Danielle Simone Chooses to Fight For Air with the American Lung Association in the ING NYC Marathon

Simone, 35, will raise $5,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission

(October 7, 2013)

Danielle Simone
Danielle Simone of Levittown, NY

It was natural for Danielle Simone, a young mother from Levittown, to support the American Lung Association of the Northeast when they approached her about running for the nonprofit in the 2013 ING NYC Marathon this November.  In her lifetime, Simone has lost three grandparents to lung disease. More recently, doctors feared for Danielle’s daughter’s lung health when it became clear she would be born prematurely.  Simone was administered strong steroids before the birth to help ensure the baby’s lungs developed properly. For Simone, healthy lungs mean everything.

“Danielle Simone and the four others that are supporting the American Lung Association of the Northeast through the ING NYC Marathon are making a real difference in the lives of the millions affected by lung disease and their loved ones,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “It is through endeavors such as this one that we are able to carry out our mission day in and day out. We are rooting for Danielle and all of our marathon runners to do the best that they can and cross that finish line with a feeling of great accomplishment. We are incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication to better lung health.”

Simone first became involved with the American Lung Association three years ago when she participated in a fundraising event for the Lung Association in New York City. She was drawn to the event as a way to support her Mom who had recently quit smoking; she’s been an active supporter ever since and is frequently in touch with staff at the Lung Association who were aware of her dream to run in the ING NYC Marathon.

“Having had so many people close to me affected by lung disease and having seen the effects of lung disease firsthand, I’ve become a strong supporter of the American Lung Association and the work they are doing,” said Simone. “Not only has it been a lifelong dream of mine to run in the ING NYC Marathon, I’m committed to educating people and changing their perceptions about lung disease. One doesn’t have to be a smoker to suffer from any kind of lung condition or lung cancer. All of us need to care about lung disease because it can affect any one of us.”

Simone believes running for the American Lung Association in the ING NYC Marathon is the perfect way in which to fulfill her dream and raise money for a charity whose mission aligns with her own values. By choosing to participate, she has committed to fundraising $5,000 to support the Lung Association’s research, education and advocacy.

To raise the money, Simone has gotten very creative.  She tended bar and dedicated all of her earnings from the night to her marathon fund.  She is also using a unique 50/50 raffle where she asked friends to bet on what the seconds would be in her finishing time (anywhere from 0-59); anyone to guess correctly will win half the money and the other half will go to the Lung Association. Simone has even secured a sponsorship from a local business totaling $1,500. So far, she has been successful in raising over $3,400; she is confident she will be able to not only reach, but surpass the $5,000 goal.

This is a new feat for Simone, who has already accomplished so much when it comes to endurance events. Presently, she has completed three triathlons and two half marathons. The ING NYC Marathon is the first full marathon she will complete. Simone has worked hard to prepare for the 26.2 mile course and will complete her last “big” run before marathon day, a 20 mile practice run this weekend, the second 20 mile run in her vigorous training program.

“I want a healthy life for my daughter and for my mother,” said Simone.  “But I am not running in this marathon solely for the wellbeing of my own family; I’m doing it to support everyone who is struggling with lung disease and all of us who deserve healthy air to breathe.”

Donations in support of Danielle can be made by visiting her personal fundraising page at go.lungne.org/Simone2013.