A guest blog from our very own Roger Long!
My name is Roger Long and I use the Charity Miles app every time I walk, hike, climb a mountain or run. There are two distinct, yet intertwined reasons I do so; to pay back a debt and to pay an investment forward.
I’m the father of two United States Marines. My older son is a veteran of OIF and OEF and my younger son is an active duty Marine. I’m a proud dad, and I’m honored my sons have chosen to serve our country. Many of their brothers and sisters in arms have sacrificed greatly, and I acknowledge the burden of debt I feel by doing what I can to repay their service and sacrifice on my behalf. Although I will never be able to fully repay the debt, Charity Miles gives me the opportunity to do so by contributing to the mission of Wounded Warrior Project.
I’m also a person with Parkinson’s; I received the verdict and was given the life sentence of living with a progressive, degenerative disease almost eleven years ago. I struggled, battled, and grappled with the monster for years before gaining the upper hand through some life changes over which I had control, primarily exercise and attitude. In 2012, I was presented with an opportunity by the Michael J. Fox Foundation to be part of the first Team Fox Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition. Aug. 28 will be the one year anniversary of our group reaching Uhuru Peak, the highest summit of Kilimanjaro and the African continent. Our team raised more than $100,000 for Parkinson’s research to find the cure. Charity Miles gives me the opportunity to continue investing in the research that will find the cure and set free the more than five million people worldwide who are my brothers and sisters in the fight against PD.
I’m currently training to run the 38th Marine Corps Marathon; something I couldn’t imagine possible for several years. Before I begin each training run, I open the Charity Miles app and choose either Wounded Warrior Project or the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Every mile works to either repay my debt to help wounded veterans or invests in the cure for PD. For me, and I believe for many who use the Charity Miles app, the phrase “every mile matters” has much deeper meaning than a hash tag can convey.
Stay tuned for more from Roger!