Midway through the summer session of 2019, Shakopee Moms on the Run member Kristin Carlson was diagnosed with leukemia. Throughout her battle, which included hospitalizations and month-long treatments, she realized that Moms on the Run gave her the strength she needed — both physically and mentally — to fight for her life.
Shakopee Moms on the Run Franchise Owner, Angie Burgess shares: "I'm happy to report that Kristin is currently in remission and has stepped back into her role as assistant coach and has worked hard to gain back what she lost, physically, while she was fighting cancer. I could not be more proud of Kristin's determination, persistence and resilience throughout the past couple of years."
Read our conversation with Kristin and learn why she's our inspiring member of the month.
Q: When did you start running with Moms on the Run? What year did you transition to a coach? Were you a runner before MOTR?
A: I started with Moms on the Run in September 2015. I began substitute coaching in Spring 2017 and became a full-time coach in Spring 2018. I ran Cross Country in High School and then started running again after my first child, but I was sporadic because I had nothing holding me accountable. That was a big reason for joining. I also joined to meet people.
Q: We were told that midway through summer of 2019, you were diagnosed with leukemia. Can you share a bit about that journey with us?
A: On July 3, 2019, I woke up in extreme pain and went to the ER. This would mark the beginning of my fight. I was transferred to a new hospital which I would call home for the month of July. I even celebrated my 40th birthday there. My favorite gift was a hair wash Ha! Fortunately, this was pre-pandemic so I was able to have visitors and, man was that needed. My Moms on the Run team visited me twice and raised money to help my family get through this difficult time. When I finally got to go home, I was still in treatment every day for four weeks on and four weeks off until February 2020. I taught Kindergarten the entire time. It gave me purpose and took my mind off of all of the trauma I had been through. Five year olds make everything more fun and interesting.
Q: So happy to hear you are in remission and back coaching with your MOTR team! Why do you like coaching and what does Moms on the Run mean to you?
A: I returned to Moms on the Run in May and coached the Learn to Run runners. It is so much fun and inspiring to watch women of all backgrounds come together and grow in their abilities and strengths. I love to coach because watching someone say I could never run to watching them finish their first 5K or 10K is, well let’s just say, nothing is better. I am now able to see the other side and know it doesn’t matter if you have to walk a little or if you didn’t hit your goal, what matters is you are out there, you are getting it done! I am a firm believer that without this group I would not have had the strength I needed to finish this fight. I was stronger mentally than I ever thought I was and it was because of my Shakopee team.
Q: What message would you want to share with yourself from two years ago to today?
A: Looking back, I would tell myself to stay positive, stay strong, ask questions, but know you do not have to be everything for everyone. Let others take care of you and give up controlling everything. I would also say not to forget to show gratitude for the people who helped you. It is never too late to say thank you.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself personally (family, job, hobbies, etc.)
A: I am a proud hockey mom to two strong, compassionate, hilarious girls with my husband Greg. I am a teacher at Minnesota Connections academy. I love otters, sunflowers and road trips (to the beach preferably).