Charity Charles: Running To Make The World a More Inclusive Place For All
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Why I’m running (again) in 2022:
INCLUSION is a word that carries it’s weight in gold.
Being an inclusive human being costs nothing. Think about a time you felt excluded in your life… and think about the barriers that individuals with visible and/or invisible disabilities face. Does exclusion feel like the norm for many of our peers? There are millions of stories that are not told – lets create memories, share stories and make the nevers possible for EVERYONE.
On April 8th, my dear friend David Jaffin’s mother, Roberta, tragically lost her battle with cancer. I watched David’s strength of making sure his mother’s memory lives on battle his sadness of her loss. David shared his interest in running the marathon with his mother, making sure to include her in this journey. May we all display David’s strength and share our stories with those around us to further inclusion.
Positive vibes always,
Why I ran in 2021:
- My mom, Momma Lerner, was a speech pathologist for elementary school students with invisible disabilities. I vividly remember going to work with her and experiencing the joy that she brought her students by making them feel included. Parents told her that because of her work, their children were able to communicate better. I remember thinking to myself how unfair it was that we could so easily go to a ballgame as a family, but that other families did not have the same opportunity for reasons they could not control. Kulture City is giving these families opportunities to experience the same joy that every child deserves.
- My dad, (legendary moustache) Abe, immigrated to America with his parents, both Holocaust survivors, when he was 8 years old without a dollar in his pocket and knowing no English. He started working at 14 years old, ultimately owned his own business #Avignone, and gave me the most incredible education any child could ask for.
- My Aunt Merle was in a car accident 38 years ago. After the doctors first said she would not survive, and then told her that she would never walk again, she (with the help of my mom, dad and her entire community) defied all odds through perseverance. To this day 38+ years later, although more often seen in her yellow motorized wheelchair endearingly nicknamed ‘bumble bee,’ she can still walk, feed herself, and inspires those around her.
I am running the marathon for all the families my mom impacted, for my dad’s parent’s, for my Aunt Merle and to create opportunities accessible for ALL people. These 26.2 miles are for all of you.
My ‘why’ in life is to make the world a more inclusive place – thank you for your support in this journey!
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Created August 11th, 2022