Shrewsbury resident will run Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Brain Injury Association

873

Shrewsbury resident will run Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Brain Injury Association
Photo/submitted
Lisa Gonzales stands at a makeshift finish line for the 2020 virtual running of the Falmouth Road Race.

By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury resident Lisa Gonzalez is planning to run the Falmouth Road Race on Aug. 15 for the second year in a row in order to raise money for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA).

This will also be the second year in a row that Gonzalez runs the race as the captain of the BIA team – which runs it every year – without actually going to Falmouth because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, she will complete the race virtually. 

“The race itself is traditionally a seven-mile race, and I plan to complete all seven miles at once,” Gonzalez said.

While Gonzalez is a staff member at BIA, she said she is participating in the race as an individual whose family members have experienced brain injury. She said her aunt Judy died from brain cancer, her brother John is a brain cancer survivor and her father Richard is a stroke survivor.

“After joining the organization in January of 2020, my father suffered a stroke, and he and my mother live with my husband and I, so it gave me an opportunity to make sure that he was getting the resources that he needed,” Gonzalez said.

Shrewsbury resident will run Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Brain Injury Association
Photo/submitted
Lisa Gonzalez poses for a selfie in her 2020 Falmouth Road Race jersey and bib.

Gonzalez added that one of her passions is trying to be as low-waste as possible. She was specifically inspired to do a sneaker recycling drive after one of her teammates did one last year for the Road Race. 

Gonzalez is now collecting used sneakers to recycle. Every pair she recycles will give a donation for BIA through a program on the site GotSneakers.com

As an active member of the running clubs Central Mass Striders and She Runs This Town, Gonzalez saw an opportunity to collect many shoes for recycling.

“I thought that, with my connections in the running community, I would be able to leverage quite a few donations,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said her personal goal is to fundraise $1,500 this year and to collect 200 pairs of shoes. She added that she had collected around 50 as of mid-May. 

She has a bin outside of her house for people to drop shoes off while socially distancing. She has also arranged to pick shoes up from people who leave them outside of their houses.

The Falmouth Road Race, which has been held annually since 1973, is allowing participants to run a route of their own choice outside of Falmouth due to the pandemic. Gonzalez said that if the Town of Falmouth allows some runners in person, the BIA team will have some members there in person.

Last year Gonzalez completed the Road Race in Truro on Cape Cod. She said that this year, she will do her run in either Shrewsbury or Truro, depending on where she is on Aug. 15. 

The BIA is a non-profit organization that services approximately 15,000 brain injury survivors each year. Gonzales added that they offer programs, services and education to brain injury survivors, caregivers and professionals, as well as offering programs focused on brain injury prevention. 

She added that the BIA works to ensure that brain injury survivors are serviced through the Massachusetts Rehab Commission and Statewide Head Injury Program.

“We would love to prevent all brain injury but, until that occurs, we want to make sure that those with brain injuries can live successfully in Massachusetts,” she said.

Those interested in donating to Gonzalez’s recycling drive can email her at [email protected].

No posts to display