Team IMPACT: Meet Emma Jarczyk

Feb 4, 2020

The 124th Boston Marathon commences on Monday, April 20th, and IMPACT Melanoma is once again proud to present Team IMPACT. Comprised of a dedicated group of runners that come from different backgrounds and levels of running experience, each of our runners share a passion for our cause – which is to spread awareness and prevention initiatives with regard to the incidences of melanoma around the United States, and, with our lead, the world.

Many of Team IMPACT’s members are survivors, family members of survivors, or a person who has lost a loved one to melanoma. Together, along with our partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, we’ve been able to make great IMPACT over the years raising in excess of $2 million, which has gone to directly benefit IMPACT Melanoma’s mission of prevention, education, support, and advocacy in the fight against melanoma.

As mentioned, each of our team members have unique reasons as to why they’re contributing efforts to Team IMPACT, and, as such, we’re highlighting a handful of them in support of their run, and their campaign to raise necessary funds.

With that in mind, please join us in welcoming and thanking, Emma Jarczyk! 

IMPACT Messenger: How’d you learn about IMPACT Melanoma and Team IMPACT?

Emma Jarczyk: I recently moved from Boston to Philly, PA back in July 2019. Before moving, I was working at Dermatology Associates of Concord (DAC) in Concord, MA. I heard about IMPACT Melanoma primarily through my coworkers who were involved in previous Boston marathons/who talked about IMPACT around the office. Since working at DAC, I have been working at a private practice for dermatology in Huntingdon Valley, PA and found Team IMPACT to be the most meaningful team for me to run for in the 2020 Boston marathon.

IM: What made you decide to get involved and commit to a spot on the team? What does said spot mean to you?

Jarczyk: I was born in Berkeley, CA and moved to Sudbury, MA when I was 7 years old. I have been watching people finish the Boston Marathon since middle school, but it was not until college when I started to see myself running Boston. This marathon is very meaningful to me as it is in my home city, and it will be my first marathon. In 2017, I started running to fill the void of retiring from competitive springboard diving. From my first half-marathon in February 2018, I promised myself that if I was going to do a full, Boston would need to be my first. When I found out about Team IMPACT, I was ecstatic as I could combine two passions of mine – dermatology and running. I work with patients every day who are diagnosed with melanoma and/or other types of skin cancer, and being able to provide them with a resource for support and education is incredibly meaningful to me. I feel honored to run for Team IMPACT, and to support their mission of awareness and prevention of melanoma.

IM: How many marathons have you run in the past? What do you take away from these experiences?

Jarczyk: None! I have run a handful of half-marathons, 10ks, and 5ks. Running is important to me because it has taught me how to be proud of myself. When I was diving, I was always in competition with myself (and others), and if I had a bad practice or bad meet, I would find myself feeling that I wasn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love diving and the sport provided so much for me, but running has been… relaxing. It has given me a more stable and positive headspace. Every race has shown me how strong I am, both physically and mentally – something I didn’t always see when I was diving (which is silly because I was incredibly strong those 10 years!). While I walk away from some races or runs feeling bummed that I didn’t perform to the best of my ability, I remind myself of the achievement and accomplishment of finishing.

IM: I know it’s hard to predict, but how do you think this particular run will stack up (from a philosophical/humanitarian/or just straight physical point of view)?

Jarczyk: I know the Boston Marathon will be tough, but I feel ready for it. I have been looking forward to finishing Boston for the past 3 years and the time is finally here. I just continue to remind myself that all I want to do is finish – I don’t need to stress myself out about running a certain time. I want to enjoy every minute, hear the crowds cheer, and fall into the arms of my boyfriend and family at the finish line.

IM: What is your personal stance / battle cry with regard to skin cancer and taking care of one’s skin?

Jarczyk: I have been working in dermatology for the past (almost) 3 years. Skincare and prevention of skin cancer is what I talk about day in and day out. I am passionate about spreading the awareness of melanoma and supporting patients receiving a difficult diagnosis. I honestly did not really start to protect my skin until the age of 20. Now that I am aware of all the dangers of the sun and all the ways to protect oneself, I will not let myself get another suntan or sunburn – spray tans all the way! I have seen too many patients, and close friends battle melanoma, and I want to limit the number of future melanoma patients to the best of my ability.

IM: What’s your pre-race ritual? Some sort of specific cuisine the night before? Specific stretching routine? Special socks? You tell us!

Jarczyk: I love carbs – always have and always will. Hands down my pre-race meal would be some sort of pasta dish. I love a good Bolognese or plain ol’ pasta and meatballs the night before. Also, since my half-marathon PR at the Maine Coast half marathon (1:34:12!), I have started to include 1-2 glasses of red wine the night before to eat the nerves… haha! Not sure how beneficial that is – but c’est la vie. On race day, I always have my hair in a french braid/bun and a headband (color depending on my race ‘fit) – doing my best to keep the flyaways out of my eyes.

To get involved and make a donation:

Visit Emma’s runner profile here to help her reach her personal goal:

https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/impact-melanoma/emma-jarczyk

Visit our Team IMPACT profile page here: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/impact-melanoma

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