“Every Step Taken is a Breath Given”
Raising Awareness for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund

 I was fourteen when I decided to forgo most of my extracurricular school activities in order to pursue an enormous dream… that of
competing as an athlete runner in the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Each day after school, for two years, I trained with a retired Olympic coach
until that fateful call two years later.  It was late at night on April 17, 2009 when I learned of Sheila Grothe’s death due to cancer.  Sheila was
employed by my mother’s company as a commercially licensed pilot car driver (often used in trucking to lead and follow wide loads) and had
always been a close family friend.  Sadly, Sheila did not have medical insurance for treatment that might have saved her life.  At that moment,
my hopes and dreams converged with reality.  I knew that I had a greater calling to use my running for a more important reason.  My father had
always said, “Jasmine, if you want to make a difference in life, then run across the country in an effort to raise funds for a worthy cause.”  I now
had a purpose.  The morning following Sheila’s passing, I contacted the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) and
initiated our partnership to help other truckers like Sheila that cannot qualify for medical insurance nor pay the financially prohibitive rates.  The
St. Christopher Truckers Fund is a non-profit organization that was founded to assist uninsured truck drivers and those holding a commercial
driver’s license with daily living expenses, especially when injured or ill for an extended period of time.  America moves by truck, delivering
thousands of products throughout our country each day.  Often, truck drivers lead very difficult and lonely lives, leaving their families for months
at a time, missing holidays and birthdays, just to make ends meet.  Many struggle with sleep apnea or develop blood clots from constant
driving and the resulting lack of exercise.  Some literally live in their trucks!  It takes a strong individual to be a truck driver and an even
stronger family to support them.  I wanted to help, so on September 1, 2009, I put aside my Olympic dream and put on my running shoes.  
Instead, I decided to bring a message of hope to the truckers of America, by running cross-country and collecting donations for the St.
Christopher Truckers Fund from Los Angeles to New York.  My run spanned 9 months and covered 3,161.2 miles.  Capturing national media
attention, I was joined by the U.S. Honor Flag to inaugurate the “Heart of Heroes Program” established to promote healthy heart activities for
firefighters, military, and police officers.  The Honor Fag, which was at Ground Zero on 9/11 is a non-profit organization “dedicated to
memorializing heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their family, community, and country.”  In major cities, fire trucks and patrol cars
made heads turn as they convoyed behind me while I was running.  In addition to the military, firefighters, and police officer, individuals from
numerous states, ranging in age from 5 to 77, ran with me to show their dedication to the St. Christopher Fund.  As Miss Minnesota
International 2013, my goal is to create an even greater public awareness and generate more financial support for the St. Christopher
Truckers Fund.  Through public appearances on behalf of this pageant, I aim to reach as many people as possible to further promote this very
worthy cause.  Together, we can win the “gold medal!”