BENEFITING: The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
EVENT: Team HITW NYC Marathon 2014
EVENT DATE: Nov 02, 2014
November 23, 2005 (the day before Thanksgiving) is a day that would shape the lives of both myself and my husband, Ken. I was 24 years old and in my 37th week of pregnancy with my first child. During our pre-holiday ultrasound we were told that our son had something "abnormal" in his abdomen. We spent the next several weeks traveling to New York City to meet with specialists, running through series of tests and preparing for what was truly an unknown. On December 15, 2005 our son, Liam James, was born. He was the leanest and meanest baby in the NICU for his first few days of life. On December 17 we were told that Liam had a growth on his Adrenal Gland. The growth was malignant. We were told the chances of this happening were 1:1-million. Liam was diagnosed with a Perinatal Neuroblastoma. We embarked on a journey that day that was scary, heart wrenching, eye opening and life altering. At 24 and 25 years old Ken & I were regulars on the Oncology Ward at Columbia Presbyterian with the youngest patient. I remember watching parents sit with their children in the waiting room after spending the night in the ER.
Fast-forwarding through years of Doctors visits, blood tests, scans and ultra-sounds we received a phone call on November 24, 2010 (the day before Thanksgiving). Liam's oncologist was calling to tell us (on the 5-year anniversary of the growth being found) that Liam was "cleared". Our Thanksgiving provided a stark contrast to how we spent the Holiday in 2005.
Currently Liam is a 8 1/2 year old boy. He is a big brother to Sophia (5.5) and Harris (1.5). He is sweet and charming and funny. Most importantly, he is healthy.
Since Liam was born both Ken & I consciously chose careers that would positively impact the lives of others. We are very aware of how precious life is and we want to take the opportunity to "leave our mark" on this world. I went back to graduate school and obtained my M.S. in Speech Pathology. Ken switched his role from development at a higher learning institution to working for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp; a camp that services seriously ill children.
"Life isn't a dress rehearsal". After hearing this saying in November 2013 I was reminded of how precious life is. I wanted to do something to challenge myself and inspire others to live life to its fullest. I embarked on a 12 month/ 13 event challenge. As of September 2014 I have completed 10 of the 13 events. Four of the events will benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Camp is a place where kids can be kids. They can swim, climb the rock wall and fish all while still receiving the best medical attention and treatment that they need. I know how lucky I am that my little boy gets to run and play with his friends. Every child deserves this opportunity.
My goal is to raise enough money to send 2 children to camp. Please help me in reaching this goal!
- Thanksgiving Day RotaryY-Run, 5K November 2013
- Christopher Martin's Christmas Run for Children, 5K December 2013
- Frosty 5K, January 2014
- Fight For Air Stair Climb February 2014
- Run for the Veterans 10K March 2014
- Bimbler's Bash 10K Trail Run April 2014
- Ten Penny Ale Shamrock Duathalon, May 2014
- Merrell Down & Dirty Obstable Course Race 6 miles, June 2014
- Kayak for Camp, 2 mile SUP, July 2014
- Old Wethersfield 10K, August 2014
- Camp Challenge Ride 30 miles, September 2014
- Hartford Half-Marathon, October 2014
- New York City Marathon, November 2014
I hope this story has inspired you!