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MFB Georgia volunteer an example of resilience

As an athletic director, Leon Hammond wants his student athletes to learn not just about wins and losses. He wants them to learn how to be resilient, face challenges and care about the people around them. Leon is McIntosh High School's AD and regularly brings students to Midwest Food Bank Georgia to volunteer.

"He believes in teaching the younger generation by his actions and attitude," says Lina Martin, MFB volunteer coordinator.

In May, Leon took it to another level. But the story started before that. In February of this year, Leon received the gift of life through a kidney transplant. The donor was the former resource police officer at the school. The surgery was successful, but Leon experienced some setbacks during recovery. Leon decided he wanted to participate in the Miles for Midwest 5K in May. It was his own personal challenge.
"To participate meant a lot to me," says Leon. "It was a way of getting back to feeling myself,"

He was one of about 200 people ages 5-81 that crossed the finish line that day.

"I was thankful that I was up and able to do that just 11 weeks after transplant," says Leon.

That "can-do" attitude impacts not only his student athletes but also the people around him.

Leon struck up a conversation with another runner, a cancer survivor, and the two ran most of the race together. Crossing the finish line was a monumental moment for Hammond. He provided a true visual of the impact of Midwest Food Bank Georgia's mission of bringing hope to those encountering life's challenges and encouraging them to overcome them. 

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