marathon To Raise Profile of Neuropathy
By Natacha T. Pires, MBBS, Director  Medical and Public Affairs 

May 12, 2014

PA-based neuropathy advocate Michael Smith has been preparing for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for a while.

Mike Smith - marathon

Mike recently shared, "On May 4th, I was among nearly 30,000 runners who participated in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, though I was the only one in the pack who was running for a specific cause that is dear to my heart: neuropathy. For months, the idea of running for this organization propelled me during my training, pushing me to run harder and faster on days when I just wanted to sit at home. in the end, I crossed the finish line in 2:15:58, two minutes faster than my previous year's time! But more importantly, I raised over $800 for The Neuropathy Association, where I know the funds will go to support critical neuropathy programs. It was an honor running this race on behalf of this community, and I thank all of those who contributed to my campaign from the bottom of my heart."

Click here to help Mike Smith with his campaign!

Mike has been running 5Ks and other races with his wife Gabrielle and friends frequently. Last year, he ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon to help raise awareness and much-needed funds for the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center, a local animal shelter where he rescued his cat from in 2010. 

Mike Smith Collage

So, when we asked what motivated him to participate this year and raise funds for The Neuropathy Association, Mike shared, “ It’s crazy that a disease that affects over 20 million people in the US alone (whether they realize it or not) is not on the public radar. So I asked myself “what could I do to make a difference? My goal is to raise $1,000 to support critical neuropathy programs.”

"I like to run. Running is therapeutic for me: it’s a mental sport, forcing your mind to focus on every aspect of your body movement: breathing, running, pacing, etc. Despite the fact that my neuropathic symptoms are still present, I can concentrate on other parts of my body to lessen their impact." adds Mike. 

According to the race website, the course offers runners "an exciting course" that crosses Pittsburgh's three rivers and is "flat and fast." Runners will race on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, cross each of the three rivers in Pittsburgh and travel through the South Side before and into the streets of downtown Pittsburgh to the finish line.

Mike and Gabrielle wore their neuropathy bracelets and ribbons on May 4th as they geared up for the Marathon. And, they had friends, family, and fellow neuropathy patients cheering them on.  It was a great way to raise awareness of neuropathy among tens of thousands of runners, walkers, and volunteers involved in the event … as well as thousands of viewers across the U.S. and around the world. 

Anyone that wishes to support Mike and help him reach his fundraising goal can donate by visiting

Related articles:

"Finding Answers Takes Time, Patience, and Action" by Mike Smith



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