Running in the Family

Becca Niebrugge runs to honor her uncle, who fought a brave battle against ALS

by Quest Staff on January 9, 2014 - 9:05am

Quest Winter 2014

Becca Niebrugge has long been inspired by her uncle Mike Mitchell, who, like Becca’s dad, was an avid long-distance runner. But it was the painful experience of watching ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) abruptly strip her uncle of his ability to run, before ultimately claiming his life in April 2013, that finally compelled Becca to tackle a full marathon herself.

Becca Niebrugge

“His disease was at the forefront of my family’s life this past year, so the decision to run in his honor was a no-brainer,” says the 29-year-old accountant and financial analyst from Effingham, Ill.

To fully honor her uncle Mike — a man whose legacy includes organizing and overseeing an annual fundraising event to supply the track program at Chicago’s George Washington High School with shoes, travel funds and equipment — Becca decided to couple her marathon training with ALS awareness and fundraising through MDA Team Momentum.

Mike’s battle with ALS and subsequent passing reminded Becca just how important every single day is — a thought that was certainly on her mind on Oct. 13 when she crossed the finish line of the 2013 Chicago Marathon.   

Want to combine your love of endurance sports with MDA fundraising? Find out more about MDA Team Momentum at

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