Nine years ago today, a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq. The convoy which was heading down the road was under attack. The brave men and women battled the attackers. When the gunfire went silent, soldiers were wounded. Lives were changed. For one heroic woman, this meant she would never have her leg. Melissa Stockwell became the first American woman wounded in battle during the Iraq War on April 13, 2004. She lost her leg and became an above the knee amputee, but on that day, the world gained a new inspiration. Eventually, Melissa made it back to the US and began her rehab. Always an active person, Melissa could no longer hike and plays sports as she use to do with two legs. As it turned out, Melissa could participate in sports at an even higher elite level like never before. Melissa began to race triathlons. In her first race, she qualified for the PC National Championships. She flew to New York and won the title. She then went to World Championships and stormed home to the crown. Since then, Melissa refuses to lose as she has won the National and World titles each of the last three years. To take it a step further, she joined forces with other talented athletes and coaches to create the Dare2Tri Chicago Paratriathlon Club which works to provide resources and opportunity to military veterans with physical disabilities and visual impairments to race in triathlons. Dare2Tri believes that One Inspires Many. Melissa Stockwell is one who does just that. For the last couple years, the organization has also witnessed other D2T athletes qualifying for Nationals and finishing in the top three at Worlds. Dare2Tri is a non profit organization which relies on volunteers and contributions for the ability to provide race guides, handlers, and other equipment for the athletes with wide ranging disabilities. One of the most important ways that Dare2Tri raises funds is through their annual Play For A Reason event. Melissa and the rest of the Dare2Tri Chicago athletes benefit greatly from people buying tickets and attending the fun event. Dare2Tri uses the money raised to kick off the season with training camps and practices. Dare2Tri must call upon friends, family, and volunteers in order to do what they do. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to attend Dare2Tri's event.
Play For A Reason will be held on Sunday, April 14 between 2p and 5p at Dave And Busters. Games, food, and drinks will be provided. Prizes will be auctioned and some will be given away to lucky winners. Anyone who attends may have a chance to walk away with an entry to the sold out Bank Of America Chicago Marathon, Trek Bicycle road bike, or American Girl doll. Plus there will be even more. Tickets can be purchased at the following link: