Thank you for visiting my fundraising page friends, family, fellow runners and supporters. This year, I will be running my third consecutive TCS NYC marathon (26.2 mile block party) as a legally blind athlete with Achilles International.
I'm so excited and ready to take on the challenge with my amazing "wonder women" guides Marta Leja, Patricia McNaughton & Brooke Danielson.
About Achilles International:
Achilles International has helped me in so many ways. They have opened new doors of opportunities and created a path of adventures. I am so proud to be a member of this wonderful organization. The mission of Achilles International is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events. Specialized programs include the Achilles Freedom team which serves wounded military personnel and veterans; Achilles Kids which provides training, race opportunities, and an in-school program for children with disabilities; the Achilles Para-triathlon team which expands their running program into biking and swimming accessible to all.
I was born legally blind with limited blurry vision and only can see a few feet in front of me. My diagnosis is a combination of nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyes), aniridia (absence of the iris) and cataracts that can't be removed because they are too premature. I also experience light sensitivity. When I joined Achilles about 3.5 years ago, I didn't know what to expect. As I look back, I am glad and so grateful I did because it has made a positive impact and changed my life.
I remember just like yesterday, my first day at the Achilles NYC chapter workout in Central Park feeling anxious, shy and reserved. I wanted to make a positive change in my life and get back into shape by living a healthier lifestyle without letting my visual impairment impact my running or involvement in sports. I also wanted to meet new people without being judged. I noticed the sense of teamwork, camaraderie, and friendship within the Achilles team. I found it to be appealing and a perfect fit. And realzied quickly it so was!
I went to the workouts consistently and felt my fitness level improving gradually and felt more comfortable in my surroundings. I felt happier, more confident and free like a bird running in the park with guides by my side. I knew the guides were my guding eyes and trusted them to protect me. Progressively, I felt stronger, more determined and desire to run longer.
Before I joined Achilles, I ran for fun and 10K was the furthest distance completed. I set some goals and felt confident enough to sign up for races. With the support and encouragement from the other athletes and guides over the duration of 3.5 years, I have trained hard & finished 7 half marathons, 4 marathons and 5 triathlons.
Since joining Achilles, I have met some of the most amazing friends, athletes and guides that continue to inspire and motivate me through their experiences and with stories overcoming adversity. I consider Achilles as my second family. <3 Thank you all for taking the time to read my page.
Please help Achilles International continue to make a difference in peoples' lives and consider making a donation, no matter how small and share this with someone you know. We greatly appreciate all your support.