Faces of COPD: Justin Daniels is Running for COPD
Posted on June 13, 2018 |
Justin Daniels is a seasoned marathon runner who has dedicated his journey to COPD awareness since 2013. He has met and spoken with hundreds of individuals across the United States and around the world to combat the stigma the remains with the disease.
“What started out as doing one marathon in the state of Indiana has now led me to 48 different states and working with great people living with COPD, their families, as well as people that have never heard of COPD. I have continued to make it my mission to be the voice for the people that can’t,” says Justin.
Justin runs and competes in honor of his father and the millions of individuals living with COPD worldwide. “I set up a booth at each event I am running with information that I am able to pass out to anyone wanting to know more about what I am doing. My mom helps pass out the information while I am running my races, but before and after I am at the booth or walking throughout the area asking people if they know someone living with COPD.”
In 2018, Justin is taking the next step in his running career and competing in his first Ironman competition. The race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. He will attempt to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii in October 2018.
“When I first started thinking about how in the world I would ever be able to do an event like that, I have always looked back at the people living with COPD and what they have been able to accomplish. Seeing my dad daily as well as everyone else with COPD on a daily basis has been my motivation through everything and will continue to be until there is a cure.”
In December 2018, Justin will attempt his first 50 mile ultra-marathon in northern Indiana. He is also setting his sights on an international marathon in Uganda in addition to completing a run across the United States in 2019.
Justin remains committed to running marathons in every state and welcomes the opportunity to meet in individuals with COPD and their families to learn about their unique experiences. In June of 2018, he raced in West Virginia and was able to meet one of his COPD supporters. She had lived with COPD for over 10 years and her daughter set up a surprise meeting at their home.
“The people I meet along my journey are the reason I keep going and the motivation I need to continue the training. In the end, every person needs a voice but not everyone has one. Thank you all for the support you have given me over the years. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you that I can along the way!”
To connect with Justin, reach out to him on his Running for COPD Facebook page.