I never saw myself as a runner. Coming from a family where the women have a history of diabetes and heart disease, I knew I had to take my health seriously and running was a perfect fit. I committed to the NYC Marathon thinking it would be one and done on my bucket list. That was until I crossed the finish line. When I crossed, a feeling came over me that if I could do this, I can do anything. That was the day my life changed. Unlike my mother's generation that became old before their time, today’s fifties and sixties are the new strong. I want to represent my age group as vibrant, full of life, living life with no regrets. Running the Boston Marathon represented exactly that to me. As the oldest and most prestigious marathon I knew I had to take it on. I also knew that when I did run it I would be running for a purpose. I wanted to contribute to a cause that would not only raise awareness, but also help change lives. When I ran the Marine Corp Marathon last year I found my cause.
Raising funds for veterans is very dear to my heart - I feel like they are the forgotten heros of today. It is for that reason that I've used running as a platform to raise money for charities that relate to veterans and their needs. I'm honored this year to be a part of the Boston Marathon and raise money towards the Arredondo Family Foundation. This foundation was created to empower military families in the prevention of military related suicides and to provide support through education, financial relief and support services. The foundation provides suicide prevention training primarily for veterans and military families as well as financial support and referrals for military families who have experienced a suicide death. Your donations will go a long way in this process. In 2018, emergency aid was presented to 14 military families at the time of the loss of their loved one due to suicide. A total of six scholarships were presented to military siblings for higher education and three more scholarships were presented to military children to enable them to attend parochial school. More than 300 participants were trained in military related suicide prevention utilizing Q.P.R. training so that they know how to prevent a veteran, service member or military family member from taking their lives. Almost 500 turkeys and side dishes were provided to low income veterans and their families at Thanksgiving time. I'm very excited to now be a part of this great cause - please help me reach my goal!