UPDATE - Monday (WZZM) - Stephanie Warsen e-mailed WZZM 13 News Monday morning with this update:
"We finished together with a time of 4 hours 27 minutes. I think Dave carried us through miles 18-22, because I don't know how we survived them. The best part was that Dave's grandparents' surprised us and drove the three hours from Grand Rapids to cheer for us on. We're currently at $4755, still just $245 from our goal, which we're confident/hopeful will come in the next day."
GRAND RAPIDS - (WZZM) This Sunday, sisters Stephanie Warsen and Stacy Sommavilla will take their marks to run a 26.2 mile marathon in Chicago, but when they run this race, they run to honor their fallen cousin, Navy SEAL David Warsen.
On August 16th, David Warsen was killed when his helicopter was hit over Afghanistan. He returned to Kentwood to a hero's welcome as thousands lined the streets. This sisters were so moved by David's life and the outpouring of support that they thought they should use the marathon as a chance to honor their family member.
"My sister always had the goal of running a marathon together," explains Stacy Sommavilla, "We thought honoring Dave through this would be a great way to honor him."
"If Dave were here, he is such a competitor," explains Stephanie Warsen, "He would say 'what else can you do', so to up the ante, we decided to give ourselves a challenge to try raise $3000."
The sisters are raising money for two funds. First, is the David Warsen Foundation, a foundation designed to give money to Kentwood youth soccer, as David as an avid soccer player. The other is the Navy SEAL Foundation, a group that supports families of fallen Navy SEALs.
The sisters have reached their goal of $3000, but say now they are upping it. "We have upped our challenge and want to raise $5000 by Sunday. If you want to donate, we would love it," says Stephanie.
When the sisters run their marathon this Sunday, Dave's memory will be pushing them toward the finish line.
If you are interested in donating you can visit. https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3Mbp0