See and hear about Rachel, through the eyes and words from many whose lives she touched.
Meagan shares "There is so much I loved and admired about Rachel; her smile, her humor, and her heart of gold. She cared for her family, friends, as well as the individuals she helped as a nurse, but also truly anyone in need. She was a true ray of sunshine. Most importantly, she was a woman of God and that showed in her daily actions. I was so grateful to call her one of my best friends and truly the sister I always wanted, but never had. I run for her and to keep her light shining" #WhyIRun #5KScrubRun #Run4Rach
Tim shares "Rachel was there for me to celebrate the highs, but more importantly was a shoulder to cry on at the lowest of the lows. She showed me how to be adventurous, how to be comfortable in my own skin, how to love, but most importantly, how to put the needs of others before your own. I run to honor her - everything that she has done and means to me, and to be a part in continuing all the good that will be done in her memory.”
Colleen shares, "Rachel put everyone before herself. If you seemed down about something, she was always there for you. I couldn’t tell you how many times she was there for me and put a smile on my face. I’ve learned to make as many memories as possible and it’s okay to let your goofy side show because of her!" Colleen chooses to run so many people’s lives are for the better because of Rachel and this run will help others live out their healthcare dream just like Rachel did. #WhyIRun #ValpoAlum
Bridget Sullivan shares"I first met Rachel on move in day where she was a residential assistant in my dorm. Rachel walked into my room and asked if we needed any help with the biggest smile on her face. She shared how wonderful Valpo is and my mom was so relieved to be leaving me in good hands at Valpo and knowing people were as kind as Rachel! I was blessed to get to know her radiant soul through Chi Omega. Her passion for helping others, contagious smile and genuine kindness guide me today in being the best person I can be. " #WhyIRun #ValpoDanceMarathon
Kelsey Stallter shares "Rachel was hilarious, brilliant, and compassionate. She has taught me so much about how to live my life, like soaking up the joy in a really good moment. But most of all, she loved others with so much grace. Rachel not only loved her friends and family, but she also loved strangers. She often would take her hat or gloves off and hand them to people who were in need and volunteer to help others. I run to honor her and in hopes that this run will make a difference in others’ lives, just as Rachel did. I am so grateful to have known Rachel and to have called her a best friend." #WhyIRun #ValpoChiOmega #MakeAWish
Courtney Smith shares, "Rachel was the most beautiful, selfless, caring soul out there. She was my #1 hype woman! She was there to encourage me through nursing and support me through it all. She put others before herself, which made her such a great nurse. Rachel was a true light in my life. Although I would rather her here, I’m comforted knowing I have the best guardian angel " #WhyIRun
Lisa Walters shares, "There are no words to encompass the joy and love that radiated from Rachel. She was the type of young woman that you just wanted to be around because simply being in her presence made you feel good. Rachel was an inspiration on how to embrace each day, how to treat people with kindness, and how to live out faith on a daily basis. Rachel would absolutely love the idea of creating a scholarship for a student pursuing a career in health care, it highlights so many of her values! That's #WhyIRun"
Matthew Petersen shares, "Rachel was my role model. She was my best friend. Rachel had a way of making everything okay no matter the circumstances. She could effortlessly breathe life into any room she walked in. Her heart was so big and full of life and love for everyone around her. Rachel taught me how to be selfless, how to be someone others can depend on, and how to live in the moment. So often she did so many things that she never spoke of. She never wanted recognition, she never wanted praise. She just wanted to help. I run to honor my sister in hopes that I can have even if a percentage of the impact she had on the world. I am the man who I am in large part to her, and am so blessed to have her as a sister". #WhyIRun
Jacob Smutz shares, " From the moment I met Rachel at Valparaiso University’s Orientation, it was clear she was special. Her personality was contagious and she always brought a smile to others faces. During her freshman year, she joined my wife Sarah and I on the Track and Field Team at Valpo. As our friendship continued, Rachel’s passion to help others was evident as she joined Chi Omega and studied to become a nurse. The last conversation I shared with Rachel was in April of 2020. She was preparing to work in the Covid unit at her hospital to help so many in need. Rachel’s selflessness and joy is an inspiration. I am proud to honor the memory of such an incredible woman and friend.". #WhyIRun
Sarah Jilek shares, "Rachel was my best friend. It feels weird to say "was," because I still think of her as being present with me all the time. I could be myself around her. She always knew exactly how to make me laugh, even when I really didn't feel like it. We had such different personalities, and she was always challenging me to see the world through her eyes: to find compassion for strangers, to enjoy the simple things like a cup of coffee or Christmas lights, and to not worry about the small stuff. No matter how long we went without seeing each other, it always felt like no time had passed at all. That's the kind of true friend I try to be for other people now that she's gone. That's #WhyIRun."
Bill Petersen shares, "Rachel introduced me to fatherhood upon her birth and made this new and great responsibility easier to digest than I first thought. Her genuine happiness, infectious smile (and dimples), and love for her Dad (and Mom) were evident from day one. A few of my fondest memories (obviously there are so, so many more) are catching her first fish, butterfly kisses (BBWWW), appreciation of the simple things, her perseverance to achieve her nursing degree, fulfilling her dreams (moving to Colorado and becoming a nurse), and her never-ending selflessness. I will always remember our Snapchat filtered photo sessions, where we would try to outdo each other, and we would laugh about it for a long time. She said to me in a Father’s Day card that she always appreciated me allowing her to be “herself unapologetically” and she was always grateful for her parents and how we raised her. I miss you every day and am humbled by the impact you had on so many lives! I run in honor of my daughter Rachel to carry on her selflessness and to be a light for others. Your 25 years on this Earth were wonderful for all of us that have had the pleasure of knowing you! We also wish her a Happy Birthday today, too!" #WhyIRun
Kelli Cook shares, "There are so many wonderful things I could say about Rachel, but the thing that sticks out to me the most when I think of her is her loving heart and how hilarious she was! Rachel was so kind and caring towards everyone that came into her life. She served those around her with uncomparable compassion and empathy. Rachel always knew how to have a good time and make those around her laugh! There really never was a dull moment around her. She was a true light in our lives. I can't think of a better way to honor her memory than a 5K fun run!" #WhyIRun