Jennifer Wilson via Crowdrise
August 27, 2015
BENEFITING: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
EVENT: YOUR JOURNEY, YOUR CAUSE
I’m sure many people are wondering why I’m raising money for a charity through my Ironman training this year. As some of you know, I completed my first Ironman distance triathlon in September 2014 (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). There are so many people who supported me and inspired me to take on such a feat; I would like to do something to give back to the community and hopefully inspire others to give back as well and to make healthy lifestyle changes in their own lives. The other reason is that heart disease and stroke have had such an impact on my family over the years. Unfortunately, many people in my family have been affected by one or both. In most cases, they received some medical intervention, had to make some lifestyle changes, and went back to living their lives. That is not always the case. My mother-in-law had a stroke in May 2014, most likely caused by atrial fibrillation, a heart condition she was not even aware she had. The aftermath of a stroke is devastating, not only physically but emotionally as well. Since the stroke, she has made miraculous progress, but her life will never be the same again. She lost her home, her job, her pets, and every sense of normalcy she had known, not to mention the physical struggles she now faces on a daily basis. Her friends and family have been amazingly supportive during this time, but I can’t even imagine what this has been like for her. I’m sure there are many people out there who have had a loved one with a similar experience, or maybe even worse. Stroke is the #5 cause of death in America. Heart disease is #1. The reason I am raising money for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association is to help prevent this from happening to other families by raising awareness, educating people about warning signs, and to fund the research that helped the doctors save the lives of my mother-in-law and other family members. I am excited for the opportunity to make my Ironman Journey in 2015 mean something by racing for a cause. Thank you all for your support!