Race For A Soldier founder, Leslie Mayne, featured in Northwest Guardian

By Somer Breeze-Hanson/Northwest Guardian
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Leslie Mayne gives a new meaning to the acronym PTSD.

Her nonprofit Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation is the product of a tragedy Mayne suffered in 2009 when she lost her son, Pfc. Kyle Farr. The Soldier suffered from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury after he returned home from a deployment to Iraq in 2006.

From her pain, Mayne offers hope to others suffering from and affected by PTSD with the third annual Race for a Soldier Half-Marathon in Gig Harbor Sept. 29. The race benefits organizations that support service members’ well-being, like All American Dogs, Rainier Therapeutic Riding, Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors and USO Northwest.

“We’re just one of many programs trying to do a small thing,” Mayne said. “I do believe that this has the potential to have quite an impact. At some deep level we all want to be a part of something greater than ourselves. I see it as giving a community an opportunity to do that.”

Since the race’s inception in 2011, Race for a Soldier and Mayne’s message of hope continues to grow. This year’s race starts at 8 a.m. outside the Gig Harbor YMCA. There is also a two-mile option and kids fun run.

Weekend events also include the annual prayer breakfast Sept. 27 at 7 a.m. at the Hope Center in Gig Harbor, where two Marines and an Army chaplain will share their own personal stories of PTSD and why they “race for a Soldier.”

New this year is the Swing for a Soldier golf tournament at Eagles Pride Golf Course Sept. 27 at 12:30 p.m. to cater to those who may not run, but still want to contribute to the cause.

The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation has been overwhelmed with support, not just with monetary contributions but also of people who want to be part of it.

Last year about 1,500 runners participated in the 13.1-mile race and Mayne expects 2,000 later this month with more than 450 volunteers to assist.

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