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Jess Bergeman's Fundraiser:

Jeffrey's Fierce Hard Chargers

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owner profile imageJeffrey's Fierce Hard Chargers Are CRUSHING Their Goal!
March 10, 2016

Thanks to all of your incredible support our team is absolutely crushing our original goal! Our current total as of this writing is $1,598.00  See more
Jess Bergeman

THE STORY:

It is truly beautiful that Jeffrey's path to the Marine Corps Marathon comes through raising support for Ainsley's Angels and increasing awareness of inclusion for all.

Jeffrey was born healthy and progressed as any neurotypical child would. His life changed dramatically on May 24, 2008 when at the age of 22 months he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at home. His cardiopulmonary resuscitation was ultimately successful, but only after nearly 20 minutes of sustained oxygen deprivation to his brain. This anoxic brain injury has left Jeffrey facing many difficult challenges. He is not able to walk, and is fed primarily by a tube in his stomach. While Jeffrey is unable to speak he has worked hard to show that he understands at an age appropriate level and is able to communicate his thoughts. Having a body that doesn't cooperate with him, yet a mind that knows what it wants to do can be extremely frustrating, but none of that stops Jeffrey from sharing his big smiles and infectious laughter with everyone he encounters.

That smile and personality easily won over his "runner buddy," Kareen when they were matched via the organization "I Run 4 Michael" on September 21, 2013. Since that pairing Kareen has logged thousands of miles in his honor and has participated in so many races, each time collecting and sending the medals and souvenirs to him in special care packages that have filled our home with so much love and joy! All of her efforts on his behalf, constant encouragement and motivation eventually were contagious as well.

I'm Jeffrey's mom, Jess, and I was so inspired by what I witnessed Kareen doing for my son that I felt strongly about reclaiming my own health. As a special needs parent it becomes very easy to put yourself last. That paired with poor eating habits, and the stress that goes along with the territory contributed to my being obese. I started working out regularly and eventually started running. In all, I lost over 40 pounds, but in doing so I have gained so much more. When I began running I asked Jeffrey if he would like to go with me, he did, and it turned out that he LOVED it! We had run together many miles, using an adaptive stroller that "got the job done," but was in no way ideal for running endurance events. Once we had conquered many 5K's and 10K's we set our sights on a half marathon but knew we needed new wheels.

That's where I Run 4 and Ainsley's Angels stepped in. Specialized wheelchairs for running are not a small purchase, especially when you consider that most special needs families already stretch their budgets to cover co-pays, hospital stays, therapies etc. Insurance coverage and community programs only extend so far, and when you already own a standard wheelchair finding funding sources for a specialized chair of this nature is difficult. These sources aren't able to consider the value that a chair for running would bring my child priceless joy and community inclusion in endurance events into their fiscal bottom line. BUT Ainsley's Angels, through their partnership with I Run 4 Michael, took that value and made it the only data that mattered. We applied through a special "give back program" and anticipated that we might still need to come up with some of the funds to help cover the cost of a Freedom Chair; then were completely blown away when Ainsley's Angels granted Jeffrey a brand new chair at no cost to us!  That's the heart of this organization-they desire to get these chairs into the community so that more and more individuals with special needs can experience the same joy and freedom that Jeffrey does when we go out for a run.

That brings us full circle to today. Jeffrey and I completed our half marathon, and have set our sights on the full. Kareen has run many marathons, including repeated showings at the Marine Corps Marathon. Which is why when presented with the opportunity to run as a team with the Ainsley's Angels charity it was a no brainer! It would be a dream come true for Jeffrey, Kareen and I to cross the finish line at MCM 2016 together; but even better is that with the funds we raise we get to spread the love by granting a new Freedom Chair to someone special just like the blessing we ourselves received! Of course these two things will only be possible if we fully meet our fundraising goal of $2,550.00. Please consider donating any amount to help get us to the MCM, be able to gift someone a chair AND at the same time help Ainsley's Angels in their mission.

Our sincere thanks,

Jess and Jeffrey Bergeman & Kareen Lawson

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$7,877

MONEY RAISED
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  • Erica and family.

    $25

  • Anonymous

     

  • Wynne Cook

    $25

  • Allison and Dieter

    $50

  • Mary Beth Cole

    $25

  • Tina

    $25

  • Dawn and Wesley

    $50

  • The Wellners- Jim, Jessi, Michael, Isaac, and William

     

  • Sara Denure

     

  • Cate and Matt Brewer

     

  • Tim & Carrie Leis

    $100

  • Catherine and Dylan

     

  • Payton and Alyssa Connor

    $50

  • Aaron Merconti

     

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Dale Meister

    $20

  • Rachel and Matt Rhea

    $25

  • Marcey Brothers

    $25

  • Nurse Kerrie

    $50

  • Joanna Graham

    $25

  • Deb Delyea

    $100

  • Sara Clark

     

  • Zakia, Miles & Scarlett

    $25

  • Wynne Cook

    $25

  • Cindy Smallwood

    $30

  • Mary M from Burke Beasts

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • Hingst Family

    $100

  • mbusa

    $20

  • Diana and Tom Hooper

    $50

  • Tee-shirts

    $52

  • Kymberlee and Vince Gilkey

    $50

  • The Wade Family

    $50

  • Marty and Margaret Lock

    $25

  • Jean Bengtson

    $10

  • Steven and Karen Shapiro

    $40

  • Shelley Verdejo

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $195

  • Sean Berkowitch

    $10

  • Kathy Harris

    $50

  • Wynn Cook

    $25

  • Jackie Kurisky

    $25

  • Eric Noe

    $75

  • Other Bake Sale Donors

    $48

  • Dillon Family

    $25

  • Kareen Lawson

    $1,036

  • Judy Jones

    $40

  • Wynne Cook

    $25

  • Wendy Baird

    $25

  • Laura

    $20

  • Barb and Dan Quantrille (from the Burke Beasts)

    $40

  • Sarah Brown

    $50

  • Cherie

    $100

  • Megan

    $25

  • Ed Jennings

     

  • Jarod and Kim Pick

    $50

  • WI State Patrol and Southview Elementary School

    $330

  • laura d.

    $20

  • Kareen's Magnificent Bake Sales

    $1,030

  • Wynne Cook

    $25

  • Mary M

    $25

  • The Greenbergs

     

  • Lorna Miller

    $114

  • Sylvia Sevilla

     

  • Mid-July Cash/Check Donations Received

    $107

  • Megan Doscher

    $50

  • Greg Boutin

    $50

  • Misc. Donations

    $100

  • Nancy Howard

    $50

  • Mary M

    $25

  • Josh

    $50

  • House Warming/Erica

    $171

  • Mallon Family

    $25

  • Mike and Carrie Smith

    $250

  • Birthday Donations

    $60

  • The Severs Family

    $50

  • Arthur Dent

    $100

  • Karen Torres

    $25

  • Camp Hoffman

    $50

  • Kay Abbuhl

    $100

  • Wynne Cook

    $25

  • Berkowitch Family

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Cate Brewer

    $250

  • Bake Sale

    $698.72

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Jane Prosperi

    $25

  • Offline Donations from Bake Sale

    $46

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • The Usala's

    $35

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109% Raised of$7,225 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $7,877 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM

Want to help Fundraise or Volunteer for this amazing Fundraiser? Join the Team

Donor Comments

The Usala's

The Usala's

DONATION: $35

We are inspired by Jeffrey, his family, and Kareen! 3 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $10

3 years ago

Offline Donations from Bake Sale

Offline Donations from Bake Sale

DONATION: $46

3 years ago

Jane Prosperi

Jane Prosperi

DONATION: $25

3 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $50

In honor of Linda McA sweating it out 3 years ago

Bake Sale

Bake Sale

DONATION: $698.72

3 years ago

Cate Brewer

Cate Brewer

DONATION: $250

Sorry I can't help with the bake sale this time around. 3 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $25

3 years ago

Berkowitch Family

Berkowitch Family

DONATION: $25

3 years ago

Wynne Cook

Wynne Cook

DONATION: $25

So proud of all of you! Congratulations on your adventure in marathoning with the best team ever! ð 3 years ago