Around 3:00 pm on December 1st I went public with this idea to raise awareness of & money for Parkinson’s Disease. Less than 24 hours after going public with this whole idea/journey/plan/cause, God planted me right in the path of someone who would validate this journey! Wow — I was blown away, honestly. So what happened? Here we go.
I volunteered to help with the Reindeer Dash for Cash road race on Sunday, December 2nd at 1pm. The whole week leading up to the event, I keep asking myself WHY I volunteered, as things were quickly becoming hectic & busy. I should’ve known this as a Mom of 4 with kids in different activities. I originally volunteered because I was sticking to my “TAKE DECEMBER OFF” rule I had made myself in regards to running, but I still wanted to support the cause. Volunteering was the best way. I signed up to work the Finish Line, you know putting the medals around the 10 milers necks & handing the dog tag souvenirs to the 5k finishers. The COOL part, to me anyway. When I got to the volunteer tent it was apparent they had plenty of Finish Line people but were short on Backup Time Keepers & Course Monitors. A young lady, Maddie, had signed up to be a Backup Time Keeper with a friend but that friend was unable to be there. I was standing next to her & the guy in charge looked at me & I immediately said I’d do whatever he needed me to do, so Backup Time Keeper it was. I will admit, I was a little bummed I wasn’t going to place those medals around the runners’ necks but I had no idea what God had in store!
Maddie & I walk over to the finish line area as instructed. Two other girls walk over with us…hmmm, odd as only 2 Backup Time Keepers are typically needed. The guy in charge of “time management” (i.e. the guy from Precision Race) seemed stumped as well, but put the other 2 girls to work as the Backup Time Keepers. He then spent time figuring out what to do with Maddie & me. This gave the two of us lots of time to talk, small talk at first. She’s much younger than I, a sophomore at ECU studying to become a physical therapist one day. As our conversation developed, I told her I usually run in this race but that I was taking time off in December to prepare for 12 months ~ 120 miles ~ $12,000 for Parkinson’s. Her eyes lit up & she says “My Dad has Parkinson’s!” Wow, really? God directly at work here, let me tell you. What are the odds? I got chills, people!
As I told her more about the plan, she got excited & volunteered to run in a race with me & to help raise money. We then spent what seemed like an hour discussing her Dad & my Mom & how our families handle living with PD. Her Dad & my Mom are different PD patients: her Dad, Jack, has young on-set PD and is no longer able to work (his former job had him on the road & driving is something he is no longer able to do). It was comforting to hear another daughter talk about PD, even though our walks with PD are different as well: she was very young, school-aged, when her Dad was diagnosed while I was busy in my career about to have my 2nd child when my Mom was diagnosed. Still though, there was some comfort to meet someone else who was like me: a daughter of a parent with PD, struggling to figure out how to help.
So when the race was over & our duties fulfilled (we ended up working the Results Tent, which was cool), we parted ways having already “friended” each other on facebook & planing to stay in touch about this journey. Maddie messaged me via facebook later that night – she had already checked out this blog & the facebook page & found a race she wanted to join me in! Later, her sister decided she wants to join in as well. So Maddie & I may end up working together often on this journey, as she seems as passionate about this cause as I am. I’m more than willing to have her assistance as much as she’s comfortable with. We’re already throwing around some big ideas for fundraising & raising awareness in the area! 🙂 To top it off, her Dad is working on a logo! He was in advertising/marketing & so designing a logo is right up his alley. Now, how awesome is that — having the logo designed by someone with PD? Can’t wait to see it!
I feel so silly now, when I think back at how stinking nervous I was on November 30th about going public with this idea. I had prayed over “120 miles”, but I never asked God for a sign that this was exactly what I should do. I was convicted it needed to be done without His giant sign of approval. He certainly gave me one though & pretty quickly too! How amazing is He?!
This cause also received it’s very first donation over the weekend. BIG thanks to those who have donated! If you’d like to make a donation, visit the Team Fox fundraising page here.
I’m very excited about 2013 & it hasn’t even started yet!