Week 9! Thank You Generous Sponsors!

Week 9:  February 29-March 6th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $70

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $140

Current Fundraising Total:  $10,150

It is March!  The first week of spring!  So awesome!  The hard part is done, if you ask me.  Now it can only get better, with more light and warmer temperatures and hopefully not very much more snow coming over the the next month.  And if it does snow, at least it melts quick usually.  And I have started doing some running this last week.  I am taking walk breaks to be cautious and not come back to quick, but I had a couple days this week of doing 2.5-4 miles in a day, which is a start and much better than ZERO!  I feel some discomfort in my upper hamstring, but hopefully it won’t get any worse than just discomfort for awhile…  And I am getting a cortisone shot this upcoming Tuesday, so I hope that helps.  I think the plan is to get a couple before Boston, and then maybe another one after Boston and before MS Run the US.  I have to take several days off after the shot, so this next week I may go backwards a little again, but hopefully after that I can get more consistent and get some longer, pain free runs in.  That is my hope.   One week at a time…  I am just so happy I got to run some Friday and Saturday when the weather was nice again.  I am so ready for it to stay like this all the time!  Hopefully that snow we are supposed to get on Tuesday doesn’t happen! I would be okay with that!

Fundraising is going well, and just a reminder about the last event coming up on March 10th!  Karama from 6-10 pm, go and eat, drink and play trivia in the basement of Karma and my friend Danny is donating all his tips to MS  Run the US.  I hope you can make it!!   Have a great week everyone!   Now I have the pleasure of introducing the two sponsors of the week, Bryan Rynders and Pat Garvin!  (Both on their third week of sponsoring since January 2015!)

Sponsor #1: Bryan Rynders

Bryan is a returning sponsor from the 2015 MS Run the US fundraising I did.  He actually didn’t just sponsor one week last year, but two different weeks right at the beginning of my training and sponsorship weeks.   Besides being a sponsor and someone who has donated a LOT to my fundraising efforts so far, Bryan is also my boyfriend and best friend.  So I guess he feels obligated to help me.  Just kidding, he is just a good person. 🙂   Bryan has been there for me every step of the way over the last year and a half since I started this crazy MS adventure.  From the moment I texted him and told him I was applying, to every new development from what segment I found out I was running, every training mile, and every fundraiser.  Last year he even came out to Colorado to see me finish, which I still to this day consider the best gift I’ve ever gotten.  Having the company of him as well as my best friend Sam, made the whole experience that much better because I didn’t have to spend that amazing moment of crossing the finish line alone.  They were there to cheer me in. 🙂   It was this amazing memory, as well as the wonderful feeling of knowing I am running for others, that made me decide to do a second year.  Bryan never discouraged me in any way when I told him I really wanted to do this event again  even though it effects him in a big way for me to make this big commitment again.  It will be weird for us not to have this in our lives again next year!

As you know if you have read this blog at all this past 9 weeks, or have talked to me personally, that year two is not going as planned so far.  Well, I shouldn’t say that, fundraising has gone better than it did last year, so I know I learned some things there, but running is not.  And guess who has to deal with me when I can’t run and I am down in the dumps?  This guy… I’m sure there are days he just wants to be free of my mood swings due to lack of running, but somehow he has managed to hang in there.   He knows how important running is to me, and not only do I miss it for myself, but I miss the runs Bryan and I did together before my injury.  I think I miss running with people and the social aspect of it just as much as I miss the act of running itself.  Thank you Bryan for all the support you have shown me throughout both the fundraising as well as the training part of this adventure.  I know I couldn’t have made it this far without you.  And of course thank you for every donation you have made towards this important cause!   XOXO.


Sponsor #2: Patrick Garvin

Pat is another returning sponsor, and just like Bryan, he sponsored TWO different weeks last year, so I had the pleasure of honoring and thanking him in my blog twice last year.  Excited for round three this week!   As with many of my friends and sponsors, I met Pat at Anytime Fitness where I work.  I trained him for a couple months after Max left, and we became friends.  He is a smiling face I always enjoy seeing walk through the front door.  He is always so upbeat and always says Hi to all of us working every day that he comes in for his workouts.   Pat is a Lacrosse player, and he is currently coaching at MSOE.  That is is passion, just like mine is running.  I had the pleasure of having coffee with Pat last week and talking about life in the fitness and personal training world, as well as hearing about his love for Lacrosse and coaching.

Even though I have not trained Pat for quite awhile, I am lucky enough to see him in the gym most days of the week while I am working.   He is a great friend and a great person. Last year he gave over $100 to MS Run the US for my fundraising!  He not only sponsored two weeks as I mentioned, but also attended one of my main events last year at Karma.  I really hope he can stop by again for the one coming up this year as well!   I have enjoyed getting to know him over the past couple years, both at the gym and hanging out with friends, such as when he came to hang out with us one new years and for my birthday one year.  Thank you so much Pat for once again giving to this cause and helping me meet my goal of over $10,000!


Thank you again to Pat and Bryan who have given a lot to my cause, both last year and this year.  I am so excited to be over $10,000 already!

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!


Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!  Happy March!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂


Week 8’s Amazing Sponsors!

Week 8: February 22-28th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $62

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $132

Current Fundraising Total:  $10,023!!  We made it!!!

This week was a big week!  On Friday, February 19th the donation came in that put us over $10,000!  So exciting!  Got there several weeks faster this year than last year!  I never thought that would happen but I am so thankful that it has!  Of course my mail goal was to make the $10k, but my secret goal was hoping I could pass up my grand total from last year, which was $12,251.  So, from now until mid-June, that is where I hope to get!  I think this is TOTALLY doable, and I am very excited to see what happens.  But no pressure!! 🙂

Sponsor #1: Jordan Williams

Jordan is a returning sponsor this year and a fellow MS Fundraiser.  Last year Jordan did his first MS Bike Tour from Waukesha to Madison (about 150 miles) for the National MS Society and raised $2,600 for the cause.  This year he is doing it again and he hopes to raise $5,000.  The team he rides for is called “Fast Eddy”.   Jordan bought a rode bike last spring to train for this event, and he is excited for the weather to get nice again so he can get his bike out there for year 2!  I have done this event a handful of times in the past, so it was fun to be able to kind of give Jordan a heads up on what to expect for this two day ride.

jordan 2

Jordan has been a client of mine for about 2 and a half years now.  I train him once a week on Wednesday mornings.  He is a great athlete, and I enjoy coming up with some of my toughest workouts for him. 🙂  He works in pharmacy at St. Luke’s and got his degree from UW Madison.  (I sure hope I got these things right!) Besides lifting, and biking, he also enjoys soccer and does different soccer leagues in his free time.  Outside of being a very active person, he also really enjoys to travel, and since he works 7 days on, then has 7 days off at work, traveling is a lot easier because he doesn’t have to take as much time off.  Over the years Jordan and I have gotten to be friends outside of the gym and every so often we get together with a group of friends and go out.  The last couple of years Jordan has been able to make it out for a couple of drinks for my birthday and I really appreciate his friendship, as well as his support of my fundraising even though he has his own to do as well.  But we are good about donating to each other, and I am just as happy to support his team as he is to donate to my segment.



Sponsor #2: Andrew Warner

Andrew is also a returning sponsor this year!  So many awesome people who are helping me out for the second year in a row!  Andrew has been a client of mine for over a year now.  I train him twice a week, so I get an hour to talk to him each week while he works out.  He was one of Jen’s clients and when she left to have her baby fall of 2014, I became Andrew’s new trainer.  I am also Andrew’s occasional dog walker when he is traveling and no one is home to take their dog Duschass out for a walk. 🙂

Andrew is the Senior Pastor of a church in the area (Plymouth Church UCC, near UWM) and an avid cook. One of his biggest hobbies is to have people over and make several course meals for them.  He often fills me in on new recipes he is trying and about the next dinner party he is planning.   Andrew is a great person to talk to about fundraising ideas, because he does a lot of fundraising himself with his church.   He is very kind of give to MS Run the US for my fundraising, especially since I know he gives to many charities already.  He is currently working again on raising money to help feed hungry children in the Milwaukee area.  From what he has told me, it has been very successful this year and they have raised a lot!  Thank you so much Andrew for your support, advice, and overall generosity for being a sponsor this week and donating $70 for MS Run the US!

For more information on the church Andrew works at please feel free to check out the church’s website!!    www.plymouth-church.org



Thanks again to both Jordan and Andrew for the donations and the support for year two of my MS Run the US fundraising!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!


Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!  It is almost March! YAYYY!  Spring is right around the corner!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Thank you Week 7 Sponsors!

Week 7- February 15-21st

Total Sponsorship Amount: $60

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $180

Current Fundraising Total:  $9,910!!!

We made it through another cold week  Hopefully there are not many more left, as it nears closer to March. I can’t wait for spring, and for a couple weeks from now when I am going to start doing some training again and hope for the best.  I ran a couple of miles this week on the treadmill, a quarter mile at a time, so not to overdo it.  Otherwise I am continuing to walk a lot and trying not to dwell on the fact that I want to be running so bad.  Last year I was running a 60 mile week by now, this year…. 2 miles.  Life has an annoying way of opening your eyes to how much things can change in a year, and with one annoying, but substantial injury.   But in fundraising news, only $90 from $10,000!!!  WOW!  At least if one aspect of this is going well, it is the part that is the most important, which is raising money for an important cause.    So here’s to hopefully breaking the $10k mark in the next week!!!  Who wants to help?!?! 🙂  Remember you can always find the donation link at the end of this blog post!  Have a happy and warm week!  Thank you once again for your support!

Oh!  And important side note!  Karma round 2 is taking place on Thursday, March 10th from 6-10 pm  I hope so much that you can make it!  More info to come over the next couple weeks of blog posts!  It was a great fundraiser last year, bringing in $1,100!  Here’s hoping for even more success for year two! You don’t want to miss the fun! (Read about year #1 here!  https://nikki6msrun.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/karma-fundraiser-feb-19th/   )

Sponsor #1:  Valerie and Dan Stefanich

I have known Dan since Spring of 2013 when I was only a couple months into my job at Anytime Fitness and I started training him a couple times a week.  He has been a loyal client ever since.  Not only that, but he is also my right hand fundraising man (and big time mentor!) over the past year and a half.  Val is is wife, who I have gotten to know a lot better over the past year as Dan and I have gotten to be great friends.  Or really, to me they are more like family.     When I say Dan is my “right hand man” (or sidekick as I also like to say) I mean he has helped me every step of the way with all the fundraising I have done in the past 18 months.   He not only has met with me on on one to help plan out the details of every single event I have done for MS Run the US, but he has also helped me with details along the actual run, sent out letters asking for donations from his friends, and  he and Val have made many donations themselves.  I am not exaggerating when I say everything I have accomplished so far, is a HUGE thank you to Dan.


I have also gotten to know Val a lot better over the past several months because I teach an hour long exercise class for her and her friends at the gym every week.  So now I see Dan several times a week at the gym, and Val too!    Val is an amazing cook, and I have been lucky enough to have been invited over for several holidays now, as well as a wonderful dinner she made for Bryan and I a couple months ago where we had a ton of fun handing out with them and enjoying a full course meal and great company.    I am so very thankful for where my life has taken me over the past 3 years, Anytime Fitness has brought me every friend and important person I have met in Milwaukee, Dan being one of them.  If I would not have ended up at this job, I would not know any of these people that I talk about every week in this blog.  Thank you so much for all the help Dan.  And to both of you for all of your generous donations for this cause!  I do not know what I would do without you.  And since I am not running next year,  how are we going to keep ourselves busy?  Looks like we need to come up with a new project soon.  Or maybe together we can just be MS Ambassadors for MS Run the US.  That sounds like a good idea. 🙂



Sponsor #2:  Anna Rodriguez

Anna is also on her second year as sponsor and MS supporter!  I have pretty much known her since the begging of my time at Anytime Fitness, which is going on three years at the end of this month!   Since that time we have become friends and shared many good memories together.  We have done several races together, such as Ragnar Chicago and the Warrior Dash.  We went on vacation together to Cancun last January, and have been out for a fun night on the town several times over the years.

Anna is an ER nurse at Froedtert Hospital, which is a newer job for her.  She used to work at St. Luke’s (I hope I got that right!)  After Anna got this new job, she ended up moving out to Tosa to be closer to work, and I was sad and worried I would loose her as a client.  But I am lucky enough to have her drive back to the East side to train with me once a week.  So I am very thankful that I still get to see her on a regular basis!  Besides understanding how MS can effect the lives of others because she is a nurse, she is also dating someone who has a direct connection to this disease.  Anna’s boyfriend is named Kurt, and his mom has MS.   Anna has never hesitated to give to this cause, and he has also shown her support by being at many of my big fundraisers I have held, such as the 60 mile run-a-thon in 2014, AJ Bombers this past December, and of course being a sponsor of the week for the second year in a row.   Thank you so much for the continued support Anna!  I am lucky to have you as a friend and client! 🙂




Sponsor #3:  Sean Phillips

I started training Sean at Anytime Fitness twice a week almost a year ago now!  Wow, I can not believe it has already been a year, but yet he seems like one of those people who I have known for a long time already, because we got along so well from the start of our first session.  Sean started training with me super motivated and when I started telling him I was a runner he decided he wanted to race his first 5k.  I love sharing my love for running with others and I am holding him to running a 5k this spring or summer, since last year it didn’t work out the weekend he was hoping.   Sean is currently a server at two different restaurants, and works long days and a lot of double shifts.  If you have ever been a server, you know how exhausting this can be. I  have been a server a couple times in the past and I give Sean a lot of credit for not only serving, but serving full time between two different places.  He has currently been looking for other work, so that he can go back to serving as a second job, and I wish him the best of luck  He is a super hard worker and any employer would be lucky to have him.   I enjoy my sessions with Sean twice a week because he is a very fun person to chat with and catch up on the weekly happenings.  Like many of my Anytime friends, he is quick to show support to my run.  Lat year when he barely knew me, he bought one of my MS Run the US shirts I was selling for donations and I get very happy every time I see him wear it into the gym. 🙂   Thank you so much Sean for helping me make a difference and not hesitating for a second when I asked you if you wanted to sponsor a week of my training.   I am lucky to have met you!!!  Keep your sights set on that 5k!!!! 🙂



Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those 4 amazing people.  Dan, Val and Anna have shown me support for OVER a year and a half now, and Sean and I have almost known each other for a year and he made it known right away that he wanted to help me reach my goal and make a difference for those living with MS.  Thank you! I am so lucky to know each and every one of you!!   Thanks to you and hundreds of others we have given $22,000 to MS Run the US in less than A YEAR AND A HALF!  WOW!   And over $30,000 since I first started fundraising for this cause, 10 years ago. Makes my heart happy!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!


Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Week 6

Week 6:  February 8-14th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $42

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $126

Current Fundraising Total:  $9,760+ Almost there!! Eeee! 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the more mild weather!  Man, I sure wish I could run this winter, it is perfect!!  Last winter I bundled up and trained through the freezing cold and this year I would have had it easy if it weren’t for this injury!  But it helps for all the walking I do, so I am thankful for that!  I am still trying to get yoga classes in on a regular basis at Yoga Six.  I can feel my interest slowly dropping and my motivation is already not the best to keep going.  The hot yoga is already boring because it is the same sequence every time, and the others are okay, but I get frustrated with how much it pulls at my injuries.  Who knows if that is a good thing or not?  Otherwise I have done some elliptical, a little lifting and a lot of walking.  But no running, which has me really down in the dumps.

Sponsor #1: Bill Weber & Chelsea Sherbine

This is year two of being a sponsor for Billy and Chelsea.  I am honored that they are supporting me for one more year of fundraising.  We have now all worked together for well over a year, and been together through many changes over the last 6 months, such as a new club manager(s) after Simon left this summer, and a new club opening.  All three of us are spending at least some time at each club.  Billy is the one who spends the most time going back and forth between the two.  The most exciting update about these two (who just celebrated 2 years of dating this past week!) is that they got engaged and are getting married in September of 2016!!  The pictures below are some of their engagement pictures.

Chelsea and Billy make the perfect pair because they share the same passions, goals, work ethic, and hard working, positive attitudes.  They live to help others, and they make it very obvious with everything they do.  They hold their health in high regard, have many fitness goals, and want to pass this on to others through their Advocare business and them both being trainers.  They have made a positive difference in the lives of so many people by helping them lose weight, and meet their fitness goals.  I have no doubt they will continue to do so for their entire lives.  Besides working, they spend their time working out, doing crossfit workouts, playing with their dog, and eating sushi. 😉   Thank you so much you two for the support you have shown me with my MS fundraising goals!  I look forward so much to your wedding, it is going to be a kick ass, super fun day! 🙂



Sponsor #2:  Cassy Krueger

Cassy has been a client of mine off and on for over a year now.  She is a college student at UWM.  She is almost done with her Master’s in sustainable peacebuilding.  She will graduate this summer! Last summer she did some fieldwork on a community development project with a local nonprofit in Costa Rica.  She may be traveling again this summer for a similar project in Romania, but she has not found out for sure yet.  She is not currently training with me, but still tries to get to the gym regularly, or be active through other activities such as kickboxing and yoga.  In her free time she loves seeing live music around Milwaukee, reading for fun, and hanging out with her two cats.  We get along well because we are both cat people. 😉

Besides being a sponsor of the week this week and donating another $42 to MS, she also donated this past September for the AJ Bombers event.  It was unfortunate that she could not make it, but super sweet of her to make a donation in her absence.   Thank you so much Cassy for your multiple donations for my fundraising so far this year.   Good luck in your final semester of grad school and I really hope to see you around the gym over the next couple months.

Sponsor #3: Erin Donohue

Erin is also a returning sponsor as well as an old client who I trained for more than a year I think.  I lose track of time easily, so I am not sure.  But a decent amount of time. 🙂  But then she moved this past September, and that was sad because we had become friends as well.  But I am happy for her because she is now back closer to her home turf in St. Paul (She is from a suburb of the cities.)  She worked at Columbia St. Mary’s when she lived here and now she works at one of the larger hospitals in Minneapolis, taking care of patients after they have surgery or are just really sick and they need to stay in the hospital for a few days/weeks to recover. She works with a lot of cancer patients who need radical surgeries.   She also works with MS patients on a regular basis, so she understands how important this cause I run for is!   She is also a runner, and when she lived here she ca,e to a few of the running club events and did several races.  She is still continuing to run since she moved and has a goal to do another half marathon this year. She lives with her boyfriend Jimmy (pictured with her below) and they are really enjoying their time exploring the cities.

Erin made several contributions to my fundraising last year for MS Run the US.  Now, even though she is no longer in the area, she is still helping make a difference and showing support.  Erin was a part of the marathon relay last year with several of her friends, she was a sponsor of the week, and she joined me in a couple of my long training runs when I was really hurting and needed some support to keep going.  I miss seeing her on a weekly basis but am glad she is enjoying her new city.  Thank you Erin for the support across the miles! 🙂



Thank you to each and every sponsor this week and everyone who has made a recent donation to bring our grand total over $9,700!  We will be there before long!

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!


Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!  www.msruntheus.com

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂