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Walking His Way to $100K

Edgewater teen raises big bucks with 5K fundraiser to fight angioma

      Seventeen-year-old fundraising phenomenon Zachary Brown has walked his way to $100,000 over the past five years.
       The South River High School junior earned recognition as one of Maryland’s two top youth volunteers of 2018. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards presented Brown with an engraved medal on April 5.
       After suffering two strokes at the age of 10, Brown was diagnosed with cavernous angioma, a blood vessel abnormality of the brain. The strokes affected the right side of his face and the left side of his body. Through physical therapy and determination, Brown learned to walk again. During his rehabilitation, inspiration struck.
       He got right to work. 
       At 12 years old, Brown organized his first 5K walk, designed shirts and invited friends, family and business sponsors to support his fundraiser. Some 200 people gathered at YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater that first year to walk, donate and celebrate life. 
       Last year, more than 400 people joined in the walk, and Zach hopes to double the number at this fall’s event.
      People of all ages are welcome to join the walk regardless of their ability to contribute financially.
      Beyond his fundraising for the Angioma Alliance, Brown is a devoted Special Olympics volunteer, and he enjoys helping kids with disabilities shine in competitive sports. 
      Brown is planning a mission trip to Brazil this summer and is preparing for this year’s 5K in the fall.
      As his goals grow, so does his positivity. “I feel like I owe it to the world to make a difference,” he says. “We all have the responsibility to leave it better than the way we came into it.”