The Power of Caring: Running with a Higher Purpose
This blog is a part of ‘The Power of Caring,’ a series dedicated to sharing our people’s most inspiring stories and how they leveraged SUSE’s employee giving program, ‘SUSEcares,’ to impact the world positively.
Zelia Magliozzi, a Boston native and HR Leader at SUSE, has turned her commitment to living a healthy lifestyle into something much bigger than herself.
Since 2018, Zelia has raised close to 49 thousand dollars for various charities using running as a vehicle to give back. In 2019, she was looking for a charity to support and run with for the Boston Marathon. Initially, she learned about a local non-profit charitable foundation, ‘A Leg Forever,’ through a friend.
“I decided to get involved with ‘A Leg Forever’ for a couple of reasons. The Boston Marathon bombing hit so close to home. I wasn’t going to let this tragedy attempt to scare away a favorite family pastime of Marathon Monday, and it felt good giving back to a charity that is paying it forward by helping other amputees. Also, I wanted to support a smaller local charity as sometimes these are too often left behind. The charity’s human touch/pay it forward commitment has left an impression on me” – Zelia Magliozzi.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Elizabeth Norden, Founder of ‘A Leg Forever’, and ask her a few questions about the foundation.
What is A Leg Forever, and why did it get started?
“A Leg Forever was started in honor of my two oldest sons, JP & Paul Norden, Two brothers from Stoneham, Massachusetts. They each lost their right legs in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013. A Leg Forever was started to pay forward the kindness and generosity our family was shown in a time of need.”
“A Leg Forever helps individuals that have lost a limb. Our support encompasses bedside care with wheelchairs, electric scooters, recliner chairs, or bathroom needs, hotel stay for family members, co-payments that insurance companies won’t pay, or funds to help the amputee get back on their feet.”
How is your foundation making a difference in the lives of amputees?
“Our goal is to help everyone that reaches out. To date, we have helped 32 deserving recipients with bedside care and prosthetic legs, and we have sent 12 amputee children to camp. Currently, we are helping a 50-year-old man named Tom Sheenan. Tom lost his leg through a horrific event 28 years ago. He was attacked while walking home late at night. With the help of our prosthetic company, A Leg Forever will be getting him a new prosthetic leg that fits him correctly. As a result, he will have a chance to live life pain-free.”
-Elizabeth Norden, Founder of ‘A Leg Forever
Here is a quick snapshot of what the foundation has done to assist amputees:
How can people get involved to support A Leg Forever?
Anyone can get involved, whether it be brainstorming fundraising ideas, helping with events, or donating to A Leg Forever here: www.alegforever.com.
In 2021, SUSEcares was able to help Zelia run the Boston Marathon and achieve her fundraising goal with a donation to A Leg Forever.
Zelia’s next race
This year, Zelia will run the Boston Marathon (2022) in support of 261 Fearless, another charity that she is just as passionate about.
261 Fearless is a global non-profit organization that unites women to gain personal empowerment and good health through running. They use running as a vehicle to empower and connect women by creating local non-competitive running clubs, education programs, and social running events.
Inspired by Kathrine Switzer who, in 1967, became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon despite being attacked by the race director, who tried to physically pull her out of the race because she was a woman.
Learn more by checking out an interview with 261 Fearless here!
On February 22, 2022, SUSEcares will be hosting the ‘SUSE Marathon Relay’ event for employees who want to get involved and support Zelia. A donation will be made to 261 Fearless on behalf of each employee participating.
Join us in following Zelia’s running journey and the tremendous impact she leaves on the world.
SUSEcares is our philanthropic giving program, enabling SUSE employees to support charities of their choice. To get involved, email us at: SUSECARES@suse.com