Three years ago I signed up for my first Pat's Run because I needed a goal to work towards in order to get back in shape. I thought I understood what I was signing up for, but I never would have guessed what I would gain from the experience. Honestly, I thought I would walk my 4.2 miles, build up a tolerance for walking long distances and shed a couple of pounds in the process. But that was only the beginning of my journey. I gained an understanding and deep appreciation for Pat Tillman, his values and his accomplishments in his incredibly short amount of time here. I found myself in amazing opportunities that allowed me to share my story both on television and in front of a crowd of 300 women. And most of all, I met some of the most deserving, hard working men and women who receive the Tillman scholarship every year.
Now, you may be wondering why on earth walking 4.2 miles gave me these experiences. I was born 3 months premature and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at about a year old. I was fortunate enough that the damage to my brain only effected my motor skills and my mental capacity was not compromised. I walk with fore-arm crutches, and tend to drag my right foot (which makes shoe buying a monthly event). Even though I was faced with a lot of challenges growing up, my family always insisted in treating me like any other child and made me adapt to situations on my own. I was taught that giving up was not an option and if I really wanted something, I would have to put my heart and mind to it. Which is what I've always done, especially with Pat's Run.
So here I am, on my third adventure to honor Pat Tillman and support the Tillman Scholars. I ask that you please support not me, but the Pat Tillman Foundation by donating today. Serving our country is HARD. Turning down a professional football career to serve our country is HARD. Watching your loved one serve our country is HARD. Walking 4.2 miles, with or without crutches, is NOT hard. Donating $5, $10, $15, $25 to support the education of the men and women who have protected our country is NOT hard. Please help me in giving back to those who have given so much for us.