Virginia participates in the Run for Women for her own wellbeing as well as other’s.
At the MUHC, Virginia Lee wears many hats: nurse, PhD, manager and team captain for the Run for Women. The first time she participated in the annual event, she did so with Lauren, her 12-year-old daughter, thanks to a friend and colleague, Dr. Wendy Chiu, who was team captain for the MGH geriatrics team.
“I loved my first experience,” explains Virginia. “I had never really run before, nor had my daughter, but we thought, why not! Around us, there were seasoned joggers, but also beginners, people of all ages – I even met someone who just celebrated her 70th birthday! The atmosphere was very energizing and everyone I saw that day left feeling amazing. It was a morning to be with your team and know you were part of something important. ”
This year will mark Virginia’s sixth Pharmaprix LOVE YOU Run for Women in support of mental health, benefiting the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. Her true passion for running grew out of her participation in this annual event. Every spring, she puts on her running shoes and goes out for an early run on weekend mornings to see the sun rise.
“Even with a busy schedule, it’s important to take time for yourself, both mentally and physically. Running allows me to work on both levels. And actually, I only discovered running because of this event. Before that, I could barely run a block without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. This year, I already signed up again for the 10K race!”
Bringing Colleagues Together to Support the Cause
She signs up for the Run for Women each year thanks to the team aspect of it.
“This year will be my fifth time participating as a team captain. I formed the nursing team because I wanted others to know there was this great event– to empower other women and be empowered themselves. Initially, there were only 5 of us on my team, but we quickly recruited more participants. Eventually, our team of (mostly) nurses had 30 members!”
Virginia works at the Glen, but her team consists of nurses from the MGH or any unit across the MUHC. The nurses sign up individually, in pairs, or together as a unit-based activity to do together. The annual running and walking event brings them together in a festive atmosphere and gives them a challenge, a reason to get out walking or jogging weeks before the event, to prepare for it.
“I like to run 5Ks or 10Ks, but a lot of people come to the event to walk a 5K and that’s totally fine. It’s open to everyone and we all go at our own pace. When I recruit new participants from my nursing colleagues, I like to tell them that at work, they probably already walk 5 km a day. On top of that, we already have the only gear we need: running shoes. So any reason is good to sign up. Plus, the funds raised will help our MUHC Mental Health Mission teams!”
Virginia Lee is a nurse and manager of the Supportive and Palliative care Services and Programs, and Cedars CanSupport in the Cancer Care Mission at the MUHC.
Do You Also Want to Participate?
The Pharmaprix LOVE YOU Run for Women will take place on June 12, 2022 at Parc Maisonneuve. For each registration, $15 will be donated to the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, to support the MUHC Mental Health Mission.
There will be a 5km run/walk and a 10km run. A 1km course is also available for children under the age of 12. You can register individually, start a team or join one, and all members of the same team are not required to participate run/walk the same distance.
If you would like to join Virginia’s team, you are welcome to do so! Simply look for “MUHC Team Nursing- Powered by You” when you register. Otherwise, we encourage you to start your own team and participate with your colleagues, family members and friends!