Evan Wood, Manhattan

Evan Wood of Manhattan, a recent graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, was just 13 years old when he lost his father due to cancer. A year later, after unexplainable stomach pain and weight loss, Evan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As if that was not enough for a young teenager to endure, his doctor, who was his “beacon of light” through the diagnosis, also passed away.

“Crohn's and death are uncontrollable,” says Evan. Running offered him a challenge that he could control. “It taught me that progress is a process and restored my belief that hard work and resilience can be rewarded. When I began, I struggled to get the miles in. Even if it was difficult—even if it was painful, it was nothing compared to the pain that I had already been going through.”

In addition to being a very strong advocate for Crohn’s disease research, Evan is also a filmmaker who enjoys documenting stories of real people and how humanity and community intersect. This will be Evan’s fifth marathon; he is running for Team IBDKids, a charity team that fundraises for The Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program at Mount Sinai and raise awareness for IBD.