where are they now?
This documentary would not be possible without the bravery and graciousness bestowed on us by its subjects. Here's a brief update on where some of the main subjects are now...
When we first met Sami it was feared he may not have long to live. We are thrilled to report that Sami is doing quite well.
Tom tells us that Sami slowly gained enough strength to be able to take the medicine needed to better fight his disease.
We hope and pray that Sami’s road to recovery is a smooth one.
According to Stella's mom: "Stella has had an eventful couple years since meeting the Endure crew. In July 2016 she was diagnosed with another brain tumor and had surgery to remove it. The surgery left Stella with severe posterior fossa syndrome, which required several months in the hospital to re-learn how to walk, talk, eat and do all the things we normally take for granted. She has come a long way in the past year and just started kindergarten where she has fun running and playing with her friends."
When we last met Laura she was pushing everyone in the crew to make sure Tom finished the race. Her candor, iron will and passion for the cause served as the true inspiration for the race and for Endure. She will never stop honoring her son Cole’s legacy.
Here’s what Laura had to say about her life since the 2015 Tahoe 200:
“Living life without my son has been, and remains, a daily struggle but he is ever present in my choices and experiences. I’m so grateful for the adventures Cole continues to lead me on, with the courage he taught me. I’m especially grateful for all the inspiration and support I’ve been given to live life to the fullest despite my grief. I will always be thankful for the beautiful, spiritual, hilarious and challenging moments I shared with a few goofball renegades in the mountains of Tahoe as I embarked on this new life. #ColeStrong.
Dana Kavanagh Heino
We recently caught up with Dana, one of the mothers featured in Endure, and here’s how her life has changed since 2015.
“Since the filming of Endure our family continues to participate in childhood cancer awareness events. It’s important to us to share Avery’s story and memory, as well as educate and advocate for this cause. In November 2016 we celebrated the birth of our third daughter, Eva. She has brought so much joy and happiness into our home, even though she in no way replaces her older sister Avery. In April 2017 we celebrated the opening of “Avery’s Music Corner” at Inova Fairfax Children’s Hospital on their Hematology/Oncology unit. It’s a space dedicated to babies and toddlers where they can play and make music. We continue to struggle with Avery’s death and we work hard to keep her memory alive. We miss Avery every moment.”
Since Emily's interview for Endure she turned 18, graduated summa cum laude from high school and is currently in college. Emily is considering careers in Psychology and/or English. She continues to be in remission.
Without seasoned ultra-racer Rebecca Byerly’s expert pacing, Tom stood no chance of finishing the race. Rebecca continues to do amazing work on the trails and behind the camera. In 2016 she raced and finished the Tahoe 200. She’s also a renowned journalist who is in the final stages of producing her own documentary called Women of the Mountain.
Our dear friend Ken spent days in the hospital after the Tahoe 200 recovering from a foot infection. While he’s faced a few injuries in the last couple years he continues to compete and volunteer at races. Ken remains one of the most beloved figures on the trail racing scene in the Pacific Northwest. And many don’t know that Ken ran the 2015 Tahoe 200 less than 9 months after undergoing life-saving abdominal surgery.
Tahoe 200 race director Candice Burt continues to amaze. This elite ultra-marathoner, adventurer and CEO of Destination Trails is literally blazing a trail as one of the sports true innovators. She now runs the triple crown of 200s: the Tahoe 200, Bigfoot 200 and Moab 200. Endure simple would not have happened without the support of Candice and her top flight team of support staff and volunteers. Learn more about Grandslam 200.
Since the 2015 Tahoe 200, Tom started competing in arguably the toughest ultra in North America: The Bigfoot 200 in the Cascade Range in Washington.
In 2016 only 47 athletes finished the Bigfoot 200 due to searing temperatures. Tom lasted an astonishing 90 miles. In 2017 Tom sustained a leg injury during a fall at mile 15 of the Bigfoot 200. He ran another 16 miles injured and was pulled from the race at the 50k mark by the medical team.
Tom’s third attempt to complete this arduous race unfolds August 10-14 in 2018. He’s presently training and raising money for that event as he continues to support children and families in crisis. Learn more about his nonprofit, Still Brave.