Cigna Helps Veterans Heal Wounds of War Through Running

  • Running proven to help wounded veterans recover
  • Cigna sponsors and runs with members of Achilles Freedom Team at 2012 Walt Disney World® HalfMarathon
  • Achilles enables people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics

BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As the last American troops leave Iraq in time for the holidays, many will need help transitioning back to civilian life, restoring their confidence and building their future. Because running and physical activity have proven to improve physical and emotional health – helping wounded veterans and others with disabilities return to normal lives – Cigna (NYSE:CI) is proud to sponsor and run with members of the Achilles Freedom Team during the Walt Disney World® Marathon from January 5-8, 2012.

LCpl Matias Ferreira, (left), 22, originally from Atlanta and now living in Rockville, Maryland, is ...

LCpl Matias Ferreira, (left), 22, originally from Atlanta and now living in Rockville, Maryland, is a Marine who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year. He will run with Cigna CEO David M. Cordani (right) at the January 7, 2012 Walt Disney World(R) HalfMarathon. Cordani is part of a Cigna (NYSE:CI) team serving as guides to wounded veterans and others running as members of the Achilles International Freedom Team. The Cigna Foundation made it possible for the Achilles runners to participate. Cigna is a presenting sponsor of the 2012 Walt Disney World(R) Marathon weekend. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Cigna Foundation made it possible for members of Achilles International to take part in the 13.1 mile Walt Disney World® HalfMarathon in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Jan. 7, 2012. Cigna Chief Executive Officer David M. Cordani and Cigna employees will serve as guides, running side-by-side with the wounded veterans and other athletes with disabilities to help them complete the course.

Here is a look at the six runners from the Achilles Freedom Team who will run the Walt Disney World® HalfMarathon. The wounded veterans include:

  • LCpl Matias Ferreira, 22, is originally from Atlanta and now lives in Rockville, Maryland. Ferreira is a Marine who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan in January 2011.
  • GySgt Barbie Brown, 37, was diagnosed with breast cancer while deployed in Afghanistan in February 2011 and has run during radiation and chemotherapy treatments. She recently underwent a double mastectomy. Brown, a Marine, is from Scranton, Pennsylvania and lives now in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
  • Lt Cameron Kerr, 24, originally from Stowe, Massachusetts, now lives in Falls Church, Virginia. Kerr lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan in 2010 with the U.S. Army.
  • SSgt Michael Fradera, Ret., 34, of Lakeland, Florida, is an Army veteran who lost both legs in combat near Baghdad in 2007.

Other members of Achilles who will run the Walt Disney World® HalfMarathon include:

  • Matt Turner, 46, of Queens, New York, is visually impaired.
  • Bruce Stoddard, 52, of Denver lost his vision in a car accident five years ago

“We are inspired by this team of extraordinary people and honored to work with them. Their stories demonstrate the potential of immense inner strength in each individual. We hope our support of the Achilles runners will help them continue to live life to the fullest,” Cordani said.

The Walt Disney World® Marathon, presented by Cigna, is one of six signature races that are a part of the runDisney series taking place throughout the year at the Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort.

Note to media: Interviews with and photographs of runners are available.

About Cigna

The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About Achilles

Achilles International is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit helping people with disabilities be active, set goals, achieve, and make long term improvements to their health and fitness. Achilles, which was founded in 1983, has its headquarters in NY and can be found on the web at www.achillesinternational.org

About runDisney

runDisney is a series of half marathon and marathon events that provide runners unique opportunities to run through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in September. Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend. More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.

For 2012 Walt Disney World® Marathon Media Credentials, please contact:
Robert G. Hitchcock

407-566-6318

[email protected]

 

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50111045&lang=en



CONTACT:

Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758
[email protected]
or
Judy Hartling, 860-226-6272
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Connecticut  Florida

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Other Consumer  Running  Health  Fitness & Nutrition  Philanthropy  Consumer  Sports  Foundation  General Health  Managed Care

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LCpl Matias Ferreira, (left), 22, originally from Atlanta and now living in Rockville, Maryland, is a Marine who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year. He will run with Cigna CEO David M. Cordani (right) at the January 7, 2012 Walt Disney World(R) HalfMarathon. Cordani is part of a Cigna (NYSE:CI) team serving as guides to wounded veterans and others running as members of the Achilles International Freedom Team. The Cigna Foundation made it possible for the Achilles runners to participate. Cigna is a presenting sponsor of the 2012 Walt Disney World(R) Marathon weekend. (Photo: Business Wire)
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LCpl Matias Ferreira, (left), 22, originally from Atlanta and now living in Rockville, Maryland, is a Marine who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year. He will run with Cigna CEO David M. Cordani (right) at the January 7, 2012 Walt Disney World(R) HalfMarathon. Cordani is part of a Cigna (NYSE:CI) team serving as guides to wounded veterans and others running as members of the Achilles International Freedom Team. The Cigna Foundation made it possible for the Achilles runners to participate. Cigna is a presenting sponsor of the 2012 Walt Disney World(R) Marathon weekend. (Photo: Business Wire)

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