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Heart and Sole: Amputee Dana Lawson to Run Marathon on Crutches for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Amputee and aspiring marathoner Dana Lawson on a training hike in Olympic National Park

Amputee and aspiring marathoner Dana Lawson on a training hike in Olympic National Park

Lawson is an amputee and a survivor of domestic abuse. In June, she'll turn her pain into purpose, racing 26.2 miles to raise funds for other survivors.

PORT ANGELES, WA, USA, May 24, 2021 / -- On June 6th, Dana Lawson, a woman living with cancer, an above-the-knee amputee, and a survivor of domestic abuse will compete in the North Olympic Discovery Marathon--on crutches--to raise support for other survivors.

"One of the things that happens in a domestic abuse situation is that the abused person is conditioned to think of themself as small, incapable, and dependent," said Lawson. "This happened to me. But connecting with nature, and pushing my own limits--both physically and emotionally--has helped me to rediscover my unbounded horizons. Now I aim to help other women do the same."

The national outdoor education nonprofit that Lawson founded in 2007, Nature's Academy, is preparing to launch Unbounded Horizons, a pilot program for domestic abuse survivors, later this year in Washington's Clallam County.

Unbounded Horizons utilizes the healing power of the natural environment, coupled with group support, to aid participants in developing more confidence, self-compassion, and self-worth. Graduates leave the program empowered with skills to successfully rebuild their lives. The program includes facilitated outdoor excursions, breathing and body awareness, nature-connected movement, domestic abuse education, financial skills training, and a robust post-program toolkit for ongoing support.

"Survivors suffer from depression, loss of hope in the future and trust in others, and feelings of being alone," said Beulah Kingsolver, Executive Director at Port Townsend's Dove House Advocacy Services. "Unbounded Horizons will give survivors a way to find and connect with one another, in a supportive environment, helping them to rebuild their trust in themselves and in others."

On race day, Lawson will highlight the stories of survivors and victims of domestic abuse across her social media channels, with each mile dedicated to sharing a different woman's experience.

"My hope," said Lawson, "is to shine a light on an issue relegated for far too long to the shadows, and to give voice to the many victims rendered voiceless by their abusers. Incidents of domestic violence have spiked during the COVID pandemic and as we emerge from quarantine and resume our lives, we can not allow these victims to be left behind."

Lawson and her team have launched a crowdfunding campaign, Heart & Sole: Racing for Survivors. All funds raised by Lawson's marathon run will directly support Unbounded Horizons. Learn more about the program and donate to the campaign at

Natasha Dworkin
Matterhorn Creative
+1 206-715-1696