As you know, I love to run. It began when I was a college student and has become a little more organized through the years to the point where I now run one or two marathons a year. I was first introduced to the world of marathon running by my friend Rick Hoyt at Boston University. On April 18th I will participate in the Boston Marathon as a qualified runner to raise money for Team Hoyt. I’m honored to be one of the 32 runners who have been selected from around the country to represent this important organization.
I met Rick when we were both students at BU. Rick was born a non-verbal quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. I was among the group of students who helped him get around campus and assisted with his personal care. On the weekends, Rick competed with his father Dick who would push him in a specialized wheelchair. Occasionally, I went with them. Their favorite race is the Boston Marathon. Every April, for 32 years, Dick pushed Rick through the oldest marathon course in the country. A life size bronze statue of Dick and Rick was placed yards away from the start of the race in 2013 in honor of the father and son team who have served as a source of inspiration, bringing spectators along the 26.2-mile course to tears.
Rick and Dick wanted to do more than just inspire the disabled and founded the Hoyt Foundation. It is an IRS 501(c)(3) charity whose purpose is to help integrate disabled people into everyday activities so they may live fruitful and productive lives, just as Rick has done. I hope you will support my efforts to help this organization by making a donation at www.crowdrise.com/teamhoytboston2016/fundraiser/juliesong. 100% of your contribution will be used to support programs for the disabled, as all administrative work is done by volunteers.
Last year Rick competed without his father for the first time. A fellow team member pushed Rick in place of his father. After three decades of competing in more than 1,000 races, including six Ironman triathlons, 72 marathons, and a 3,375-mile cross-country bike and run, Dick retired from his favorite race. Please join me in showing your support for the Hoyts, who have been a shining example of how anything is possible when approached with boundless love and determination.
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