Building bridges and crossing finish lines together

The Power of Friendship

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Building bridges and crossing finish lines together

The Power of Friendship

A passion for overcoming challenges through running unites these two spirits with their unique differences. Their powerful friendship can teach us all that a commitment to giving and accepting help creates unlimited potential for growth. Their synergy gives rise to a force greater than both. They believe that together their role is to motivate others to live, love, forgive, to never give up hope.

Kerry Gruson was born in 1947 and raised in an array of international cities. Severely disabled after being strangled by a US Vietnam War veteran she was interviewing as a journalist in 1974, Kerry harbors no anger towards her assailant, believing they’re both victims of war.

Kerry is the cofounder of ThumbsUp International, a nonprofit whose mission is to expand attitudes towards all limitations by empowering teams of differing capabilities and ages to take on athletic challenges together. The organization is about the need and the benefits of collaboration, assertive compassion and inclusion. Kerry believes her legacy is her work for positive (thumbs up) action, focusing on the young, where profound change begins.

Magda GelvesProvencher, born in 1982 and raised in Venezuela, is a military spouse and mother of two youngsters. Her mission is to build true change, leading by example. This includes teaching her children to be better people and accepting others as friends.

Kerry and Magda now have been together for a year of adventures, of happy miles as they pursue their passion for motivating those around them and for running.

Starting in January 2021, they set out to honor Magda’s husband and all deployed members of the US Armed Forces. They ran the Miami Lifetime Half Marathon (Virtual) proudly carrying a US Flag throughout. Chase, Magda’s husband, ran simultaneously from his base overseas.

Along with this event, both women have participated in 5K’s and triathlons, sometimes together but mostly apart or with others, yet always sharing their energy and motivation.

Together Magda and Kerry have pledged to build bridges, reconnecting our communities beyond our diverse backgrounds and differences. They agree that runningtogether, step by step, can heal people’s hearts, cultivate deep friendships, and build a better world.  Their true compassionate natures mesh as they commit to listen to and learn from each other with the intention of helping the “the arc of moral history bend towards justice.”

Kerry & Magda

ThumbsUp International
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