Hello, I'm LeJeune Johnson—a wife, a mom, and an enthusiastic advocate for health equity. It is with great excitement that I share my journey as a participant selected for an invitational entry to represent the Black Girls RUN! Foundation charity team at the 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
For over a decade, physical health and fitness have been integral to my life, not only for my physical well-being but also for the positive impact on my mental health.
Regrettably, we find ourselves in an time where Black individuals face heightened risks of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular issues. Black women experience elevated rates of mortality from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. Moreover, they face a disproportionate risk of pregnancy-related complications. The roots of health disparities within the Black community are intricate, stemming from factors like socioeconomic status, limited healthcare access, systemic racism, discrimination, and historical inequalities.
Addressing these deep-seated issues requires comprehensive efforts in healthcare reform, social policies, education, and community engagement to foster equity and eliminate barriers to health for all. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle stands out as one of the fundamental protective factors at the grassroots level, that can enhance overall well-being.
I take pride in running on behalf of Black Girls Run, championing a platform that encourages Black women to prioritize their well-being. Together, we run for self-care, for mental health, and for improved health outcomes not just for ourselves but for the well-being of future generations!