How family love motivated our employee to walk a 5K

One of our employees, Charlotte Feldman, had a very special reason for walking the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Friday Night 5K on May 17.

Charlotte Feldman, center left, walks the 5K with niece Lesley.

Feldman walked the 5K with her niece, Lesley, for the second year in a row.
Lesley, who has physical and mental disabilities, is now a freshman in high school. She was born premature and has overcome physical challenges since birth. Doctors recommended that she use a wheelchair, but Feldman said the family’s response was, “No, let us work with her awhile first.”

The family showed Lesley images of zebras so she could emulate how to run and pictures of giraffes to show her how to stand tall and walk. All the hard work has paid off as Lesley has never used a wheelchair. She walks on her own. She has developed a distinctive walk to compensate for her physical disabilities, but she walks.

That’s why walking with Lesley means so much to Feldman. They didn’t come in first in the 5K, but Lesley didn’t seem to mind. Winning wasn’t her goal anyway.

“Lesley doesn’t care if we’re first or last,” Feldman said. “She just wants to participate. Participating in life is all Lesley wants. Isn’t that what really matters anyway?”

Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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