Dreadlock Mom Runs For Her Life in NYC Marathon
Thirty-six-year-old Heather Roles has been to hell and back. On Sunday, November 6, the former Bethelite and single mom will run in the New York City Marathon, along with 47,000 runners. Coming back from a life of drug addiction and homelessness, Heather now lives a healthy lifestyle and is prepared to run the 26.2-mile course to reclaim her health and her life.
Heather’s story is intense, and one she will be sharing on live T.V. on Sunday morning on NBC. The media group will interview Heather during Wave 1 of the race, at about 11:30 a.m., just as she runs past the 14-mile marker. She has come a long way from just six years ago when she was living out of her car with a three-year-old son in tow. Running, she said, is the saving grace she needed to get her back on her feet again and headed along the right path.
“I used to set Elijah up in a blanket with a matchbox car at the Immaculate High School track and I could not even make it once around. It took months to run my first mile. I began meeting folks from the running community who continue to show me an amazing amount of support. I then resumed work at the Sesame Seed where I have been on and off for 20 years. They have been another huge source of support; my co-workers as well as the customers,” Heather said Saturday.
“I had a rough road, one that I am very used to. I have battled serious addictions my whole life.”
Regarding her recovery Heather said: “I began to reclaim myself following the Grateful Dead 18 times across the country. I was in every state but North Dakota. It was the beginning of finding the community I needed.”
After quitting a heavy smoking habit Heather found out she has Stage-4 liver disease. She has set up her own website and is currently in the process of raising funds to donate to The Liver Foundation, a charity near and dear to her heart. Click here to donate.
“This is the last marathon I am running for me. I know there are millions of people who need a new liver now, as I will in the near future. That’s why the next, and all the future events, will be for The Liver Foundation. I will need a new liver eventually. My health right now is fantastic, I compete in triathlons all summer and have found distance running to be the peace I need.”
Besides her son, Heather’s motivation, she said, is: “Where I came from and where I want to go!”
For more information about the NYC Marathon, click here.
For more information on The Liver Foundation, click here.