October 7th, 2010, began as a routine training day at the beginning of peak week for Ironman Florida. Ironman had long been on my bucket list and I was thrilled to have reached the pinnacle of training before the event. My husband, Rick, had been training along side me but had to work the morning of the 7th so I set off on the bicycle training ride on my own.
Five miles from home I was stuck from behind by a truck, knocked off my bike and run over. After an excruciating ambulance ride to the local trauma hospital, I was diagnosed with multiple fractures of the pelvis, back, ribs and clavicle. I realized my dream would not happen; I would not be racing in Florida.
After surgery and a month of healing, I was permitted to travel to Florida to watch from a wheelchair as my husband ran his first triathlon. It was a bittersweet moment, one filled with joy for my husband and one filled with sadness as I watched from the sidelines, unable to participate.
An amazing team helped me through rehabilitation, including my physician, Dr. Nordt and my Physical Therapist, Leah Taylor. Eight months after that fateful day I was able to compete in Eagleman 70.3, and two years later I was able to accomplish my dream and finish an Ironman distance event at Beach to Battleship 140.6.
This last year I also had the privilege of being introduced to United Athletics (UA). UA is a local volunteer organization that is committed to gaining access to races for athletes with special needs. UA pairs these Assisted Athletes with family members or local racers and provides the specialized equipment to participate in bike, run, swim and triathlon events. Having sat on the sidelines before, I cannot express the joy I feel in seeing these Assisted Athletes experience the thrill of racing.
This year I have a new dream; to train for and finish Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 29th, not simply to test my limits but to help raise funds for UA as an Ambassador Athlete. Funds raised through Ironman Foundation will help purchase running strollers, bike trailers and rafts that enable these wonderful Assisted Athletes to compete and experience the joy of racing and exhilaration of crossing a finish line and help families in need with the mounting medical bills that they face caring for these special individuals. None should have to watch from the sidelines!
Please help me by donating to UA through the Ironman Foundation. All donations are tax deductible. For more information about UA, please visit http://www.unitedathleticsrva.com. Thank you!
CR Impact Points
Click the VOTE button to give Heather 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). Vote for the Volunteers and Fundraisers that are answering the call to service, raising money for charity, and making an impact for their causes. Come back and Vote every months. CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.
CR Impact Points
If you're seeing the grey VOTE button, you should feel great about yourself. It means you already voted for Heather this month. Come back next month and vote again if you still love Heather. Thanks to your vote, Heather earned 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.