A California woman has been on the road for over four months, running across more than a dozen states and covering 2,700 miles in honor of the Navy Seals. Christina Lee hopes her journey from New York to the Bay Area will raise $100,0000 for the Navy Seal Foundation and allow her to cross another challenge off her bucket list.
The 23-year-old from San Jose was sitting in her New York University dorm room two years ago and thought a bucket list is just what her life needed.
"I didn't want a bunch of things I could do in a weekend," Lee says. "I wanted some real challenges I would have to work for."
That’s when she came across a Facebook post about a woman who was running across the country to raise money for charity. She decided to add that to her list.
"Once I wrote it down I was going to do it," Lee says. "There are no halfsies on the bucket list."
She set out on her trek right after graduating college this spring, hoping her effort will raise money and recognize the work of the Navy Seals in serving our country.
"We don't thank our military enough," Lee says.
She is running without any support, pushing a jog stroller filled with her extra clothing and supplies. Lee says she is doing it the hardest way she knows how because something meant to honor Navy Seals shouldn't be a "walk in the park."
She had chosen the Navy Seal Foundation as her beneficiary because she felt the Seals, working in secrecy, didn't get all the attention and respect they deserve.
The run has also gained a deeper purpose.
Christina, a life-long supporter of the military, had chosen the Navy SEAL Foundation as her beneficiary because she felt the SEALs, working in secrecy, didn't get all the attention and respect they deserve.
She began her run as a way to honor all of them, but her effort gained a deeper purpose along the way.
In the first week of the run, somewhere in Pennsylvania, she received an email from Jennifer Collins, the widow of Navy Seal David Collins.
Collins wanted to thank Lee for what she was doing for the foundation.
"She just sent me this email that said these people changed my life,” Lee said.
Collins told Lee how her husband has suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving overseas and how the injury plagued him after his return home. Collins shared how David had eventually killed himself and how the foundation had been there to help her and their two children.
"It just put it all in perspective," Lee recalls.
She now says she is always thinking of David during her run, particularly during the most challenging times.
"I think, so what if your feet hurt? At least there's no one shooting at you," Christina says.
Lee has fewer than 300 miles to go in her journey. She hopes to put her feet in the Pacific Ocean on December 6th.