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By Kenzie Kramer on 01/26/2017 | Remarkable! People
Girls on the Run San Diego board member and coach Monika Allen was best known for her colorful tutus, even more vibrant personality, and courage throughout her battle with brain cancer.
“She embodied the strength and perseverance that we want to teach our girls in our program,” said Girls on the Run San Diego board member Maria Mello. After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, Monika continued to dedicate her talents to Girls on the Run San Diego through volunteering and her tutu company Glam Runner that she and fellow board member Tara Baize founded to raise money for Girls on the Run.
Last week, at age 38, Monika lost her long battle with brain cancer. Over her time as a coach and her nearly six years as a board member for Girls on the Run San Diego, Monika impacted the lives of many people involved with the organization through her positive attitude and strength.
“Monika was hit with the greatest obstacle but she didn’t let it stand in her way,” said Girls on the Run International board member Denise Jackson. “She kept on living with a very vibrant spirit.”
Monika embodied the Girls on the Run core values and gained national media attention after standing up for herself and others after being mocked by a national magazine for wearing a tutu while running. Through Glam Runner, Monika and co-founder Tara Baize have encouraged GOTR girls as well as people around the world to express joy by running in tutus.
“If running in a tutu makes you feel good then that’s what you do,” said Maria Mello. Along with coaching and being a member of the Girls on the Run San Diego board of directors, Monika was a mother, wife, avid runner and an advocate for others affected by brain cancer.
“She had always been so strong and brave and doing what she wanted to do,” said Denise Jackson. Monika’s contributions have made a tremendous impact on Girls on the Run and the many lives that she touched. To celebrate Monika’s life and strength, Girls on the Run San Diego has created a scholarship in her honor, the Monika Carlson Allen Courage Scholarship, to help more girls embody her perseverance and bravery.