June 2012 Shawn Walls
CF Workout Warrior

Tell us a little about yourself

I have been married to my beautiful wife, Carol, for 27 years. We are the parents of three children: Anna, Emily, and Jackson.

“I run because I believe in changing your life”

What is your favorite Team Boomer memory?
Crossing the finish line in the 2013 New York City Marathon. It marked the completion of two years of hard work with some big set-backs along the way. It was the fulfillment of a commitment to my daughter, Anna.

What is your best fundraising tip?
Let everyone in your sphere of influence know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Use social media. You’ll be amazed where the money comes from. You may be shocked by the amounts given by people you hardly know. One of my patients has a foundation that contributes money to CF research, and I didn’t know this. She gave a 4-figure contribution.

Why do you run?
I started running in November 2011 with the goal of running in the 2012 New York City Marathon and raising $5000 for the Boomer Esiason Foundation. I wanted to make a bold statement of commitment to my 17 year-old daughter, Anna, who was born with CF. I wanted to show her that I would push myself to do something extremely difficult for a cause that would benefit her. At the same time, I wanted to inspire her to push herself to adhere to a difficult regimen of daily treatment in order to stay as healthy as possible.

After months of training and fundraising I was ready for the marathon and had exceeded my fundraising goal by about $15,000. However, the 2012 marathon was cancelled due to a catastrophic weather event known as Hurricane Sandy. My focus at that time was on Anna, who was in the ICU on a ventilator. She had developed a lung infection from which she would not recover, and she passed away on November 15, 2012.

I trained for the 2013 NYC marathon, and finishing was a very emotional experience. I have continued to run because I enjoy it, and because I feel a connection with Anna when I run. I am doing something that began as an effort to help her. Running has helped me to heal and to deal with grief. I am motivated to strike back at CF by raising money to fight it.

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