On Sunday, the St. Thomas Aquinas Cross Country/Track & Field athletes went out to support one of their teammates in trying to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The Great Strides program brought together many people from Rockland County for a 3K walk for a cure at Albertus Magnus High School. Sophomore, Katie O'Grady organized "Team O'Grady, " comprised of her family and Spartan teammates to walk by her side in in her fight with Cystic Fibrosis.
O'Grady was honored by the East Coast Conference with the John Smillie, Jr. Award for overcoming personal and physical challenges to continue to play the sport that she loves. Katie has excelled as a First Team All-Conference Cross Country runner for the Spartans despite her battle with Cystic Fibrosis which affects her breathing.
O'Grady has defied the odds with her athletic success. Cystic Fbrosis is a disease that affects all aspects of the body, but most affected is the pancreas and lungs. The body produces thick mucus, which clogs airways. O'Grady has a regimented schedule of treatments that takes two hours each day. She balances her treatments, her classes (biology major) and still excels in her sport.
O'Grady is coming off her best cross country season to date. She was the Spartans leading runner for the season and helped the team to a second place conference finish and a program best fifth place regional finish. O'Grady never complains about her challenges, yet instead she excels with a smile on her face. She is an inspiration to the school, her peers and to anyone facing a challenge.