|Aidan in Kindergarten. He had strep throat but I made him run anyway....for some reason he hasn't wanted to do it since......|
|Ella Mae in Kindergarten! (I don't know why I look so mad in that pic)|
|I even ran the 5K last year....just for fun. Hmmmm.|
It hit me like a ton of bricks on Sunday while waiting at my relay exchange point.
All of the Bell Runners (people who sign up to run for a specific child and raise funds for the Bell Center) wear the picture of "their" Bell Center child on their backs.
But I was wearing a picture of MY child on my back.
Not a child I am running for but MY child.
One dad tweeted this after the race:
Oh my heart.
The very idea that not only my team members, but so many other runners participated to help MY CHILD. The Mercedes Marathon is the biggest fundraiser of the year for The Bell Center and because of the funds that were raised (and continue to be raised), my son has learned to sit up almost totally on his own, is almost crawling, and will eventually learn to walk. He is able to hold his own bottle, communicate (mostly babbling but that is age appropriate), eat baby food with no problems. These are things that as a parent of a typical child, I used to take for granted. Now, as a parent of a child with Down syndrome, each and every milestone is celebrated. Simple things that most kids do on their own, many kids with Down syndrome and other special needs have a hard time accomplishing. Without Early Intervention help, many kids fall way behind in their development..... BUT, because of the Bell Center and our wonderful team, Jojo is right on track and doing EVERYTHING he should be for his age.
So enjoy some pictures from this years race weekend! Thank you SO MUCH to all who donated, thank you to my amazing team, and to my mom for helping me navigate the insanity with 3 kids!
Oh, and if you want to pitch in and be part of helping Jojo and so many others reach their potential, there is still time....just click the link below.
|They have capes for all the kids! So cute....ready to run!|
|Aidan and Ella Mae pushing Jojo in the Bell Kids run|
|Bell Center graduates and siblings race. Call me cray but pretty sure Aidan won!|
|Jojo biting his medal to make sure it is real.|
|Ella Mae and I ready to run her mile in the 1st grade kids race.|
|She did it!|