Chris Hesse-Withbroe via Crowdrise
September 20, 2012
BENEFITING: Charities Challenge
ORGANIZER: Charities Challenge
HOURS PLEDGED: 6
Mileage Tracker: 20
Why am I raising money for Charities Challenge and WHY am I running 26.2 hard miles in Maui for Charities Challenge? Because Charities Challenge mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals challenged by health concerns. My family is affected by two health conditions: Alzheimer's and Down Syndrome.
You all know I am the mother of 4 living boys. I originally began running to heal after one of my twin sons, David, died the day of birth from a cardiac anomaly. Running was my time to quiet my mind, to feel David’s spirit, and to push my body to its limits as I raged against the fates that took my little man far too soon. Soon running became my time to help me be a better mom to my youngest who was born with Down Syndrome and who was subsequently diagnosed with hearing loss and autism. The stress in having Robert originates from dealing with the various systems (school, health care etc) with which he is involved – not him or his diagnosis – he is the light that shines through all the bureaucracy. And, I run to honor him – it took him two years to learn to walk, yet he kept trying – and most of the time with a smile and determination. When I am having a difficult run, I think about Robert and how hard he works to accomplish tasks that come easily to most people … and he immediately inspires me. I also run to show my other 3 boys about the importance of setting goals, training, and achieving them as well as the importance of exercise to PREVENT disease!
I also am running the Maui Oceanfront Marathon for Charities Challenge to support their work in both preventing and ameliorating the symptoms of Alzheimer's. My Dad was recently diagnosed with a pre-Alzheimer's condition. My Dad is literally a world reknown solar astrophysicist who has sent numerous experiments up on the Space Shuttle, was a key scientist for SkyLab in the 1970's and Chief of Space Physics at Nasa Headquarters. At a recent dinner with my parents, I saw him struggle to remember one of my boy's names ... the look of fear in his eyes, as well as recent inspiring posts from Charities' Challenge Founder Gary Westlund about the importance of exercise in slowing the progression of dementia convinced me that NOW is the time for me to become an RxExercise Ambassador: to honor my Dad and Robert.
So many people with Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's are isolated as they age .. growing more and more unfit and losing more of their cognition .. and hence, their dignity. Charities Challenge seeks to ameliorate the ills associated with lack of exercise ... by prescribing exercise! Help me spread the word about exercise ... the cheapest Rx you can find!