Charity Miles Champion Melissa plays flag football for BVBDC for Alzheimer's Association in memory of her grandparents. See how she turned her passion for running into a way to raise money to help end Alzheimer's.
Running relieves my stress, helped me land a husband, and keeps me in shape! My love for running began about 15 years ago when I was in high school. I used running as a form of stress relief when I was not playing basketball or volleyball. I ran to my friend’s houses to hang out, I ran to practice, and I ran all over my small hometown of Westborough, MA. In college, I used running as both a stress relief and a method of keeping off the “freshman 15.” No matter what happens in my life, I know that I can turn to a quick 3-mile jog for alone time, comfort, stress relief, and weight loss.
Running also reconnected my college friend, now-husband, and me about 4 years ago. He challenged me to sign up for my first race the “Friends of the W&OD 10K.” We made it an annual race together once we started dating and haven’t missed a year! I’ve since completed several races including 3.2 for 32 Virginia Tech Remembrance 5K, Army Ten Miler, Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly half marathon. Training for these races showed me that if I set a goal, I have the drive, self-discipline, and dedication to reach it. In the midst of the running fun,
I decided to get involved with Blondes vs. Brunettes (BVB) DC. BvB DC is a non-profit, 100% volunteer-driven group of young professional women who play flag football in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. We fundraise, train, plan social events, and volunteer in our local community for our cause. Every dollar we raise goes directly to the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter.
Alzheimer’s awareness has a special place in my heart; unfortunately, this disease took both of my Mother’s parents. I witnessed my Dziadek (Polish for Grandfather) and Babcia (Polish for Grandmother) go from living their normal lives to slowly deteriorating mentally and physically to the point where they didn’t remember their own family members. I am on Team Blonde because my Babcia had the blondest hair you’ve ever seen on a 92-year-old – she wouldn’t have it any other way! I know she looks down on me from time to time and is proud that I am following in her philanthropic footsteps.
When BvB teamed up with Charity Miles my two worlds were connected! I am able to log my miles and fundraise for Alzheimer’s all at once! Each mile I walk or run is tracked by Charity Miles, sponsored by Humana who donates money for every mile! Join our team at BvBDC in the Charity Miles app, and help us in our fight against Alzheimer’s!