When Brad Noland’s wife Char went into labor 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Dr. Jill Pechacek showed up at the hospital immediately to provide emotional support for the couple. Dr. Pechacek is a pediatrician, but she was not at the hospital to tend to the babies. Instead, she was coming simply because she knew that Brad could use a friend in his time of need. Brad says, “There were many doctors taking care of my wife and babies. Jill was the one taking care of me.” Part of friendship is providing love and emotional support in a time of adversity. Jill did just that for the Nolands when they faced the biggest crisis of their lives. Now, as Jill is facing a medical challenge of her own, it is Brad’s turn to be the friend providing emotional support. As part of his efforts to support his friend, Dr. Pechacek, who is currently fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer, Brad will be running the New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 to honor Dr. Pechacek.
Brad Noland grew up in Arvada, CO. He attended Metro State University and now is a partner with Wagner Wealth Management. Community service is a critical component of Brad’s life. He currently serves on the board of Mount Saint Vincent, which assists children who face severe emotional and behavioral issues due to trauma. He is a firm believer in giving back to his community who has worked with many charitable organizations over the years. Brad’s wife Char works for Oracle, and their miracle babies are now happy and healthy 14-year-old freshmen in high school. Life did not start off easily for the twins, however. A typical gestation period is 40 weeks, so when Char went into labor at 24 weeks, the couple knew the odds were stacked against their babies. The Nolands were told that their twins only had about a 1 in 2 chance of survival. Even if they did make it, the boys faced a long uphill battle, with the possibility of having significant health problems.
The Nolands had a tremendous medical team that helped them through this terrifying time. Most of the efforts were understandably focused on providing Char, Vann and Owen with the care that they required. As soon as Jill learned that Char was in labor, she raced to the hospital. She was there when Char was wheeled into the delivery room, and she came to the house often to check on the family during the twins first year of life.
Dr. Jill Pechacek is a beloved pediatrician in the metro Denver area. She has spoken publicly about how she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while she was a college student. She was forced to make some agonizing decisions about her treatment at the time of her diagnosis. She took a gamble in order to maintain her ability to have children and is now a proud mother to three kids of her own.
The Highlands Ranch medical community that she serves was shocked and stunned when she announced in 2014 that she is battling stage IV pancreatic cancer. Always wanting to make the best of any situation,, Dr. Pechacek asked members of her community to perform 29 acts of kindness in 11 days, based upon Jeremiah 29:11.
Jill’s selfless and positive fight against pancreatic cancer greatly inspired Brad. “Jill is the most positive person that I have ever met in my life. She always has been. She has this positive energy around her all of the time,” Brad explains. “Everything we went through with our children and watching Jill’s strength is a reminder of how quickly things change. It reminds me of how much you have to fight if you really want something.”
Brad learned of Project Purple through Jill. He took up running as a way to manage stress levels and keep some balance in his life. He says, “I love to run five or six miles and then go home and be the person I was meant to be. Running is a cleansing of the mind.” In more recent years, Brad decided to use running as a way to challenge himself. He enjoys the sense of accomplishment that can come through working towards running-related goals.
Completing the New York City Marathon has been one of Brad’s long-term running goals. Though he is extremely busy with his professional life, his family and his charitable works, he believes that it is important to not put off important goals in life. “Don’t say you will do it next year, “he says, “Because you don’t know what next year will bring. Go enjoy life. Embrace the challenges.” Brad felt that running the New York City Marathon for Project Purple would be the perfect way to honor Jill as she battles pancreatic cancer. Running for the charity allows him to do something he enjoys while making a positive impact for the world. While Brad does not consider himself to be a gifted athlete, he is competitive and has enjoyed the fundraising involved in running with a charity team. “It was important to me to be among the top fundraisers for the marathon team, “Brad explains.
“We have an obligation to give back. How can we make running more than a selfish act? If I am going to take time away from my family and my job, I want to know that I am doing something positive for the world.” Brad is putting the finishing touches on his marathon training program over the next few weeks. He will honor his friend, Dr. Jill Pechacek, who was there for him in his time of need. Now Brad hopes to repay the favor, by dedicating his running to Jill and by raising money to help those who have been affected by pancreatic cancer.
Read more about Dr. Pechacek at her Facebook page:
Please support Brad’s Project Purple fundraising campaign by making a tax-deductible donation at the following link: