Runner Builds on Life of Service as a Children’s Champion
July 13, 2016 by Alissa Hazlett
Shannon Siegferth has spent her life trying to help others. From volunteering in college to serving 8 years in the United States Coast Guard, Shannon sees being a Children’s Champion as the next step in doing what she can to give back to the community.
While volunteerism and service to her country has been a lifelong passion for Shannon, running is a relatively new one. She can still remember the day a few years ago when she ran 1 mile and couldn’t catch her breath. That’s the day she decided she needed to push herself to lead a healthier lifestyle.
“For me, running is a great way to relax and it’s a great time for me to reflect on what I’m currently achieving and what future goals I would like to set for myself,” Shannon said.
She recently completed her first half marathon in her hometown of Medina and is looking forward to completing another one this fall as part of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. When she signed up for the Akron half marathon, she knew she wanted the day to be about more than herself, which is why she signed up as a Children’s Champion.
“I believe we all are afforded the opportunity to not only be part of a great race, but to give back to the hospital and their patients at the same time,” Shannon said. “I had no idea what the money I raised could be used for – raising over $1,000 could provide 2,417 child sized slippers or 42,850 bandages or even 11,758 diapers!”
After surpassing the original fundraising goal of $1,000, Shannon raised her goal to $1,508 and is moving quickly toward achieving that goal, too.
Shannon says she doesn’t believe the runners should be called “champions” – she thinks that word should be reserved for the Akron Children’s Hospital patients.
“These individuals and their families are fighting for their lives and in some cases, they end up beating all the odds to survive,” Shannon said. “Yes, running such a long distance in these races is a little uncomfortable, but it’s nothing compared to the heroes and fighters that walk through the doors at Akron Children’s each day.”