Sunday, April 22, 2012

Marathon Man

Last Tuesday morning, our friend Bryan called me and said that since he was running in the Blue Ridge Marathon on Saturday, would it be okay if he did it in a shirt and tie to raise money for Avery? How awesome is that?! He asked me questions about Avery, her medical diagnoses, her therapy, how much it costs, etc, and put together a whole page for her on his website, here. That afternoon, he raised over $800 by displaying Avery's information in his booth the the Small Business Expo at the Civic Center. Pretty amazing, hey?! From there, he then managed to get two local TV stations to run a story on it, here, and here, so my little girl's picture was on the news 2 nights in a row! Luckily, Gabe got the WDBJ story on the camcorder, because they did a great job, but then they didn't post it on their website!! So here's that video:

And here is the other one:

By Friday, Bryan had managed to raise over $1,300, which will be enough to pay off the rest of what we owe Avery's ABM therapist and her Feldenkrais therapist, and pre-pay for a couple of months of therapy! I am so happy, and Avery is so excited to get back to therapy, and we are all in awe of what Bryan has done for our family! Completely out of the blue, and in less than 4 days!! Amazing!

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Gabe was working the marathon (in one of the EMT bike teams, riding up and down the greenway to make sure everyone was okay), so he had to be there by 5am!! After breakfast, all three children did some serious painting in preparation for being Bryan's own personal cheer squad as he ran. :)

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We made our way to Wasena Park by about 11am. The race started at 7:30am, and Wasena Park is right on the greenway, at about mile 23.5 of the marathon! Avery practiced waving her sign and cheering while we waited, which a lot of the runners seemed to appreciate :)

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Gabe, who was keeping an eye out for Bryan back along the greenway, called to say that he was almost there, so Brogan came and grabbed his sign too!

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There he is! With Gabe riding next to him.

This was the back of Bryan's shirt :)

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"Go, Bryan, Go! Go, go, Bryan!" Bryan stopped and gave Avery a quick hug before continuing on his way! 23.5 miles down, "only" 2 miles to go!!! It was time for us to jump into the van as quickly as we could and try to navigate around the closed streets downtown to get to the finish line before Bryan! We just made it! 

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Avery with Bryan a couple of minutes after he completed a 26.2 mile run (the toughest road marathon in the country!!) in a little over 4hr 20mins, for her :) He also beat his own time from last year by an hour!!
A couple of minutes after this Bryan had to go find somewhere to sit down/collapse/relieve the agony!! And by that time, all three kiddos were exhausted, and Oliver was ready for his nap. So we headed home, but not before Avery and Brogan took on the inflatable slide we passed on the way to the van!

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Avery managed to climb all the way up, with zero help, and zero frustration!! First time ever, I think!!

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Thank you, Bryan!!! You are truly Awesome!!!!

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Please pass on so much appreciation and gratitude to Bryan from an overwhelmed Grandma. What a huge thing to do. I love all these pictures, I love that the children became Bryan's personal cheer-leading squad. His run has raised the profile not only of Avery's condition but, hopefully, the plight of many disabled children who need more care than is acknowledged. I LOVE the picture of Avery and Brogan going down the slide together.