Judy Parker never imagined she would complete a 5K. However, on June 11, she did just that. Together, Judy and her niece Michelle conquered the 2020 Virtual Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K in Judy’s hometown of Pittsboro, IN.
Judy was married to her late husband, Marvin, for 41 wonderful years. However, Marvin battled Parkinson’s disease for 25 of those years. Judy had spent many of these years taking great care of Marvin, graciously putting his needs before her own. Unfortunately, this took a toll on Judy’s health. Two years ago, Judy was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer. Her diagnosis was a major eye opener for Judy. This prompted her to make some lifestyle changes, which led her to her first 5K.
Leading up to the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, Judy began walking at least one mile a day and gradually added more. Though a challenge at first, the distance grew easier with time. She was thrilled that her niece, Michelle, had agreed to show her support by also participating in the virtual 5K. Though they were hoping to conquer the in-person course in 2020, they embraced the new challenge while still looking forward to next year’s race. Walking their virtual 5K in Judy’s hometown was incredibly special, as the two had endless support from local friends and family. Their encouragement made Judy work even harder and their support means more to her than they will ever know.
Michelle is so proud to have been a part of her aunt’s journey. For her, the virtual 5K was more about Judy’s success than her own. Judy was their motivation to push toward the finish line. Michelle is grateful to support Judy in all she does.
“My aunt Judy is a larger than life character,” Michelle says.” Anyone that knows her, loves her. She deeply and unconditionally loved my uncle through his illness for many years. She always makes you laugh even when her heart is breaking. She misses my uncle terribly, but I know he is looking down on her today and saying ‘Judy I am so proud of you.’ You don’t see this kind of love often, but when you do, it makes an impact. She is a one of a kind lady. She has made my life so much sweeter and I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with her.” Healthy Steps Toward the Future