My name is Jennifer Clausen, I am 40 years old, and fairly new to the sport of running. I realize this might be hard to believe considering my age, but it wasn’t until my little brother challenged me to a 5k mud run that I even tried. Well that’s all it took and I was hooked. Through lots of sweat, tears, and yes even a little blood I succeeded. June 2013 I became a runner! Challenging, yes it is, but I love it, better late than never to discover your passions. I have since competed in several 10k races and three half marathons.
Hi, my name is Brooke, I too am 40 years old and fairly new to running. I’ve always loved to play competitive sports, but never thought about distance running. After years of unexplained infertility and working with doctors, acupuncturists, etc; I told myself if my body can’t do something as amazing as conceive and carry a baby, then I am going to prove that it can do something awesome… So I began running. What better than running a marathon!
The Chicago marathon will be our first attempt at 26.2 miles. We are ready to embrace this challenge. Brooke and I are very good friends from high school. We were lucky enough to reconnect a couple of years back at our 20th reunion. Although my life is in Iowa, and Brooke in Ohio, we soon discovered our similar ambition, the love for running.
Brooke and I will be raising money for the UPS for Downs Charity, to help us fulfill our goal. This is a parent-directed, non-profit organization. This charity was established by parents and family members of individuals, of all ages, who have Down syndrome. The charity provides support, education, and encouragement to families. This guidance will help create successful, confident members of our communities regardless of disability.
I personally am employed at an early learning center, where I work with small children. I’m also a parent of a 5 year old boy. I love watching them all learn and grow. We all need the tools and education for our children. We all want our children to be included, and succeed. This is why I believe in helping this charity. We all need support.
The years of unexplained infertility lead Brooke and her husband to the journey of adoption. They are currently a waiting couple hoping to bring home a baby soon. On their journey they have met other hopeful adoptive couples in their area. One couple in particular quickly became friends. They have had the pleasure of experiencing the joy of the adoption process with them as they answered the call to a match of a baby girl that was 3-days old, has Down syndrome and a vascular issue. Brooke is very emotionally connected to this little girl (Kadence) and her family. Words cannot explain how special it is to watch her develop and the new things she learns and experiences. Kadence had a rough start in life as she was a very sick baby, but she is thriving and always has a smile on her face. Kadence’s Mom (Sonia) has quickly become involved in the Downs Syndrome community and is a huge advocate in educating others. Sonia and her family are so excited that we have chosen Ups for Downs as a charity to run for. It’s all about awareness and support for the community.
Please help us run our marathon in support of Down syndrome individuals, and families, a little encouragement and support goes along ways
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