Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work- both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Debbie Lesser, a full-time medical sign language interpreter and single mother. Growing up, she wore a back brace 23 hours a day and was told she would never be able to do any type of physical activity. Over the years, she constantly challenged herself, taking up activities like Jazzercize, hiking, kickboxing, running and tennis. She is proud of what she’s been able to do and wants to instill the importance of physical activity in her daughters, along with the confidence and motivation to never give up.

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?

Balancing a busy life with the girls, work and exercise. Alison, my 11-year- old was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease this past March. She is one of the most positive people I know. Her sister, Jillian, has been supportive and very motivated to learn as much as she can about her sister’s illness. Teaching my kids to trust their instincts, utilize resources available to them and think outside the box when you can’t find a solution is my greatest, never-ending accomplishment. 

How did you achieve it?

Through perseverance, introspection and staying positive, even when times were tough. Participating in activities and events together gives us an opportunity to put the things we discuss into practice. Jillian, my 13-year-old, was actually my inspiration to start running. She motivates me to try harder.

What motivates you to make the world a better place?

Quite honestly, my children and those I love motivate me. I want every child, not just my own, to have opportunities to be happy and fulfilled. I also want children to enjoy physical activity and have the desire to be fit. 

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?

I pay attention to what I eat (including eating only the best tasting chocolate chip cookies…the mediocre ones are just not worth the calories!) and exercise as often as I can. Staying active is very important to me.  I’ve also found that finding balance is a huge part of staying healthy. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. I’m not sure if that is advice per say but I love the quote.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?

To be able to make contributions to as many causes as I want, while also getting fit. Win win.

Who do you exercise for, and why?

I exercise for myself, for those I love and, now, for those who need our support! (oh…and my dog!)

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