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Half a Country Apart, Leeuw Runs for Her Brother
Allison Leeuw running in the 2011 Chicago Marathon.
By: Michael Izzo
Name: Allison Leeuw
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Occupation: Eligibility Company Manager
Team Reeve Event: 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
At the time you are reading this, Chris Leeuw, 28, is rehabbing
in South Jordan, Utah, over 1,500 miles away from his sister, Allison
Leeuw, 33, who is in their hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Chris is
at the Neuroworx facility, a Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network
(NRN) Community Fitness and Wellness facility, after an accident in
August 2010 left him living with an incomplete C4, C5 spinal cord
The NRN Community Fitness and Wellness facilities are focused on
incorporating locomotor training on a treadmill and over ground,
electrical stimulation with cycling, cardiovascular exercise and
strength training into a complete fitness and wellness program.
"He's had an amazing recovery so far and we hope it continues," says Allison.
Helping from home
Since Chris left for Utah, Allison has been working hard as well. This October, she will run the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
for her brother. "I still fly out monthly to see how he's doing and to
help out," explains Allison. "But back in Indianapolis, I had to figure
out what else I could do to help."
Her fundraising goal is simple: $2,620. That's equal to 100 friends, family members, and co-workers donating $1 per mile.
A lot of work ahead
To Allison, training presents the real challenge. She set a goal of five
hours, which she says is a conservative number. "I have a lot of miles
to put in," admits Allison, "but any time my alarm goes off in the
morning, or I'm in the middle of a long run, I just think of the people
who really know true exhaustion and true pain that have gone through
these injuries. It doesn't compare."
Always a runner, coming from an athletic and outdoorsy family, this
will be Allison's first full running marathon, though she has completed
half marathons and a walking marathon before. To prepare, she is joining
a local running group that includes other people running in Chicago.
While there is a lot of work left to be done with Chris, Allison
acknowledges how far he's come, and says she is grateful for the
assistance Chris and their family has gotten in the last year. "We know
we've been blessed in his recovery so far," says Allison. "Chris has
made progress. If it wasn't for the NeruroRecovery Network, places like
Neruroworx, I don't know what we would have done. So many people don't
have that sort of support."
Look for Allison Leeuw and the rest of Team Reeve in the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th.
Team Reeve hopes to raise money to help and assist more people like Chris. To make a donation for Allison's run, go here.