Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Hike to Battle Cystic Fibrosis! Will you help save a life?

Hello all!

Today I am happy to say that I spent the day hiking 11 miles at South Mountain State Park with some pretty amazing people including, my good friend Stan. Dwayne and I have been friends with Stan and his wife Krista for several years now and for the past few years, he has been asking us to come out and participate in his training hikes at some of the local mountains around Charlotte.

My friend Stan! Hike master!
 He is involved in these training hikes because in a few months he has an "extreme hike" that he participates in to help raise money to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

Stan became involved in the charity because he had a childhood friend die from Cystic Fibrosis. He dedicates a lot of time and effort to fundraising to fight this disease. Stan and his group of friends do the "Extreme Hike" every year to raise money to fight this terrible disease and for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. By 'extreme' I mean that they hike 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one day! 30 Miles!

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Today I had the pleasure of joining them on a training hike and spent a beautiful Saturday with good people, fresh air and exercise.

We hiked 11 miles and, at times, it was pretty arduous! There were a lot of serious inclines and it took us about 4 hours to complete the training hike. Although, along the way there were some really beautiful sites to see.

Probably one of the best sites of the entire day was seeing a dog riding a horse. Seriously, that really happened. I have photo evidence.
Seriously, it's a dog riding a horse!

 At the end of this day, I am tired, stiff and will probably be sore but it was such a great experience and I am glad I met some of these people.

Stan is currently trying to raise $3,000 for the BIG HIKE and he is very grateful for any donations that people would be willing to give. If you want to donate for this big hike or learn more about the charity hike, click here to see his fundraising page!

Good Luck Stan!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Run for Caleb! Will you?

Hello all!
I am so excited to share this blog post with you. After two months of sitting on a waiting list and with 53 days until the wedding, I have finally been matched with a buddy to run for through I RUN 4 MICHAEL!

IRUN4Michael is a non-profit organization that pairs runners with special needs children and adults. These people have physical disabilities that don't allow them to be able to run themselves and so, as a runner, you dedicate all your runs to them. You tell them every time you complete a run through the facebook page and they support you through pictures and posts and you support them through doctor's appointments, illnesses and celebrate their milestones. The best part is, when you receive race "swag" you can send it to them! I love this idea, instead of having a drawer full of race tshirts that I don't wear, I can get one in the size for my buddy and it can really mean something!

I knew that the time was getting close as I saw my name move down the waiting list and finally on Sunday night, I was matched with an amazing little boy named Caleb.

Felecia King Baker's photo.
How adorable and strong is this little man?
Caleb is 8 years old. He was born 3 months early, weighed 1 lb 9.9 oz. Caleb has been diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) (basically brain damage), cerebral palsy, asthma and a severe seizure disorder. Caleb is wheelchair bound but he can scoot on the floor on his belly and gets around pretty good.  He can say about 30 words and he is learning to use his iPad to speak for him.
I posted my first run for Caleb yesterday putting in 3.5 miles on the treadmill and I couldn't wait to post and tell him. Even my friend Jordan got in the act, dedicating her night at FlyWheel to Caleb!
Hi Caleb! I am fighting off a cold and am sore from yoga yesterday but I couldn't wait to run for you! I finished 3.5 treadmill miles at 9:13 per mile before my fiancé and I go to a bridal show tonight! All of my friends already love you. My friend Jordan even dedicated her flywheel class to you tonight and came in first place for the first time! Do you see your name there? You are an inspiration!
His mom told me that they told the Doctor about Caleb's new running buddy and my heart melted. I cannot wait to learn more about this sweet little boy and have him push me to run further, faster and more often. Great motivation for the wedding and great motivation for my soul : )
I have asked any friends, family and blog readers, to help me communicate with Caleb and show him that there are several people that know about him and care about his health. So, if you need some motivation to finish or just start a workout, think of Caleb cheering you on and send me a note or a picture and I will pass it on to the family.
Also, on March 15th, my fiancé and I will be doing our 1st 5k of the year and we are going to dedicate it to Caleb! The "Color Me Green 5k" will be held in Charlotte in honor of St. Pattys Day and I intend on wearing an "I Run for Caleb" tshirt. Who wants to run with me?