By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
SHREWSBURY – Nicole Torres is planning to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of her husband’s ex-wife, Sandie Rossini.
A Shrewsbury resident, Torres’ reasons for running the marathon will stand unique even amid the throng of charity runners set to line up in Hopkinton on Oct. 11 for this year’s race.
“It’s quite an honor,” Rossini said of Torres in a recent interview. “She’s a special kind of person.”
‘She was doing all of that on top of being so ill’
Rossini was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, back in 2013. Four years later, when Nicole married her husband, Ramiro, she said he was open about Sandie’s cancer.
“My husband let me know that his ex-wife was ill with a very serious illness,” Nicole said. “They have children together, so we’ve always had total clarity with each other on that point.”
Nicole and Ramiro had a child of their own in 2017. As they raised their young child, Nicole said she told Ramiro that she wanted to start training to run the marathon for Rossini.
“I think really becoming a mom and just recognizing the added difficulties that that brings, it just blew my mind that she was doing all of that on top of being so ill,” Nicole said.
Rossini values positivity amid cancer fight
Rossini and her doctors had been “keeping her cancer at bay” for a number of years. In November of last year, though, scans showed three new tumors had grown. Just last month, another scan showed yet another tumor.
Through this, Rossini said she’s committed to a sense of positivity as a means of strength.
Through rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgeries, she’s hopeful for better treatments and, eventually, a cure.
She’s connected with people on similar journeys, making and selling shirts with positive statements to raise money for cancer research.
She’s grateful for her family.
“You can have your moments where you get mad and like a little pity party, because you have to, it’s just human nature,” she said of her outlook on positivity. “But don’t stay in those moments because if you do you lose it.”
‘It was just so surreal’
Nicole first ran the Boston Marathon for Rossini in 2018. That year, torrential rains swamped the race course, making for a long, wet run to Boston.
In those moments, though, Nicole said she thought of Rossini.
“I really did keep thinking of ‘What am I really going through in comparison to what she’s going through,’” she said. “It’s literally a drop in the bucket in comparison.”
Rossini was then one of several loved ones waiting for Nicole at the finish line in downtown Boston.
“I just remember crying and it’s one of those moments that you almost feel like you’re watching yourself live through because it was just so surreal,” Nicole said.
Torres raises money for Beth Israel Lahey Health
Nicole ran the New York City Marathon in 2019. COVID-19 then cancelled the 2020 Boston Marathon and delayed the 2021 running of the race to its current October date.
Now, though, the 2021 race is on and Nicole is raising money to specifically go to Rossini’s hospital, Beth Israel Lahey Health.
Interested individuals can support Nicole’s fundraising efforts at: https://tinyurl.com/3sa587ea.