9/2/13 - Crossroads Champions
by Sara Croft
Our staff at Easter Seals Crossroads has a passion for improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities and special needs. Little did we know that many of them were just as passionate about running.
We reached out to our staff to tell them about this new partnership with the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and we were overwhelmed by the responses. Over ten staff members were already planning on participating in the 5K, half marathon or full marathon. Now deemed as Crossroads Champions, these staff members shared their stories about why each of them is running for Easter Seals Crossroads.
Teri Maloney, a pediatric occupational therapist, knows that the power of believing in oneself makes all the difference. "About nine years ago, I started having several health related issues which completely altered my life. As my health started to improve, other issues developed requiring me to undergo two invasive surgeries over the past six months. I am so thankful that I have found a career that I love, but also a place that cares about me. I have never felt more supported from an employer than I have with Easter Seals Crossroads. This is probably the first time that I truly believe that I have the ability to run a 5K. With that being Easter Seals Crossroads emphasis, I could not think of a better opportunity."
Angie LeGrand, a job coach with Project SEARCH, was excited to learn that she could run for Easter Seals Crossroads through this new partnership. "Running is definitely a passion of mine and has been for many years. I run several races a year and thoroughly enjoy every one of them. I also enjoy my career with Easter Seals Crossroads and am thrilled to be able to combine two things I love!"
Claire Werner, an occupational therapist, has never run a half marathon. She's participated in a 10K but she'll be running a half marathon over Labor Day weekend to prepare for the half marathon on November 2. "I utilize running as a time of personal reflection...a way to blow off steam if you will. It is amazing what one can accomplish with discipline and commitment. Once I begin training for the Indianapolis Monumental run as a member of the Crossroads team, I can use that time for professional reflection and as a way to maintain a sharp focus on what it means to work for an organization that emphasizes ability."
Recently, our staff organized their own wellness program to encourage exercise and weight loss for those interested in making significant changes to their lifestyle. Dr. Gwen Martin, Manager of our Autism Services, and Rick Krakora, IT Manager, are neck and neck in the challenge and they are both participating in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Cindy Sanders in our accounting department has lost over 60 pounds in one year as she started a similar wellness program. Now she's signing up for 5Ks left and right!
Participating in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is more than just a fitness goal for these staff members. Each one of them is an ambassador for Easter Seals Crossroads by running for our mission of improving the lives of children and adults with special needs, disabilities or challenges.
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Easter Seals Crossroads