Hello again my dear friends and family! Due to popular demand I WILL BE RAISING MY GOAL TO $1,500! I am overwhelmed by the inflow of love and donations and am SO SO thankful to have such generous, kindhearted people in my life! Your collective support of this cause has given me the confidence that we can do even more!
***Thank you so much to all my supporters so far!!! Without each and every one of you this wouldn't be possible! As I said before I was TERRIFIED coming into this, but you've all built up my confidence brick by brick!
*In other news, Mark recently went on his first long distance trip EVER, flew on his first FLIGHT, accomplished a hike up to a waterfall, and took a dip in the Pacific Ocean in OAHU, all for his very first time! I uploaded some pics of the hurdles he recently tackled on the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/events/166889376765504/ (unfortunately I can't upload multiple pics on this page). I hope that by sharing some of his life with you all, you can see that your support is making a difference in the life of a person as well as many other people who are capable of much more than society thinks. Thank you for sharing this journey with my brother and I!
-With even more love,
Dear friends and family,
As some of you know, I’ll be running my first FULL Marathon this OCTOBER 7, 2012---the CHICAGO MARATHON 2012!
WHY I’M RUNNING FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS:
Running for any cause is AWESOME regardless, but I knew I wanted to run for something that MEANS something to ME. As soon as I saw team SPECIAL OLYMPICS I knew I had to run for them.
As my close friends and family know, my brother Mark was born with Down Syndrome. Growing up, participating in the Special Olympics was one of my brother’s favorite memories. Special Olympics is a non-profit organization that makes sports available to people with intellectual disabilities. As simple as it sounds, providing my brother and others with intellectual disabilities a space to train, to be a part of a team, and to engage in athletic competition instills a sense of confidence, belonging, and pride that they seldom receive elsewhere. At Special Olympics competitions, family members are able to watch their children with pride as they push their limits. The Special Olympics also provides people with intellectual disabilities free health screenings tailored to their needs (people with intellectual disabilities have a 40% greater risk for health issues, and health care professionals are not trained to care for people with intellectual disabilities---this is an issue I have seen firsthand with medical professionals working with my brother).
THE HISTORY OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS:
In the 1960s when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly people with intellectual disabilities were treated and noticed that children with special needs didn’t even have a place to play, she decided to hold a summer day camp for people with intellectual disabilities---IN HER OWN BACKYARD. It began with 50 people, which has since grown into 3.7 MILLION ATHLETES in more than 170 countries.
As a former athlete, I can’t imagine my life without the opportunity to play. Without organizations like the Special Olympics, people like my brother would not have this opportunity. The core goal of the Special Olympics is to foster ACCEPTANCE and INCLUSION of all people. They emphasize the abilities not the disabilities of people such as my brother. Because the Special Olympics offers their programs FREE to all, and they receive no federal or state funding in the state of Illinois (all of their coaches, trainers, and directors are volunteers)---the maintenance of the Special Olympics relies on the generous support from the community. That’s where running for this charity comes in and where YOU can help.
This is my first time fundraising for this large amount of money--- $1,000 to be exact. Truth be told I’m TERRIFIED. But I have faith that it’ll all work out. If you can spare $1, $5, $10, $20---regardless of the number I am SO GRATEFUL! If you have friends or family who might be interested in donating to this cause, please refer them to this link. Either way, your support (whether it be financial or moral) means the WORLD to me!!!
~ Diane ♥