Deena Sue Borzak was diagnosed with ALS in October 2021. She was very active prior to diagnosis, a champion speed skater in her youth; an avid speed walker who took long walks every morning; a lifelong tennis player; swimmer; she even skied and water-skied. A proud Zionist, a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel, she and her husband Steve raised four daughters as Modern-Orthodox Jews living in Boca Raton, Florida. The city of Jerusalem holds sacred meaning to the family.
A couple devoted to each other, Deena and Steve celebrated 37 years of marriage on 2/17/2022. Maya Borzak is their youngest daughter; her religion and upbringing encouraged her move to the holy city five years ago. Maya adds that if anyone wants to make the trip, she’s their woman - a registered tour guide for all of Israel! You can contact her at [email protected]. The Jerusalem Marathon happens annually in March; this year’s event coming up on the 25th. Maya is doing the 10K, but lots of runners on their team are flying internationally to run the full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K.
“My whole family is athletic and we definitely didn’t get that from my dad’s side,” Maya laughed. “It only made sense to honor my mom by running a marathon because she’s such an active person. It’s also to run FOR her and WITH her, since she cannot.”
Culturally and religiously, it means so much more to the Deena, Maya and the whole family. The Jerusalem marathon is a dream come to life where Jews get to run across their sacred city, something their ancestors could never imagine them doing. The “Deena Sue We Run With You” team is truly running for both those who can’t and those who couldn’t.
After Deena Sue was diagnosed last year, everyone felt such “helplessness” and still do. But the progress and support of their team shines light and happiness amidst the sadness. 100% of the proceeds raised by their team will be supporting The ALS Association Florida Chapter in honor of Deena. Deena attends The ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence at the University of Miami and wants to see more treatment and research available for people in Florida. So far, more than 200 people have made donations to the team, raising over $30,000 of their new $36,000 goal.
To support their team in the Jerusalem marathon in any capacity, go to https://donate.fl.als.org/team/400159. Your donation will help advance important research and improve the lives of people with ALS, their families and caregivers through vital programs, such as medical transportation, support groups, education, advocacy and more.
Yalla! Let's go!