I am often asked why I run or what drives me to keep running. There are many reasons I run. However, most importantly, I run to be the change I seek. I am driven to run because I know that everytime I lace up my shoes I am fighting statistics.
-I am fighting the statistics against diabetes.
-I am fighting the statistics against heart disease.
-I am fighting the statistics against obesity.
-I am fighting the statistics against cancer.
These diseases are rampant in my community. They have also affected me personally. I have several aunts and uncles that died from diabetes. My sister, while still in her 20s was diagnosed with a rare cancer call Germ Cell Cancer which she bravely fought and won. Then, this past December 2018 my father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died less than 30 days later. This was a heartbreaking blow to my family that we are still trying to recover from.
However, I truly believe that through fitness and healthy choices, I can show ways to fight back against these statistics. I can be the change agent and share new ways to set and achieve goals. I can inspire and encourage people, especially women that they are worth making time for themselves. Whether it's going for walks, hanging with friends, visiting the gym or even just to have a day to relax.
We are worth it and we can unite and work together to demonstrate that we want more than what these statistics offer. I know this because (as shown in my pics) I was once considered morbidly obese having gained an extra 75lbs after having my children. I had always been athletic as a teen and young adult. Whereas, as a working mother of young children, it was a lot harder to lose the weight. However, slowly but surely I have fought back to become a healthier me. In doing so I have had many people join me and work towards a healthier them as well.
Developing these habit is of vital importannce.
Which is why I am so excited to be partnered with the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton.
Providing a safe space for children where they can be active and learn healthy habits are tied into what I believe in. I also recognize that so much of the disparity I want to reduce, starts early.
Being able to raise funds for a program that provides children access to the arts, developes character & leaderships, specialized girls programming, educational and of course sports and fitness are all things that I am proud to align with.
Finally, I recognize that just like the children at The John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton, as a child growing up in my hometown Kankakee, IL., I was the recipient of the services of very similar organizations (Youth For Christ, YMCA and many community based after school programs) .
As a high school basketball player I sharpened my skills during the open gym time provided by these organizations. This would later lead to full athletic scholarship on the women's basketball team at Villanova University.
Many years later I would be in a position that allowed me to support the very organizations that had helped me as a child. I became a volunteer at the YMCA and would go on to serve a 3 year term on the YMCA Board Of Advisors. Additionally, I have been fortunate to serve in various organizations that allow me to help raise funds for children going to college and provide support for local programs for womens, senior citizens and homeless programs.
While I may have startd running to get in shape, I have since embarked on a mission that has taken me to to multiple countries as a marathoner seeking to complete the World Major Marathons. My World Marathon Major mission is nearing it's end as the Boston marathon will be my final World Major Marathon. Boston, for many reasons, is a very special race. However, it will mean even more that the 26.2 miles I run will be for a cause that supports children like the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton.
I know that my access to the resources that I am helping to provide to these children, allowed me to thrive and become the person I am today. Which is why I am both grateful and humbled to be in a position to give back.
Helping the children John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton have a space where they can become leaders, learn and have fun provides them that same access to various resources. These are resources that will encourage, prepare and shape the children of John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton into the future leader they are destine to be.
Therefore, I humbly request that you consider making a donation to my fundraising campaign.
Priscilla Jackson aka Pennylove
Team John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton, a 501(C)3 nonprofit, changes the lives of area children and teens everyday. With every mile run and every dollar raised, you are an agent of change for the more than 700 children and teen members, and the 2,600 we serve annually.
The mission of John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club in Newton is to enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
To learn more about the Club click HERE.
All gifts in support of the team are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Federal ID number 04-2144095.