ALS 5k to Support Family

My family is made up of people who would give you the shirt off their back if they knew you needed it. They’re the type of people who love unconditionally and who are there, whenever you need them the most. I remember when Nate was in the ICU after the assault, one of my aunts heard that I wasn’t eating; so she took the long trek to the hospital, just to bring me a warm, homemade banana bread. My cousin drove down just because she knew I’d need a hug. Everyone was there for me in ways that left me feeling overwhelmed… and truly loved.

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It’s how family should be: together and always there for each other. It’s the type of family that I want my baby to grow up in. A family of faith and of unbreakable loyalty and love.

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So it didn’t surprise me when family members rose to the occasion, when yet another member needed support. My family is so large that I don’t know all of my second-cousins, but I know of them. My dad loves to tell stories of how he’d play hockey or kick-the-can with his cousins; and so often, it feels as though I grew up surrounded by them as well. When he told me that his cousin’s husband was diagnosed with the horrible disease known as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), I definitely felt pure sadness creep over me.

They’re a good family. Once again, life has proven to not be fair. And with no cure yet, ALS is a death sentence, when there should be so much life left to be lived.

Team Don, created to show support for my family member struggling with this devastating disease and to help raise money for ALS research, was the largest team at the ALS Cure 5k! It was pretty amazing to see everyone walking and running with their bright yellow T’s, knowing that I was connected to those people, whether or not I had met them before. (Nate and I even met some of my second-cousins who were our age)!

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Oh, and look who else I ran into! My brother Matt made the long drive to also be a part of the 5k.

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I know everyone wishes they could do more, but it felt amazing to at least show support and to help raise money for research. And ultimately, it was a great experience. The day was filled with sunshine, and the walking route (which I did, because I’m definitely not up for running these days) took us through a quaint town center and some gorgeous homes.
(I didn’t take any pictures of the homes, as I thought that would be creepy. But I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this amazing tree-fort)!

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I chatted with my mom and Nate for most of the route, but I was also able to catch up with one of my uncles for awhile too. My dad, on the other hand, ran the 5k with my brother.

By the way, my brother placed in the 5k and won a medal! Go, Matty!!

I didn’t win any medals, but I did receive some free pizza for participating. πŸ˜‰ So this pizza-loving, pregnant girl couldn’t have been happier.

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Family. I love mine.
And I love that we came together to help support a cure that desperately needs to be found!


8 thoughts on “ALS 5k to Support Family

  1. That’s great that you guys were able to rally for this cause. ALS is terrible and it is nice to see that it is getting more exposure and people are becoming more aware of it and donating money to the cause.

    1. Yes, I agree! It’s not a disease that gets as much exposure as some others, but it truly is terrible and devastating. It was very nice to raise some money and to help bring awareness!!

  2. I urge you and your siblings to have a bazillion kids so that we can have more people in the world like you. I’m sure your family has quirks but it’s like you said – they’re always there for each other. You’re really fortunate and I’m so happy for you that you’ve had such a wonderful family all these years and now you get to start your own. It’s a good thing I can type that because if I said it in person, I’d be crying. And we’ve already established what that would do to you πŸ™‚

    So the walk. Super cool! Do you know how many people were in your group or how much money the event raised? ALS, man, you’re right – NOT fair. It must be a great feeling to know you participated in an event, raised/donated money, and spread awareness which could lead to a better treatment or even a cure. Plus, how amazing is it that Nate could join you on the walk?! Seriously. There is much to be thankful for despite your family member’s diagnosis. Lots of love to you guys!

    1. To say that my family has its share of quirks would be an understatement. πŸ˜‰ I’m pretty sure that we’re all a little crazy…. and we certainly have our share of faults. But I love that despite the craziness – and in the midst of mistakes made – everyone loves, forgives, and sticks together. πŸ™‚ There’s a stability there that meant a lot to me, even when I was a kid. And I am SO glad that my future child will grow up in this same, close family.
      And, yes, if we were talking about this in person, we would both be gushing…. and our guys would probably be awkwardly standing to the side, shaking their heads. πŸ˜‰
      Yes, the walk was definitely super cool! It was such great way to raise money and to bring awareness. And despite how tragic the disease is, the walk itself was very positive and filled with hope. AND it definitely hit home that I was walking it with Nate and that he was strong enough to complete it. I wonder if it will ever get old, that feeling of realizing that my husband ‘should’ be in a wheelchair…. but that he’s walking. I kind of hope it doesn’t. Feelings like that are what keep me from ever taking a day for granted!
      As for how many people were in my group, I don’t know quite yet. I keep going to the website to check out the pic they took of my entire team, but it’s not up yet! Ha, ha. I do know it was a lot. There were crazy cousins sitting on top of other cousin’s shoulders, just so everyone could fit into the shot. LOL. I’m sure I’ll get an email soon with the pic… and the stats as to how much was raised. But I think the fundraising was successful, so that makes me happy!! πŸ™‚

      1. Those are especially valuable qualities about family: forgiveness and support.

        You’re definitely right about our guys. haha

  3. Yay for free pizza! And congrats to your brother for winning a medal! My brother is named Matt too! And today he is having a BABY (well his wife is, but you know what I mean, haha). Anyway, looks like you guys had a great time just being together for this run. Your family sounds absolutely incredible. I love how close you guys are and how you come together to support each other!

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