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In Loving Memory: Corpus Christi runner competing in Boston Marathon to honor fallen service members, late brother

She will be running for the 13 service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan while wearing one of her brother's dog tags.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Joann De Los Santos, owner of Jojo’s Hair Studio in Annaville, has been cutting hair for over 30 years.

But when she’s not behind the chair- she is chasing another dream. 

"Running. It’s the therapy I get from running" said De Los Santos. 

De Los Santos picked up the hobby to follow in her brother's footsteps after he passed away in a motorcycle accident. She said it helped her out of a dark place.

"I went through a horrible depression, anxiety, it took over me," De Los Santos  said. "But when I found running, it released those endorphins." 

She fell in love with the miles and became a marathoner, who most recently qualified to run in the upcoming Boston Marathon next Monday, something she didn’t always believe she was cut out for. 

"It’s cream of the crop it’s a marathon everyone would love to run. I’m grateful I get to run it this year because last year during the pandemic everything went to a halting stop," De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos'  alarm goes off at 3 a.m. six days a week to train for this upcoming race, but she says what really wakes her up is passion, drive and purpose. 

“It's extremely emotional from start to finish. 26 miles, you have a lot of time to think," De Los Santos  said. She dedicates each run to someone, or something, she cares about.

During the Boston Marathon, De Los Santos  will be running for the 13 veterans who lost their lives in Afghanistan while wearing one of her brother's dog tags. She hopes her story of finding a purpose encourages others. 

"Anybody can come out of darkness, you have to find something every day to push forward and for me it was running."

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