The ME STRONG 5k was originated with the dream of bringing hope and happiness during a time that is often considered dark and frightening. It was when Linda Ryan was diagnosed with recurrent cervical cancer that her four close friends organized an event that would reflect Linda’s kind spirit, passion for healthy- living, and determination to persevere. The inaugural ME STRONG 5k was a highly spirited event that ignited a ray of hope for community members who had been touched by cancer.
After reflecting on the success of the inaugural ME STRONG 5k the five women shared a belief there was much more in store for the future of ME STRONG. By late spring of 2012 ME STRONG was a registered 501c3 charity with a mission to support friends, families and community members battling cancer.
Each passing year the ME STRONG 5k has continued to grow in popularity. The 2020 event hosted nearly 6,000 participants and hundreds of spectators! It is from the kindness and generosity of the growing ME STRONG community that more than 2 Million dollars has been given to those battling cancer in need of financial assistance and to support groundbreaking research in search of a cure.
The five friends strongly believe there are no limits when it comes to the power of friendship. Their passion and commitment toward leading the mission of ME STRONG strengthens by the day as the united ME STRONG Community continues to grow as a movement of people who share the common desire to be a ray of light and hope to Central Floridians battling cancer.
PR & Media
Linda is a five time cancer survivor. She was raised in Lexington, Massachusetts and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Management from University of Massachusetts. Her professional and personal experience in the health care industry drives her to find innovative ways for ME STRONG to fund research projects in the battle against cancer.
Finance & Grants
Barbara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Stetson University. She brings her twenty years of a career in finance to the operations of ME STRONG by managing budgeting and accounting needs. Barbara’s engaging personality and determination to make things happen are reflected in her role as ME STRONG”s municipality liaison.
Marketing & Sponsorship
Kim received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Central Florida. After experiencing a rewarding and extensive career in education she chose to open the doors to a new chapter in her life by committing her time to the development of ME STRONG. As an educator Kim was often recognized for her outstanding communication skills and her ability to build positive relationships.
Kimberly received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Education from Clemson University and went on to receive her Masters Degree from Stetson University. The knowledge and skills she received from her extensive career in education has been invaluable to the operations, planning, and success of ME STRONG. She welcomes challenges and has a gift for managing large events.
Kathy is a native of DeLeon Springs/ Pierson Florida. Her artistic eye and appreciation for design assists ME STRONG in creating promotional social media. ME STRONG events are captured through Kathy’s passion and talent for photography. Her artistic photography skills are often sought after for weddings, special events, and individual/family portraits.