Hello Again Family & Friends,
Back in June, I sent my first letter (posted below) out to all of you, letting you know that I am running the Chicago Marathon in honor of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF.org).
A HUGE thank you to those of you who have already donated!
A few updates since then -
First and foremost, on the Gwendolyn front...
Miss G has started Kindergarten! Yep, that's right - on August 27th, just like millions of other kids... she put on her (beautiful butterfly) first day of school dress, and headed to her first day of the Big K at her local public school. Most of us will never know what it took for Bill and Victoria to make this happen for Gwendolyn, and the indelible impact it has, and will continue to have, on them, on her, and on Gwendolyn's classmates, who are being given the opportunity to know Gwendolyn as a friend and fellow classmate. When you stop to think about the emotions/logistics/preparation already involved in sending your kid(s) to Kindergarten - whether it was this year or thirty years ago - imagine this day for the parents of a child with SMA. Incredible.
On the donation front...
I've always felt that it's important to let you know where your donations are going, and how, specifically, they are helping this cause that means the world to me. Largely in part to those of you who have already donated, Project Mariposa (the entity of theGSF that your donations specifically reach) has granted TEN iPads to individuals living with SMA. TEN! That is really something, and I know Bill and and Victoria are extremely proud and thankful to, with our help, be able to continue this initiative. You can read the actual stories of all ten recipients here: http://thegsf.org/blog/detail/project_mariposa_week_twenty_six_ipad_grants_53-62/
On the marathon training front...
I completed a 20 mile run last Saturday, and a half marathon yesterday. I'm ready! The best moment of my training was during my 20-miler, which I ran out at Red Rock, while also taking my NEVER GIVE UP racing shirt on its maiden voyage. For those of you not familiar, Red Rock is a lengthy stretch of (scenic) highway, where cyclists often travel in droves (or pelotons if you want to be technical : ). That morning, there just happened to be a cycling event taking place in that area, so there were at least several hundred cyclists riding by. (Stereo)typically stoic and standoffish toward runners (they consider us "in the way" and almost run right into us sometimes), these riders were happier than I've ever seen them... all because of my shirt! I received tons of thumbs-ups, smiles, happy nods, and even audible "Never Give Up!" shout outs from these guys. It was a time I will have with me in my heart forever. And imagine, if theGSF gets that kind of response from a bunch of cyclists... what the spectator crowd of ONE MILLION + in Chicago will have for us. Surely, that kind of inspiration will see me through to the end: ).
As always, I appreciate the time you've taken to read all of this. To those of you who've already donated, my sincere thanks, and you know how very much it means.
Guys, this cause speaks volumes for itself. I'm just the vessel, carrying the message as far and as wide as I am able. You know that no donation is too small (or too big), and that EVERY dollar counts. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Still counting on you : ).
And in the meantime... NEVER.GIVE.UP.