(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
When Dr. Clayton Lawrence wrote “The Sum of My Success” in 2013, he shared a brief account of his life as a decorated veteran military physician, an established business executive, an aspiring endurance athlete and an up-and-coming model. Its pages take readers along on his journey to achieve greatness in each of those roles and his quest to discover his multiple purposes in life. The year was one of transformation for him, marking more than 25 marathons since he began endurance running in 2011.
Now, with more than 100 marathons completed, the doctor continues to make his mark both nationally and internationally. His work with his nonprofit organization, LEAP Foundation DC, has allowed countless youth to find a path to their very own successes. Collaboration is the key and his partnership with and support of critical organizations having impacts all over the world continues through his passion for marathon running.
Recently, Dr. Lawrence traveled to India, where he participated in the Tata Mumbai Marathon in support of Mentor Me India, a nonprofit organization that aims to “empower the children from low-income groups by providing them with strong role models in the form of mentors.” Mentor Me India’s Senior Recruitment and Operations Associate Jesmina M. Sanga said the organization’s mission is about allowing all children to discover and achieve their dreams, regardless of their background.
Just one week later, the athlete and youth mentor took to the streets in Miami, for the Fitbit Miami Marathon and Half Marathon – his 107th race to date. This particular marathon struck a chord with Dr. Lawrence since it raised awareness for Kids Run Miami, which is designed to introduce youth to running to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing. “This is perfectly in line with what the Foundation wants to support – inspiring youth to lead healthier lives,” he said.
Now preparing for two international marathons, Dr. Lawrence hopes sharing this information will encourage readers to consider how their financial donations could change the lives of youth not only today, but in the future:
First up? He’ll visit Paris to take part in the April 14, 2019 Paris Marathon, where he’ll race alongside 60,000 runners for the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris. Although he’ll enjoy the sites of this incredible city, it is, perhaps, the purpose for which he is running that is the most important aspect of his participation. American Institute for Cancer Research provides funding for research that focuses on the links between diet, physical activity and weight management to cancer prevention and survivorship. LEAP Foundation DC has long supported the American Cancer Society, and the opportunity to support another cancer-focused charity that makes the connection between diet and physical activity and this devastating disease serves as a powerful tool for the Foundation’s mission. If so moved, you can donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/leap-foundation-dc/claytonlawrence
In April 2020, he’ll pay a visit to London to participate in the Virgin Money London Marathon in support of Smile Train. This incredible international children’s charity has developed “a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.” Although the organization reports that opinions vary on the number of cases of clefts, the complications of going untreated are well-known, such as difficulty eating, breathing, hearing and speaking. Smile Train recognizes that reconstructive surgery to treat cleft is simple, fairly inexpensive and immediately life-changing. In fact, one child can receive the gift of a smile for as little as $250. If so moved, you can donate here: https://my.smiletrain.org/fundraiser/drclaytonlawrencelondonmarathon
* Donations in support of either fundraiser will not assist with travel or other costs to participate, but rather will directly benefit the charity for which Dr. Clayton Lawrence is running.