If you follow my facebook page or instagram, you probably know that in 2016 I will be running the Boston Marathon and I couldn’t be more excited. The Boston Marathon has been running since 1897 and ever since watching my first one in 2011, I have wanted to become part of this tradition. It is one of the most prestigious races, you either have to qualify with amazing speed, or run with a charity. While I have no quite worked up to qualifying for Boston (this is actually my first FULL marathon!) I am honored to be running with The Play Brigade Charity team.
The Play Brigade is an amazing charity that was founded by Dawn Oates whose third child, Harper, suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury at birth, leaving her with substantial mobility limitations. Dawn founded The Play Brigade after she realized the challenges of finding opportunities for her entire family to engage in the community in fun and meaningful ways. Despite her children’s differences in ability, they all had a shared desire to have fun. The Play Brigade is dedicated to creating opportunities for play, recreation, and sports, where everyone participates and belongs, regardless of age or ability. They create universal opportunities for fun that are inclusive, rather than “specialized,” raising the bar beyond ADA compliant. They create awareness of inclusion as a social problem, illustrating how individuals and entire communities benefit when every person has the opportunity to participate and belong.
I became involved with this charity through my work at my current job with Joint Ventures Physical Therapy. About 10 years ago, Dawn dialed the wrong number, realized that she did need some physical therapy as a long distance runner and since then has become part of the Joint Ventures family. This cause also hits home for me because growing up I had friends, much like Dawn’s daughter that excluded from activities because of inaccessibility. There are many places that claim to be handicap accessible, which means that you can get inside with a wheelchair but getting around once inside is another story. The Play Brigade helps eliminates exclusion and helps everyone regardless of age or ability live their life how they see fit.
If you’d like to help build this brigade please donate to my page- every little bit helps!