(***Please read below r.e. new donation match proposal!***)
Hello friends and family! My name is Janis. Many of you know me as a triathlete and avid swimmer, but this April I will be running my first full marathon through the great metropolis of Boston!
I am running in memory of Chris Norman (the handsome chap to the right), one of my classmates from the University of Maine and MGH Institute of Health Professions (where we both graduated in 2007.) Sadly, Chris' life was cut short this past November at the age of 28. He is greatly missed by countless friends and family.
Our graduating class of 2007 was a very tight-knit crew. We were a team. We laughed, cried and grew together during some of the most trying academic years of our lives. Chris was a huge part of what made our class unique and memorable. After hearing of Chris' tragic death, we knew we needed to do something big to celebrate his life. We also wanted to create something that would have a lasting impact, so we could continue to keep him alive in our hearts and minds forever.
Just a month before he died, while in school to finish his PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Chris completed his first full marathon (with a very impressive time, no less). Chris was very bright, and always strived for excellence in everything that he did. As such, my classmates and I have committed to raising a minimum of $10,000 to establish the Chris Norman '07 Education Fund at the MGH Institute, and have identified one of his classmates (that'd be me) to run a marathon as a way to raise these funds.
We thought, what better way to honor his spirit, than to achieve academic and athletic greatness in parallel. And what better place than to do it, than the city where we met Chris, which just so happens to host the most infamous marathon of all - The Boston Marathon.
The Chris Norman Fund will support a variety of educational activities in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with emphasis on addressing issues around stuttering -- a condition that Chris not only overcame but which fueled his desire to help others as a speech-language pathologist.
Please take a moment to make a donation, and wish me luck on April 18, 2011 when I run the Boston Marathon for Chris.
***The Norman family has generously offered to match donations for the Christopher Norman Educational Fund. You will notice that our original fund raising goal of $5,000 has increased to $10,000. Explanation as follows:
Once we have met the $5,000 mark, the Norman family will match the donations up to $5,000. This means that if we raise $6,000 ($1,000 over $5,000), the family will donate an additional $1,000. If we raise $8,000 ($3,000 over $5,000), then the Norman family will donate $3,000. Imagine if we were to raise $10,000, the match would increase the fund to $15,000! Every dollar donated will help us receive these matching funds. Many thanks to Rich and Ann.***
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. I sincerely thank you for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Click the video link posted at right to see how MGH Institute alumni are "Making a Difference" every day in the lives of the people they care for.