Healthy Kids are Happy Kids

On the weekend of January 14, 2018 the city of Houston will host an enormous event, the Chevron Houston Marathon. For the 46th year, thousands of runners will flood the streets of Houston to compete, push themselves to crazy extremes, carry out their goals, and achieve amazing things. This race is very special for me as it is where I ran my first marathon 2 years ago and also where I ran my first half marathon 16 years ago, at the age of 14, crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with my mom.

My running story started shortly before that on the track team in middle school where I began to learn the rewards of hard work and discipline (despite never being very good). I went on to join the cross country team in high school where I decided my freshman year I wanted to race a half marathon. I was fortunate enough to have parents that not only fully supported my fitness goals but also wanted to be a part of it. My mom decided to train with me, and we crossed the finish line in January 2002 after running every step of those 13.1 miles together. 

Running has continued to be a big part of my life since high school, and this January I will run the Chevron Houston Marathon, which will mark my 5th marathon so far.  As part of this endeavor, I want to help raise awareness of the amazing benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle to kids who are not exposed to this and families that do not have the resources to buy even the most basic items to enable physical fitness.

According to the CDC, more than 12 million U.S. children are obese — one out of every six children. Obese children have an increased risk of developing a range of health problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are both risk factors for heart disease. Obesity can also cause sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and chronic health conditions such as asthma and type 2 diabetes. Obese children are at increased risk of being bullied and suffering from depression, while a healthy diet and physical activity in childhood is associated with better mental health. Obese children are also likely to grow up to be obese adults, at risk for all health problems associated with obesity.

Also, with the increased prevalence of tecnology in our lives and in kid's lives it is no surprise that less than half of children in the US get less than the 60 minutes a day of recommended physical activity. Throughout this effort, I want to help kids understand all of the activities they can do to be active. Beyond the health risks of being obese, I believe encouraging children to be active and set goals at a young age will help them to develop habits of dedication and hard work that will benefit them throughout their lives. 

For this marathon, my goal is to raise enough money to buy tennis shoes for 26 families in need to help children start their active journey early on and enable parents to be a part of that experience. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunities and resources I needed to be active growing up and also to have parents that fully supported me. As my running journey continues, my hope is to raise awareness and share this journey with as many kids as possible starting with these 26 families!

Thank you in advance, and I really appreciate any amount you would like to contribute to this cause to positively impact children's lives!
  • Jim Lane 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Keli Hogsett 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Hal Shults 
    • $200 
    • 46 mos
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Liz Heyl 
    • $250 
    • 46 mos
See all


Natalie Jansen 
San Antonio, TX
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