Jessica Goldman Raised $25,000 For People With Brain Injuries

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 41-year-old New Hampshire woman raising money for people with brain injuries completed her run across the United States on Tuesday.

Jessica Goldman covered more than 3,200 miles, running from San Francisco’s City Hall to New York City’s City Hall.

As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, it took 91 days, eight pairs of shoes and plenty of determination.

Goldman was smiling during the last few miles of her journey.

“I’ve just been so consumed with planning and mapping and getting from place to place that when I finally saw the NYC skyline I was like, I’m there!” Goldman told Finch.

Goldman sought to help people with brain injuries after witnessing a car accident that left a man with massive head trauma.

“There are so many people going through these struggles, and a lot of times it’s invisible,” she said. “They definitely need some help and advocacy to help them get through that.”

Goldman said sore feet are nothing compared to the struggle people with brain injuries have to deal with.

“They lose their jobs. They lose their ability to use transportation and get around,” she told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “And just the strain that it puts on the entire family is just very overwhelming.”

Goldman raised more than $25,000, said Mary Reitter, executive vice president of the Brain Injury Association of America. The group says 2.5 million Americans suffer brain injuries each year.

Starting in April, Goldman ran with her cart through snow, a series of severe thunderstorms and swarms of bugs that left her badly bitten.

She said her biggest danger was drivers who were texting and swerving off the roads.

But she didn’t give up.

“I didn’t have any fear,” her mother, Lin Richard, said. “I trusted 100 percent she was going to do this.”

Goldman’s father, Wayne Redfern, said credit goes, in part, to the people who followed his daughter online and came out to welcome and support her every step of the way.

“Everywhere she went, people took her in for the night, brought her water,” he said. “There’s good people in the United States.”

Goldman stressed to WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb that she is not a great athlete.

“I’ve never won a race,” she said. “I didn’t start running until I was in my mid 30s. But I had a dream, and I worked really, really hard towards this goal.”

Not only did Goldman raise awareness and money for those with brain injuries, she also became just the second woman to cross the country on foot solo and self-supported, according to USA Crossers, a group that records transcontinental trips.

Goldman said she’s now looking forward to returning to her massage therapy businesses after a much-needed rest.

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