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Running for Dad

Leezer spends some quality time with her father, Brock Adams.

Leezer spends some quality time with her father, Brock Adams.

By: Michael Izzo

Name: Davina Leezer
Age: 30
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Occupation: Marketing Manager, Mosaic
Team Reeve event: 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Davina Leezer, 30, says that she runs because she loves to. This October, she will take that love to the Windy City to run for her father as a member of Team Reeve in the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

In 1995, her father, Brock Adams, was injured in a car accident. Brock lived for 13 years with a C6, C7 spinal cord injury until he passed away in 2008. "That kind of life is not easy, but he made the best of it," says Leezer, the oldest of his five children. "He just tried to be the best father he could be."

Leezer began distance running in college, running as much as a half marathon on some occasions; but this is her first full marathon. Living in Omaha, NE, running outdoors isn't always an option in the winter. She began her training schedule in April and is currently up to 18 miles on her Sunday runs, which she reserves for long distance.

A familiar connection
Leezer says she has been familiar with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation since its inception because Christopher Reeve was injured soon after her father was. She discovered Team Reeve after its first appearance in the 2005 ING New York City Marathon. "I thought it would be an amazing thing to do someday," she remembers.

When Leezer heard Team Reeve was participating in the Chicago Marathon, she applied. Once accepted, she began to prepare for the run, as well as the fundraising. Initially, her goal was to raise $500, but after she reached that mark in the first three weeks, she changed it to $1,000.

Leezer credits reaching out to people who knew her father and her family for all the support and donations she has received. "If you're passionate and you have a personal story to tell," says Leezer, offering up some fundraising advice, "Then tell your story and why you want to get involved."

"Just go for it"
For people thinking of becoming first-time marathoners like herself, Leezer says to just go for it. "You may think this is something you can't achieve," she says, "but you never know until you try."

She'll be getting her inspiration from lessons she learned from her father. "Witnessing how my father dealt with what he was given, taught me strength, perseverance and to not take anything I have for granted," says Leezer. "I hope I make my dad proud."

Look for Davina Leezer and the rest of Team Reeve in the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th.

To make a donation for Leezer's run, go here.

Learn more
Inspired by Davina's story? Want to join Team Reeve? You don't have to be an athlete to become a member. Click here
Get to know some more of our Team Reeve athletes.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders