Friday, October 31, 2014

Team Leah Bean Virtual 5k (the first, ever)

Each year as October approaches, I feel a bit of dread. I know, I said October and dread in the very same sentence. Strange. But October marks Rett syndrome awareness month and raising awareness and funds are just not my forte. 

I am lucky to be surrounded by so many Rett moms and families who thrive on spreading awareness, working for Rett organizations and foundations and raising funds toward treatments and a hopeful cure. It seems they live and breathe for it. But my little introvert self just wants to crawl in a corner and close my eyes until it's over. 

Throughout the past two years as we have reached out of our comfort zones and raised funds and awareness as a result of running on the Team Rett for the Boston Marathon, we have had so many people ask how they can continue to be involved, even from afar. So when I suggested a virtual 5k in honor of Leah and to raise funds and awareness for Rett syndrome, we immediately had multiple people on board. 

I went in with hopes of maybe 25-30 runners, raising a few hundred dollars. And when sign-ups closed a few days before October 1, we had 127 people signed up. Multiple times, as I'd receive an email saying someone had signed up, it would bring me to tears. The steady increase in numbers overwhelmed me with gratitude and humility for which I don't think I will ever have words. 

The kinds words written in support of Leah and the impact she has had on others was enough to make this mom's heart burst with joy. 

And then the hashtags started to roll in. #TeamLeahBean5k2014 brought in probably 75 unique images, picturing more than 100 runners. Family and friends from all walks of life. Walkers, joggers and runners from at least 15 different states and 5 different countries. Riders in wheelchairs and strollers. Veteran racers and brave souls participating in their first-ever 5k. Some on treadmills. Some on powerchairs. Solo runners. Families. Large, organized groups. All sporting their kelly or seafoam green shirts and running for our Leah. 

Four our little Leah. 

I really hope you know how much your support means to our family. That every time we see these pictures or see you sporting your shirt, our heart swells with gratitude. And I hope you know that your donation and your support made a difference, and continues to do so.

We will run for Rett until Rett is no more. And we're so grateful you're running alongside us. (And we hope you'll join us for our 2nd event in 2015!)

*The images displayed here aren't all that were posted. For some reason, certain social media sites that shall not be named weren't letting me access all the pictures with our hashtag??? If your picture is missing, or if you still have one you never sent, please let me know!

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