I have not always been a runner. In fact, I completed my first half marathon thanks to the encouragement of a true running aficionado who would later become my fiance and the love of my life - Wendy Martinez. In the years following that race, she and I built a life together, one in which she constantly inspired me with her enthusiasm for life, her commitment to constant growth, her passion for empowering others (especially other women), and her tireless love of running.
Wendy's life was cut tragically short this past September. She was the victim of a senseless act of violence while on a run in our home city of Washington DC. Her passing broke the hearts of so many people in the Washington DC community. But it also brought us together through our shared commitment to keeping Wendy's example alive. This commitment has manifest in the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project, a fund that will invest in women's empowerment and other causes that were dear to Wendy's heart.
Wendy's story touched many people, including the kind and compassionate individuals behind the Lingzi Foundation, created by the family of another vibrant young woman who was taken too soon as a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing. Thanks to their generosity and their partnership, I will be joining their team to run the Boston Marathon, helping me to fulfill Wendy's lifelong dream of running this iconic race.
The Foundation has provided me an opportunity to make Wendy's dream come true. Furthermore, any funds raised through my participation will be channeled back to the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project. Lingzi and Wendy will be teaming up to support noble causes for the first time. I appreciate any support you can give us as I help Wendy cross that historic finish line and keep her memory alive by doing what she loved best - running.