Courteney Boyle via Crowdrise
January 17, 2016
COURTENEY IS RUNNING FOR RINA!
Courteney Boyle is 15 years old. She has many challenges...physical, cognitive, and medical. But, the awesome thing about Courteney is that she is a champ..she is a fighter! She is never going "beat" her challenges...but she is a fighter because her life is awesome despite her many challenges. She fights for joy, perseverance, love, and hope each and every day! She chooses to WIN and with God's strength... SHE DOES! AMEN!!
Many years ago her father, Dan, started pushing her in her wheelchair in races... 5ks and 10ks. Courteney loves to "run!" Her Daddy sweats bullets as he pushes about 150 pounds of a young lady and a wheelchair all the while she smiles and waves her sparkly pom-pom, like a princess!! This has become her "thing" with her Dad.
DisneyWorld has been a very special place for Courteney and her family. She had her Make-A-Wish trip there back in 2006. DisneyWorld is a place where dreams and wishes have come true for Courteney and her family. Her father realized about a year ago that he would love nothing more than to push her in the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge for her 16th birthday (Feb 2017). The Challenge is a 10k on Saturday 2/20/16 and then a half marathon the following day, both through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Due to some very unexpected, life threatening circumstances that have come up in Courteney's life in the last 8 months, Dan realized that the time was NOW for the Glass Slipper Challenge! None of us are guaranteed tomorrow and with the medical challenges that are on the horizon for Courteney, Dan didn't want to miss an opportunity like this with her. That realization led to the decision to tackle the Challenge in February of 2016.
Soon after though, Dan found out that runDisney had not had any individuals with mobility aids (wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc) participate in past Disney races for safety reasons. With a great deal of determination and persistence (and a few safety accommodations!) Courteney has been invited to participate in the Glass Slipper Challenge while being pushed in her wheelchair... Making her THE FIRST person approved to participate by being pushed in a wheelchair in the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend - she is a trailblazer! runDisney has stated that they want to be more inclusive! Way to go Disney!!!! And because of her efforts, others in wheelchairs are also now participating!!! Courteney is going to be participating in what could literally be the race of her lifetime!
What cause would she run for? Well, one that is near and dear to the Boyle's hearts. She'll be Running for Rina, a 20 year-old young lady in El Salvador, Central America, who has significant challenges...physical, cognitive, and medical...just like Courteney, except that this young lady has had a very different story than hers. Rina's life has been one of neglect and darkness. She has laid in a dark room in a dirty bed, often alone and neglected beyond what we can truly imagine. The Boyles have sponsored Rina financially, providing food and seizure medications, for about 9 years. Christine, Courteney's mother, met Rina on her very first mission trip to El Salvador back in 2005 when she brought to her a special pediatric wheelchair. Over the years, the Boyles have prayed for Rina, supported her, and visited her on their trips to El Salvador, yet Rina was still very much alone and neglected. After much searching for a long term care facility in El Salvador that could rescue Rina from her extreme poverty and neglect, the Boyles only found that they don't exist. Instead though, and even better, a family in El Salvador stepped up and said that they were willing to bring Rina into their home, make her a part of their family, and to care for Rina on a daily basis. After 9 years, in the blink of an eye, Rina went from darkness into light; from despair to hope; from anguish to joy; and from isolation to family!!!
It has been an absolute miracle to see how God has provided for Rina and cared for her so well! The family that has taken her in is even poorer beyond what we can imagine. Yet, they are servants of God, desiring and choosing to care about what He cares about and doing what He would do. They have demonstrated selflessness in a way we could easily never see firsthand in our lifetimes. They have laid down their lives for another.
The care and the needs that Rina requires comes with a cost and so it is the Boyle's hope to raise funds and awareness, to come along side this family, and provide for Rina's special and on-going needs. The beautiful story here is that ONE special young lady is making it her mission to live with joy, purpose, and freedom and care for ANOTHER special young lady 2,000 miles away, who is, for the first time in 20 years, experiencing joy, purpose, and freedom!
God is the author and perfecter of their lives, creating them both for good works and eternal purposes. He has sustained each of them by His word and His power and His love! This race is for the glory of God, to show the world that all things are possible when you love Jesus!!! That even to those whom the world can look at as useless and disabled... God says these are His children, made in His image, created with a purpose! This race is a declaration of life and hope and God's precious mercy and His amazing strength being seen in weakness!! AMEN!!!
Would you consider joining Courteney in Running For Rina, on February 20-21, 2016 in the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge by sponsoring her for this event!!??
All Monies raised through Crowdrise will be dispersed to AME International, a 501c(3) non-profit organization.