Loyola Triumph at Chicago Triathlon in Honor of One of Their Own
When long-time Loyola sign language interpreter, MariJo Wimbush, was diagnosed with rectal cancer earlier this year, fellow Loyolans rallied. Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty members Dr. MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci and Myshel Rodenbeck along with Loyola Center for Fitness Personal Trainer Morgan Zaviska combined to compete in this year’s Chicago Triathlon, a distance event that involves swimming, biking, and running.
MaryMargaret, Myshel and Morgan, all seasoned triathletes, came together in support of MariJo’s fight with cancer. MariJo has been MaryMargaret’s Loyola sign language interpreter since 1990, as well as interpreting countless hours for Loyola’s deaf patients through the years.
MariJo, a triathlete herself, trains at the Loyola Center for Fitness under Morgan, and Loyola exercise scientist, Myshel, who didn’t know MariJo at the time, joined the team in a show of support.
On race day, MariJo was in Loyola University Health System hospital having undergone oncologic surgery earlier in the week. Under the care of Loyola surgeons, Drs. Joshua Eberhardt and Adrienne Cobb, MariJo followed the triathlon’s progress bedside.
The relay team trained all year with a single goal in mind: winning a trophy in honor of MariJo. They completed their mission: swimmer Myshel, cyclist MaryMargaret, and runner Morgan came away with an amazing 3rd place finish, bringing home some hardware for MariJo. The all-female team beat out a multitude of male and co-ed teams to take the 3rd place honor in less than ideal conditions on a brutally hot day.
The proud team was joined on race day by Niehoff staff Janet Campbell, who captured photos and provided the cheers on a very special day. The Loyola spirit shined throughout and demonstrated the remarkable power of team in helping to heal one of its own.