Meet Monique Hebert-Bublyk. In 2015, Monique’s son Evan passed away due to complications from neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow in the brain and throughout the body. Monique is training hard for a Tough Mudder, which she has entered with a charity place for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. That means with every minute in the mud, she’ll be fighting for a cure for NF in Evan’s honor.
We caught up with Monique to find out more about her inspiring story, and what it means to take part in a Tough Mudder for charity.
What can you tell us about Evan?
Evan was an intelligent, inquisitive old soul. He loved reading about the Greek and Roman gods. We took him to Rome to see the Colosseum. It was the best day of all our lives. Evan had big ambitions! He wanted to be a doctor so he could help others kids with NF. There is so much more I wanted to do for him, so much more I wanted him to see, but we only had 13 years and 10 days with him in our lives. NF took so much from him; he could have done so much, and accomplished so much. He’s missed every minute of every day.
What made you want to take part in a Tough Mudder for charity?
I was looking for something to do for Evan, or in Evan’s memory. When I saw that through the Children’s Tumor Foundation I could compete in a Tough Mudder, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I am trying to raise $1,127 because 11/27 was Evan’s birthday. Challenging myself and focusing on fundraising and preparing for Tough Mudder will help me have something to work toward.
What is preparation and training like?
Hard and rewarding at the same time! I try to keep my eye on the prize. When I feel too tired or when I just don’t feel like doing it, I push through it because I know the challenge I face and I will not let myself fail. I am working hard to prepare, and each time I finish an obstacle, I’ll know I did it for Evan.
What keeps you going during the toughest moments?
When I lack motivation or I’m having a difficult moment, I think of Evan and everything he fought through. His tumors caused him constant pain. He always hurt. So I figure I can hurt and push through, because he did.
How does it feel knowing you are raising money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and NF research?
I can’t think of a better cause. Every dollar I raise is a dollar closer to the end of NF. I don’t want any other parents to have to lose their child. There’s no pain like it and our pain has yet to dull. I want to do this for Evan and all the other NF kids that suffer and have to miss out because their disorder limits them. Someday we will have a cure and I want to be able to tell people, “I helped do that.”
Think you’ve got what it takes to follow in Monique’s footsteps and fundraise for a cause close to your heart? Raise money for your chosen charity, and in return you’ll get free entry into any North American 2016 Tough Mudder event, one-to-one support from your charity, your choice of wave start time, a Tough Mudder Finisher Tee, headband, and hard-earned beer.