Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)
Choose your favorite runner and click on his or her individual fundraising page to make a donation that will help achieve a personal goal, or you can click on the big red DONATE button to make a contribution on behalf of the entire team. Thank you for your support of AANMA! All proceeds will be used for education, outreach and advocacy programs for families who are dealing with asthma, allergies and related conditions. Be a part of our efforts year-round and receive our award-winning publications by joining AANMA.

Meet Team AANMA
Marine Corps Marathon Runners!



For the first time, AANMA is fielding an A-Team for the annual Marine Corps Marathon, which will take place in Washington, DC on Sunday, October 28, 2012. A diverse group of 28 dedicated men and women are already hard at work raising money to end needless death and suffering from asthma, allergies and related conditions, and logging hundreds of miles every week in training runs. They hail from eight different states, the District of Columbia and New Zealand. Here are photos and thumbnail bios of some of them, to help you get acquainted.




Catherine “Katie” Rusu, Silver Spring, MD
Katie is a school counselor who has never run a full marathon, but who has the “running gene.” Her father, David Sevick (pictured), held the one mile record (4:25) at his Irwin, PA high school for 33 years and completed the 1990 Pittsburgh Marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes. Katie’s husband has asthma and allergies; and her young nephew, Max, was diagnosed with severe peanut and tree nut allergies following an anaphylactic reaction to a peanut butter cookie this past Christmas. Katie strives to live her life according to the advice she gives her students: “Be active, take advantage of all opportunities and find the positive part of each of life’s challenges.”
Pam O’Keefe, Pittsburgh, PA
Pam is Katie Rusu’s cousin, so she must have inherited some of that running gene from their common ancestors. Asthma also “runs” in her family and her daughter has food allergies. Pam reports that she has “really gotten into running” over the past year, and the MCM will be her first marathon. She and Katie already have their own private competition going to see who will raise the most for AANMA.
Kushal Dave´, Pittsburgh, PA
Kushal is a 24 year old experienced marathon runner from Pittsburgh, PA who does not have asthma or allergies. He estimates that he will finish the 26.2 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon within four hours, which will put him in a dead heat with Carolyn Langille and Anna Pierce.
Larry Evans, Reston, VA
Larry refuses to reveal his age, but it’s safe to say that he is a “seasoned” runner, who is also an AANMA staffer. He managed to finish the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon, his first ever, in a time that he expects to beat this year. Most recently, he completed the Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA in just under 2:30, so he was all smiles when George presented the finisher’s medal.
Tracy Rivers, Bowie, MD
Tracy Has asthma/EIB and relies on her trusty inhaler before and during her runs. She is running for kids who have allergies and asthma and who “deserve to breathe with ease.” Tracy is one of Team AANMA’s leading fundraisers to date.
Rick Dexter, Orlando, FL
Rick’s infant son, Gavin, has a severe peanut allergy, As Rick says, “Whether it is making sure to always have an EpiPen on hand, reading labels on food, or trying to educate loved ones around you, providing a safe environment for your child is not an easy task. When I was looking for a charity to support on my road to the Marine Corps Marathon I was excited to discover the Allergy and Asthma Network Team who play a critical role in education, advocacy, and raising awareness for this very important cause.”
Nicholas (“Nick”) van Panhuys, New Zealand
Dr. van Panhuys is based at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC, where he currently resides.
His research is focused on designing new treatments for allergic disease such as asthma, and improving the efficacy of anti-parasite vaccines. Nick states that, “Team AANMA seems to be the perfect way to combine my interest in allergy research, with my love of running and a way to give something back to the people who are the most generous supporters of the work I do.”
Anna Pierce, Winchester, VA
Anna is asthmatic and this will be her first marathon. She’s been training hard and keeping her symptoms under control with nebulizer treatments as needed. Anna always carries a an inhaler when running. She says it can be scary for her family when she has an attack, but she’s confident in her ability to perform well and intends to turn in a better finishing time than her two running mates from Winchester, Julie Costin and Renee Thompson, who are not asthmatic.
Adriana Nash (l), Debbie Alford (c) and Marisa Espindola (r), Brownsville, TX
Also better known as the “Browntown Hot Tamales”, Debbie, Marisa and Adriana are proud to represent the entire community of Brownsville, and they will be turning in some impressive finishing times. Debbie is the asthmatic runner of the trio; and Marisa’s three sons, Adrian and twins John and Noah, have asthma. Adriana works in healthcare and is most concerned about the availability of adequate asthma care and medications for low income, uninsured patients in her area.
Carolyn Langille, Mt. Airy, MD
Carolyn is one of our “advanced” marathoners who looks to be a serious contender as she surges ahead of the pack in a recent event. In more tranquil moments, she spends time with her 8 year old son, Jake, who has peanut allergy, and who has learned to take responsibility for asking what’s in unfamiliar foods before tasting. Go Carolyn!!!
April Cassiano, San Antonio, TX
April is running for her hometown and for her daughter, Isabella, who had asthma as a baby and who still has allergies. They make a great team and we’re glad to have them on our team. You can support April and Isabella, too, by donating to Team AANMA.
Denise Steinberg, Patchogue, NY
Denise’s older son, Ryan, age 7, (pictured with mom and his younger brother, John), had quite a scare two years ago at his five year check-up. Ryan has both severe milk allergy and asthma, and he went into anaphylactic shock after being administered the DTaP vaccine containing trace amounts of milk proteins. He was hospitalized again two months later with digestive problems and experienced multiple asthma attacks during the following year. He’s doing great now; and he and John will be cheering for Denise on race day.
Carla Adkins, Baltimore, MD (Recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY)
Carla is another team member who has asthma/EIB and who doesn’t let symptoms hold her back from long-distance running. She uses her inhaler as needed, and has been competing in marathons for the past year and a half. She’s also been a top fundraiser for charity events in Baltimore and we’re fortunate to have her. Won’t be long until her daughter is running for Team AANMA, too!!