Several weeks ago my running partner and co-leader of our Tallahassee Chapter of Moms RUN This Town posted about a group of runners that formed an “I RUN4” campaign. This community was formed by runners for those close to them that can no longer run, but now it has grown to so much more than that!
Admittedly, when I initially heard about this I wondered if I would be able to take on another obligation in my daily life, but after much consideration and reading other inspirational feedback from the people we run for, I rushed to sign up and then last Saturday morning I woke up to my IR4 match.
Meet Carly and here is her story as told to me by her mother Patti . . .
Carly is 7 years old. I am her Mom, Patti and her father is Waylon. Carly has 2 older sisters, Nikki (15) & Kerrison (11) and a little brother Jude (5). Carly has a Chromosome 2p16.3 deletion, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (also known as Heller’s Syndrome), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Epilepsy, and the list goes on. Carly’s medical conditions are rare and she has been part of a world-wide research study for almost 3 years now. We are praying that in her lifetime there will be answers and help!
Carly is non-verbal but doesn’t need words to get what she wants. She is very loving, and known around town for her great hugs! Carly is also a runner! We have to keep doors locked and alarm on at all times or she will bolt out of the house. She is super fast and super strong! Carly wears a Project Lifesaver bracelet (tracking device through Sheriff’s department) in case she were to get away from us or her teachers, she has to be in a wheelchair in public for safety, due to her running and seizures.
I can’t tell you how truly appreciative we are for what you are doing in honor of our Carly! My older daughters are very much involved with several charity organizations, but their favorite is “friends club”. Where they get to help kids with special needs in their schools. My oldest is very athletic and when I told her about this and you she said she was going to do this too! You’ve already inspired an up coming runner!!
Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for running for Carly!!
I have already developed a soft spot for that sweet little face, but knowing her story makes it so much more meaningful to run for her now! Knowing that I am running for someone who cannot has long been something I did in my head and in my heart metaphorically, but now it is something that I really do. This morning as I was running with my morning running group I thought about Carly the whole time and how fast she would be running with me and I ended up having the fastest run that I have had in several weeks. I am excited about the miles ahead, now more than ever.
Carly and I have a big race list coming up in the fall of half marathons and my first full marathon next Spring, which I am now even more excited about now so that I can share my training and experiences with this little sweet child.
~ Always smile back at little children. To ignore them is to destroy their belief that the world is good. – Author Unkown
Interested in becoming an IR4 runner or know someone who would benefit from being matched with a runner? Please contact IR4 for more information.