SHAPE's Women Who Shape the World: Meet the Top 8 Women Who Care
Lisa Shannon: Running to help women in Congo
It sounds like a cliché, but an episode of Oprah changed Lisa Shannon's life. "She learned that in the midst of civil war, hundreds of thousands of women in Congo suffer rape and torture at the hands of the militia.
Changing the world: Run for Congo Women
Shannon raised money, and awareness, by attempting a 30-mile trail run by herself, which raised $28,000, giving 80 women in Congo job training and financial and emotional support for a year. She then started an organization called Run for Congo Women raising close to $7 million. Last February, Shannon organized the first run in the Congo. More than 75 women in Congo who had been sponsored took part. "The race was only one mile," Shannon says. "But every step was a celebration of life and resilience."
What Lisa Shannon wants you to know:
Exercising for others helps you push yourself. "I could never run far without stopping. But during a fund-raising race, I feel like I can go forever."
Lisa Shannon's stay healthy tip:
Let it go. "I used to get angry over things like people cutting me off in traffic. After working with women in Congo who have much more serious problems, I don't get upset about the 'little' things anymore."