BENEFITING: SMILE MASS INCORPORATED
ORGANIZER: SMILE MASS INCORPORATED
EVENT DATE: May 22, 2016
Thank you for visiting my page!
As we run in to the new year of 2016, both SMILE Mass and team "Nicholas and mom" have big ambition. As always, you will see Nicholas and I run multiple races throughout Massachusetts and, of course, just like last year, both Nicholas, Annabelle and I will yet again conquer the 200 mile Ragnar Relay Cape Cod, for the 3rd year in a row. A week later, we will be off running our very first marathon in Copenhagen, Denmark! Then we will come back home and conquer the hills and trails of the Falmouth Road Race - just to name a few.
Thank you for visiting my page! My name is Lotte Diomede and I've committed myself to run for all those who can't, especially for my son Nicholas, who is confined to a wheelchair and who relies on care around the clock. Over the next several months, I promise you my commitment will be to hit the pavement on rainy days, sunny days, cold days and warm days. My commitment for now is to run a minimum of 20 miles a week and I'm asking for your support in considering sponsoring me $1 a mile. In the relay race, I will run approximately 15 miles, but before the race I will have trotted close to 400 miles - which sounds really crazy in my mind. But knowing what my son goes though on a daily basis, puts everything in perspective. So, yes I can run, and I will run, and I will complete my goal. One step at a time!
So although SMILE Mass has accomplished so much over the last 5 years, we have again come to a turning point in our non-profit. The year 2016 will be the year we will pursue perhaps our biggest undertaking as of yet; buying a property on Cape Cod! As you are reading this a purchase and sales agreement is being drafted and I am sure the negotiations will be going back and for a while. This is where you come in - we all know money talks. The more SMILE Mass has in the bank, the more we can move mountains, so to speak. My goal is to raise $150,000 by June 1, 2016. So I am asking you, yet again, to consider sponsoring SMILE Mass while we run for all those who can't. Any size donation will make a difference.
Please allow me to explain why having the vacation house up running has become so very important to me now.
Building vacation memories for families like mine are difficult and costly. Even if money was no problem, often finding the right amenities is extremely difficult. Many people who know me know I always live my life with an attitude of "if there is a will there is a way". Last year when our family rented a house on Cape Cod, I knew it wasn't fully handicapped accessible. It had a small shower inside and a big outdoor shower with hot and cold water. The front door only had one step in, so I thought we would be ok. The pictures looked good and the woman whom owned and rented the place assured me that other families had rented her house in the past that needed assistance and used a wheelchair. We got to the house only to find out the front door was too tight for the wheelchair, so we ended up using the back door with three steps in for two weeks straight. The outdoor shower was no picnic, but it did the job. For the entire two weeks, Nicholas was lifted in and out of the house. It was constant work for us as care givers and perhaps not the safest!! Nicholas is now 120 lbs. I promised myself and Nicholas that we would never vacation like that again.
As the year went on I soon forgot about the bad experience. Life goes on, and it is a lot easier to smile than frown. School started and perhaps for the first time in 7 years we had a dream team for Nicholas. He started school with flying colors. He began to hit goals that we thought were never possible. Annabelle started 7th grade without any problems. We breathed a sigh of relief. LIFE IS GOOD.
In 2013, SMILE Mass piloted a loner program that families could use to support their vacation wherever they chose to go. Many of our beach chairs spent the winter in the Caribbean or Florida. Another was used on the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod to support a beach wedding. In the summer, we worked hard to accommodate the many requests. People were coming from everywhere, taking advantage of our loaner program, perhaps one of our biggest successes to date!
With all the good we experienced in 2015, we also encountered bad news. It came to our
attention that families were reaching out because they had a loved one (both children and adults) with declining health that wished to visit the beach just one more time or families with a loved one that had come home from war missing limbs but wanted things to be the same. These stories never get easy to hear. It hurts me inside when we can't help a family. I wish we had a magic wand so no one had to feel the pain of an illness and kids wouldn't have to deal with being sick. Wouldn't that be nice! However, I know that is not possible, but what is possible is to build the vacation home which will allow families to come to Cape Cod and enjoy a vacation with all the right amenities. With your help we will be able to continue to assist thousands of families living in or visiting Massachusetts to create happy health memories and take a vacation. Simply to do some of the same activities that many families take for granted. Your help and support are needed to make this project a reality. Donate today!
Thank you for your continued support. Without you, none of this would be possible.