Growing up in Lake Barrington, Marisa Giangrasso Hentis was no stranger to helping others.
It was no surprise Marisa Giangrasso went into a medical related career and looked for opportunities to help others, as both her parents have been impactful to the 60010 area through their work at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. Her father, Dr. Joseph Giangrasso worked in and led the Emergency Department for over 34 years, also serving as the hospital's Medical Staff President for three years. Her mother Mary, a nurse, served on the Advocate Good Shepherd Auxiliary helping to champion over $7 million raised and used to provide healthcare scholarships, support hospital expansion, equipment and important programming. Marisa went to St. Louis University and completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and currently works at an outpatient orthopedic clinic, mentors orthopedic residents, is a Term Lecturer at MGH IHP, Guest lecturer for MGH IHP Clinical Orthopaedic Physical Therapy for the Foot and Ankle Module, lab instructor for MGH IHP Clinical Orthopaedic Physical Therapy for the Spine Module, Upper Extremity Module, and Lower Extremity Module and lab instructor, seminar leader, and guest lecturer for MGH IHP DPT program throughout the curriculum. A dancer throughout her life, having spent her growing years at Bataille Academie of the Danse in Barrington, she is also involved with the Dance Medicine Program through Spaulding Rehab to help dancers return to dance and fulfill their potential in the performing arts.
We were not surprised at all to learn that Marisa had signed up to train and run the Boston Marathon for an important charitable organization.
We caught up with Marisa, who lives with her husband in Boston, to learn what motivated her to take on this challenge, how she prepared and about the charity she is supporting.
Living60010: What made you decide to take on the Marathon?
Marisa: I have worked the Boston Marathon as a physical therapist the past three years for charity runners to help them recover afterward. It has also been a bucket list item for me and I finally decided that if I was going to run, it would be for a great organization.
Living60010: How long and what have you been doing in preparation?
Marisa: I have been training consistently since Thanksgiving but didn’t officially receive my bib until 12 weeks ago (typical is 16 weeks).
My husband, Nathan, and my co-worker, Sara, have been splitting miles on my long runs. I’ve been running up to 50 miles per week, yoga twice a week, and cross training 1-2 times a week with a solid rest day. My sister-in-law is a registered dietician and helped me make sure my nutrition is up to par along the way as well.
I know I wouldn’t have been able to train without my personal support group and the team at Patrick’s Promise. I am also fortunate enough that my parents (Joe and Mary Giangrasso) and in-laws (Jim and Robin Hentis) flew into Boston for the event and will be with Nathan cheering me on to keep me motivated along the route.
Living60010: Who is Patrick Sibley and what made you decide to run for his charity?
Marisa: I got involved with Patrick’s Promise through my co-worker Nancy Sibley, who is Patrick’s aunt. I have attended previous Patrick’s Promise events in the past and have personally seen how Patrick can bring a community together through physical and social activities. My first event was a spike ball tournament that was so much fun we couldn’t wait for the next tournament. The Sibley Family has treated me like an extension of the family beforehand and continued to since running for Patrick.
Patrick's Promise was started in honor of Patrick Sibley, a college athlete who lost his life in a tragic train accident in 2013. The Foundation inspires and pays it forward to others - as Patrick lived his life. They continue his legacy championing people to achieve a healthier, more balanced, and happier life through hard work, determination, commitment, compassion and true friendship.
Marisa joined almost 30,000 runners in the 2018 Boston Marathon for her first time and raised over $5,000. for Patrick's Promise.