Polly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2008 and passed away in June 2009. Throughout her life, Polly was a very dedicated and disciplined runner. Polly’s Run is a race dedicated to her memory and to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Polly has positively influenced the lives of many people as a track and cross country coach, a first grade teacher, a great friend, and a beloved family member. Polly’s love and optimism inspired those around her to set high goals and dedicate themselves to achieving success. We will remember her influence as we work towards the goal of finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Polly Rogers was a mother, a teacher, a coach, and a phenomenal woman. Polly was born in Bloomer, Wisconsin on November 12, 1954 to Raymond and Charlene Polanski. She has two siblings Peggy Heward and Rob Polanski. Upon graduating from Bloomer High School, she made her way to the University of Wisconsin, where she found her passion of helping others while studying nursing. Her education led her to San Diego where she met her eventual husband, Kenneth Rogers. Once married, they made their way to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they would have three kids, Chris, Josh, and Ben.
She raised her three boys and supported them throughout all of their educational and athletic passions from soccer to basketball, before they eventually all found passion in her favorite sport of running. Polly began running in her late twenties and quickly became one of the top women in NM. She ran everything from 5k's to her favorite race, the half marathon. Polly was also the coach for the Albuquerque Track Club and watched her boys, and countless other boys and girls, excel in the sport. Polly coached alongside her best friend, Sally Machacek, whose children, Lindsay, Matthew, and Whitney, also ran. She was proud to be the coach for so many kids and to develop many of them into top runners in the country.
As the boys grew older, Polly decided to go back to school and get her teaching license. For the last years of her life she was a 1st grade teacher at Sunset Mesa and Eastern Hills Baptist Church. She loved teaching and extended her passion of helping others to educating children. While she was sick with pancreatic cancer, she always spoke of going back and teaching. She loved the kids and loved being their teacher.
Polly will be forever remembered through this event, and she would be so proud to still be helping people through her race. Her memory will inspire everyone around forever and she won't quit until we find a cure for pancreatic cancer which took her away from us and the world. We love you Polly!!!