Runner Spotlight | Kayla Lauer – Lakewood, Washington

After her father’s death Kayla found herself battling Crohn’s Disease and enduring the worst of her surgeries, making her feel low and broken. It was at this juncture that she reconnected with her now-husband who she met in second grade and was deployed at the time. His emails and letters gave her hope; allowing her to feel alive and desirable again.  In a grandly romantic gesture he offered to marry her so she could use the insurance to help her turn her life around. Kayla refused, insisting she could never ask him to give up the possibility of finding his true love for selfish reasons. In the end it did not matter because as soon as his deployment was over, he came home and they fell in love anyway. They were married shortly thereafter, and have just recently celebrated their two year anniversary. Kayla says of him, “He pushes me to be a better person, to not feel sorry for myself. He gave me the strength to go to school, and to join this team and run to help others not as lucky as me.”


In 2012 Kayla discovered Team Challenge while conducting some research on Crohn’s Disease. Running with the team appeared to be an amazing opportunity, but shortly before joining she discovered she was pregnant. This came as a shock as she was told her disease would not allow for an easy pregnancy, if one at all. She was unable to participate in 2012, but this year she has proudly joined Team Challenge to run Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, and through this incredible experience has found the joy of running for herself and for others.

 “I am running Las Vegas to find a cure; to prove to myself that this disease did not break me. I run so that my 5 month old knows no bounds or limitations. I run so that others can learn to feel proud of who they are, and feel like this disease shapes them into a better and stronger person.”

 Kayla’s story is just one of many that bring motivation and support to members of the Rock ‘n’ Roll community. Share your personal story and you could be featured in our Runner Spotlight. Your experience can encourage others through difficult times and help make dreams possible.