BENEFITING: International Refugee Assistance Project
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
EVENT: Your Journey Your Cause 2017
When I registered for Ironman Arizona 2017, I knew I wanted to raise money for an organization. When the Muslim travel ban was announced, I immediately knew I wanted to raise money for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). Providing aid to refugees has long been something I have cared about, and after seeing how much the Muslim ban affected close friends, raising oney for IRAP felt like a productive way to fight back.
Fast forward to April 17, and two weeks after I set a PR at Oceanside 70.3, I was told I could never run again. I had a disc herniation in my lower back that was dangerously close to causing severe neurological damage. After two steroid injections, hours of physical therapy, Pilates, massage therapy, and chiropractic adjustments, it was clear that the only path forward was surgery. On July 12, I was admitted to the emergency room and scheduled for emergency surgery on July 13. Standing for X-rays was almost unbearable, and I could not walk from my hospital bed to the bathroom without assistance in the pre-op area. Two hours later, I woke up from surgery pain-free and able to walk again.
Seven weeks after surgery I carefully started working out and training again. With constant care from my surgical team, physical therapists, and a massage therapist, I have worked closely with my coach to rebuild my strength and prepare for Ironman Arizona. Just 18 weeks after being admitted to the hospital, I will attempt to conquer a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run in less than 17 hours.
While my story is one filled with perseverence and reliency, I am often reminded that what I have experienced is nothing compared to the challenges that face the countless refugees around the world. I did not flee my home due to religious persecution, civil war, or terrorism. I have not traveled long distances seeking asylum in a new country. But hopefully, with your help, I can help provide legal assistance to people who have had those experiences by donating to IRAP.
Thank you for your support.