Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mom of Triplets to Take on Marathon this Month

Loyola physical therapist running to show that mothers of multiples can do anything

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- While most moms of young multiples are busy chasing their little ones around the house, marathon runner Becca Farrell, 34, has hit the road with her two-year-old triplets in tow to prepare for the race of a lifetime. This mom of three will lace up her running shoes later this month to participate in the Chicago Marathon.

“After giving birth to triplets, I never imagined that I would run another marathon,” said Farrell. “However, motherhood has added a new layer of challenges that make training interesting. I now use my triple jogger stroller to push my children and build strength and endurance while I run.”

This will be Farrell’s fifth marathon and her first since delivering triplets Jack, Owen and Maeve in 2007.

“I endured a particularly difficult pregnancy that included nearly five months of bed rest,” Farrell said. “I didn’t think that my body could take the rigor that marathon training requires.”

Farrell’s pregnancy was complicated by preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure and elevated protein levels. She also suffered from HELLP syndrome, a serious liver condition.

Farrell was monitored and cared for by maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Loyola University Health System (LUHS), where she has worked as a physical therapist since 2000. Their expertise made it possible for Farrell to carry the triplets to nearly 35 weeks before delivering three healthy babies.

“Our team of specialists provided critical care to manage Becca’s complications and protect her health and the well-being of her babies,” said Dr. Richard Besinger, medical director, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology: Critical Care Unit, LUHS. “The comprehensive network of care that we offer allowed her to make a full recovery and get back in shape for another marathon.”

Farrell is one of a handful of marathon competitors who is featured in various promotional materials for the race. She was chosen for her inspiring story and aspiration to achieve a personal best. Her image appears on a mural overlooking the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) at North Ave. She also will appear on airport luggage carousels, posters, event programs, media and participant guides, advertisements and vignettes.

“I am running to show that mothers of triplets can do anything,” added Farrell.

Farrell trains in her hometown of Glen Ellyn, Ill. She notes that training and caring for her triplets has been demanding, but she is determined to finish the race. When she does, her little ones will be waiting with her husband John to welcome their mom across the finish line.


About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.