VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A Wabash Valley man is getting the word out about the importance of March of Dimes and he’s doing it one race at a time.
Jeff Winchester is a family man, some might even say he’s an average Joe but he’s making a difference in our community one race at a time.
“Last year I did a triathlon and you have to understand, I was not an active person at that time in my life. I lost over 65-pounds, obviously you have to get in-shape to do that. But my idea of running, was running to the refrigerator. That was my idea of it,” said Winchester.
This year Winchester is training for five Duathlons, a run, bike and then run race. He’ll run and bike a total of 72-miles in an effort to raise funds and awareness for March of dimes.
But Winchester calls it ,”Du-ing it for Babies.”
When Winchester pounds the pavement, he’s not only doing it for babies but he’s doing it for one baby in particular.
“I’m doing this initially for my daughter, my 7-year-old daughter Delaney. We never thought we would be a March of Dimes family. We did everything right, we did everything we were suppose to do,” said Winchester.
Winchester’s daughter was born full-term but with under-developed lungs. She was stuck in the NICU for several days before she could go home. But unfortunately the battle wasn’t over.
“They said this was going to be an on-going issue through out her life and then two-months later we were back at Union Hospital and watching her being hooked-up to machines and tubes and that’s the worst feeling because you can’t do anything. There’s nothing you can do and it wasn’t fair,” said Winchester.
Thankfully Delaney Winchester grew up to be a healthy 7-year-old little girl and for that Jeff Winchester is forever thankful. And that’s why he pedals; to return the favor.
“She is my heart and soul and my drive. The beauty of it is, when you are doing this for someone else you can go that one extra mile, you can get up every day,” he explained.
Winchester stated he wants to bike/run 3,000 miles, not only his daughter but for other babies and their families as well. Raising one dollar for every mile.
By the end of this year Winchester will have completed five Duathlons and donated thousands of dollars to the local March of Dimes chapter.