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My “Why JMF?:” JMF has changed my life forever

Kiara Lee and other JMFitness run2gether captains participated in the Indy Mini. Hear about Kiara’s experience with the Foundation and racing throughout central Indiana.

My journey with JMF started with my long time physical therapist at school Mona. She asked me to come to an event and it changed my life forever. I have done track, swimming, Easter egg hunts, football, baseball, and dance all because of a simple invite to help my legs get stronger. I even got to attend a couple of proms for individuals with special needs where I was made to feel like a queen.

Some of these events I was invited to as a result of JMF. This has helped me and JMF establish relationships in the community. My mom and brother have even gotten involved in working with JMF. My brother has worked with some of the younger children and been their cheerleader at some events, while my mom is constantly thinking of things that she can do to help spread the word about JMF. Over the last year, we have established a family-like relationship with some of the staff. They look at me and not my disability.

As a result of the JMF 5K I was asked to participate in a half and full marathon. My new friend Tom Waddleton asked me to train with him for the Carmel full marathon. We started training in all types of weather. We had to be prepared for what race day would bring. This would lead to the beginning of run2gether.

The next time we did the Carmel race we had a team of three pushers and three children with physical disabilities. We were so excited, and as always my mom was waiting and cheering us on. By the time we would get close to the finish line, there would be a team of strangers cheering us on as well.

Tom and I started becoming a big hit in races around Indianapolis. I participated in the women’s half marathon while Tom and my mom volunteered and cheered me on.

We have been spreading the word to get more captains involved in run2gether. The captain is the one being pushed. The pushers are the crew. We are so happy that this year our captains have more than tripled for some of our races. I am so glad these captains can experience the joy I have gotten to experience over the last few years.

People are so amazed at the activities I participate in. They are more amazed at me doing a full marathon. All through the Joseph Maley Foundation.

I am so grateful for JMF and all the relationships I have made. My life has changed, and will never been the same.

Post written by: Kiara Lee, JMFitness athlete