Rebecca's Story: a Life in Motion

Rebecca's Story: a Life in Motion

We are all in motion, but today I am running towards something special. I’m inviting you along on this journey with me. My name is Rebecca Wychock, and I am a 28-year-old working-single-mom to (in my humble opinion) a smart, funny, and handsome 8-year-old boy.

Some may say it “runs in the family” but I never expected to be a runner. My older twin brothers’ are lifetime athletes, each is head cross country coaches at Wilkes and Misericordia University, respectively. I spent my early childhood years waking up on chilly fall mornings to watch 20-something-year-old men and women line up toe to toe waiting for a fake gun to alert them to run. All of them would disappear for a half hour and upon crossing the finish line be found dry heaving on muddy fields.

It’s safe to say after countless meets that I had no interest in lacing up my own sneakers.

It wasn’t until junior high at Hanover Area that I decided I’d try my hand, rather, my foot, at running. The first July night practice left me breathless, a frizz-ball, and completely hooked. Joining a team focused on becoming 1% better each stride brought a sense of togetherness insurmountable to anything I ever felt before. I loved the grit and demand of the sport the same way I loved giggling through the meadows with my teammates. I even learned to look forward to the sound of the gunshot and found a sense of pride crossing the finish line completely winded.

Little did I know running would change my life in more ways than one. I never finished my first season.

October morning that year, I woke up paralyzed, each joint inflamed and each gland swollen. The flulike symptoms of body ache paired with exhaustion sidelined me for weeks. I watched my teammates prepare for our final meets of the season as my joints continued to swell and turn a peculiar shade of purple. 

Rebecca with her son Karsyn

Photo: Karson and I circa 2014 Friedman Race at Misericordia University

Weeks went by without any improvement. Doctor appointments became more regular than a trip to CVS. My arms were pricked and prodded. I was forced to stop running altogether, and as my energy dwindled, my life became just school and sleep. My joints remained swollen and painful as my muscles deteriorated.

It wasn’t until over a year later at Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia that I finally received a diagnosis: Lyme disease. Immediately I was put on strong antibiotics to fight the roaring sickness within my body. Once completed I was no longer considered “active Lyme” but the repercussions of 18 months without treatment were detrimental to my overall recovery.

It was here I had a choice, at 14 years old, I could run towards recovery or assume a life with little activity at all.

After years of physical therapy, leg braces, and countless specialists, I made my way back to the starting line. At the age of 12, I was never suspected to run again, but at the age of 21, I laced up my sneakers with Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Women’s Cross Country team.

Since graduating, running has been a moving mediation for me. It’s a celebration of what the human body can do. I ask you today to help me run for those who can’t. Together, we can make a difference and instill hope in the lives of others.

At the 2021 Harrisburg Half Marathon


I am running towards a goal of raising $3,500 for Allied Services which in turn grants me the privilege to run the TCS New York City Marathon this November 7th as a member of Ryan’s Run.

Allied Services is the leading provider of healthcare and human services for northeastern Pennsylvanians with disabilities and chronic illness. As a not-for-profit corporation, Allied Services works to advance the health, independence, and life quality of the people of our region. Throughout its 60+ year history, Allied Services has been guided by a commitment to delivering compassionate care of the highest quality. 

Please join me in supporting Allied Services.

SUPPORT REBECCA

  • To donate click here.
  • For every $30 you donate, you will be eligible to receive an official Ryan's Run team shirt. 
  • For more information call 570.348.1275.