March 6, 2017

As a proud Charity Partner for the second year in a row, the Human Development Center is forming an amazing team of runners! We have reserved 50 spots on our team this year. Runners are asked to fundraise for our organization. In return, runners bypass the lottery for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and receive a free entry into either race. This makes a great partnership between our running team and our organization! Fundraising efforts from Grandma’s Marathon aid in our mission to lead our communities by providing integrated, culturally respectful mental health and addiction services that foster hope, self-determination, and recovery. Our focus on serving those most in need improves the quality of life for all.

Our runners join our team for many different reasons; personal development, a connection to mental health, raising awareness for mental health and more. Here is a spotlight on an amazing HDC runner, Alyssa Reder.

“Who in the world would ever choose to run a marathon!?”

I have been asked this numerous times, and the answer is simple: For me it is not to qualify for another race, to set a personal best, or to even have the bragging rights. I run to prove to myself that I am strong enough to get to the end. Strength is not something I have always believed I possessed. I thought if I could be strong enough to finish a marathon I would be strong enough to handle anything that stood in front of me. If I could finish a marathon, I would have the strength to stand up for myself. I have ran two marathons since having this original thought, and I have finally been able to believe I have the strength to stand up for myself. Having the honor to run for HDC really hits home for me, and makes me believe that everything truly does happen for a reason.

For those of you that don’t know, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years. During those three years I managed to isolate myself from my family and friends. I lived in constant fear of what might happen, what actions or words I should use, and when the next “blowup” would be. I constantly lied to my family and friends about the details of my life, and made excuses for absolutely everything. I lingered on every word, criticism, name I was called, lie, apology, and promise hoping that “it would get better.” He made me believe that no matter what I did or said he was the only person that could ever love me. I believed only one person, him. I was lucky enough to receive help from family, friends, and counselors at HDC to help me remove myself from the nightmare that had become my life.

Even after the relationship I dealt with unbearable consequences for my actions, harassment, and stalking. It has taken me almost 6 years to be able to have the strength, courage, and bravery to stand up for myself against my abuser.

Through the help and guidance of counselors at HDC I was able to leave my toxic relationship. I do not think I could ever thank them enough for the support they provided. Please help me support the Human Development Center for all they have done, not only for me, but for others that struggle with mental illness, create abuse awareness, and guidance for those in need of help.

To support Alyssa, please click this link, Alyssa Reder Crowdrise Fundraising Page.

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