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"I thought about ending my life until I saw your story on the news. My husband of 20 years lost his life to cancer a few months ago. I lost my best friend, my soulmate, my training/running partner. He was my life and life as I knew came to a stop. I could not live without him. The night your story aired, I was going to take my own life. I saw how vunerable you got with the loss of your father and how you were able to move on and be a father to your son gave me hope. YOU HAVE SAVED MY LIFE! You talked about how you run with your father in spirit, I now will run with my husband in spirit. Life has meaning for me. I didn't want to run anymore after he died but now I will run in his honor. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"


"I am a veteran soldier that has faced many hardships during and after war. I've witnessed some of the worst and horrific reality in war. This affected not only me but my family. Steptember 11, 2001 forever changed my world. At war I saw death and death is real. I had dreams of playing baseball, football, flying planes and having a family. Now with PTSD, I only dream of metal coffins filling the airplanes that I was working on. We were not trained on how to deal with this. Life is tougher back at home than being in war. I struggle every day and like you said life must go on. I am trying to get help from the VA in dealing with my PTSD. An help that you can provide I will appreciate. I will donate some running shoes in honor of my buddies that passed away in war.

Thank you for giving me hope and the will to live."


"When I saw your segment on the news, heard you describe how you use running to help heal from the loss of your Dad, it was that connection, right there, that made me want to share my story.

We are to be the Lord's remembrancers..." -- Urian Oakes

I love this quote because it reminds me to (at the very least) remember the breakthrough moments in my life that have brought me, even for a moment, to another level of seeing.

If we can somehow translate the profound experience/elevated perspective to another person, then we are utilizing that gift further, honoring it, and that's what I would like to do in offering to share my story with you.

In relation to your story, my story begins with the illness and death of my Dad, (my best friend) starts with that experience of being flattened by that bewildering sudden void/devastating event and about 5 years later ends with a phenomenal healing experience. The years in between providing the arc of my literal journey."


"Walking has always helped me achieve creativity, and I come up with the most unique ideas for art pieces or stories. Every piece I sell, I am able to deliver a small percentage of the gain to abused and neglected animals on death row! To me, walking alone requires immense concentration of working your body out and throwing your mind into quiet mode, which forces your psyche into spontaneous inspiration and immagination. The way I view it, every step I take, I help save a life. I also take my dogs with me, so they also benefit and help save their cousin companions as well as other creatures that need some TLC. Thank you for what you are doing."


"I was abused at a young age and now part of what helps me with depression is working out (running) that is why I would like to donate a pair of my running shoes. You gave me the courage to speak to you."

"I have a story I want to write about my sister's life and death. There is a shoe connection because it was during a 5Krun that my sister found out she had a vascular disease and had to have a bilateral femoral artery by pass surgery. She later lost one of her legs, and years after that she had to have the other one amputated. She was my hero and an inspiration to many. She died Feb of 2012, of a heart attack, three days after becoming a double amputee. She had such a love of God of and a joy about her, along with an amazing fighting spirit. It would be a pleasure to donate a pair of running shoes in honor of my sister's spirit, for someone else to find joy in running. I was and am still devastated over her death. I would like to donate a pair of shoes, please let me know how I can do that. I was so taken by your story on TV last night. God Bless you, he and your Dad are watching over you. This is a wonderful charity you have started."


"Your story is inspiring. What you're doing for others is amazing. Talking with you and finding your website (and seeing the NBC news clip online) instantly reminded me of my mother who I lost to diabetes in 2008. Before she passed, she had amputation of both legs. Life for her was never the same. Walking became a fantasy. Shoes were no longer a necessity. It's so easy to take your legs, feet, and walking for granted. I never thought of shoes as such an important part of life. It's the sign of what you're about to go out and do. Running shoes = exercise; sneakers = casual walk. Sure, we don't ever leave home without them, but who really stops to think about what life would be like if we didn't need shoes? My mother and many others know that life. Let's not take our feet for granted. Thank you!


"Your story on the news last night couldn't have come at a better time. I used to walk, run, play, etc. all the time until life took an unexpected turn.

About two years ago, I was laid off from my job. Then I lost my place to live and had to couch surf. Fortunately, I have a great family and group of friends that were willing to take me in, so I did my best to keep my head up. I stayed active; in fact I was running and walking more than before, since I had all this spare time. But as time went on, I became more and more depressed. Money was running out and still no job leads. Then my only pair of sneakers were stolen. I couldn't afford a new pair, so I stopped being active, which made me even more depressed. Fast forward to a year later - I did find a new job and then an apartment. But I had to take a low paying job, so after rent and bills, I still can't afford sneakers. I would love nothing more than to get active again, and a good pair of sneakers will get me started. Thank you for helping me."

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