Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Walking to Win

I may never know how the mile I walked Saturday will help cure ALS, but the joy it brought to my father-in-law's face was an amazing start.

About two years ago, Jonathan's dad was diagnosed with ALS. I talked about it in this post when dumping ice water on each other was all the rage. I talked about how challenging each other on social media was all in good fun, but it was even better to remember the cause and the people who need our support. That cause, and the fact that my FIL is a cool dude, is why my kids and I {plus hundreds of others} participated in the Walk to Defeat ALS.

We left our corner of the state before the sun peeked across the highway. The cows were still resting in the fields, but my kids were not. "What will our T-shirts look like?! Will my cousin be there!? Can I ride on the wheelchair!?" For those playing along at home, the answers were: awesome, yes, and absolutely. Once everyone gathered at my in-laws' home and pulled on their bright blue #GoRickie tees, we loaded up and headed to the walk. I can't describe the joy I felt when I saw so many people involved in this cause. I got to hang out with family members from Jonathan's side that I hadn't seen in years, and I loved watching our Poppy greet and thank everyone for showing up. This meant so much to us as a family, but I'm pretty sure it meant the very most to him.

After a few formalities, we were ready to roll. Owen climbed into the wheelchair, as planned, and rode into the {figurative} sunset with his superhero. Along the way, we saw several other families affected by this disease, many who had lost loved ones, and plenty who are fighting with everything they have. It was inspiring. Everyone was smiling, everyone was cheerful, and I appreciate those in wheelchairs for not putting the pedal to the metal and running us slow folks over.

Once we walked, it was party time. We ate, we danced, and we called those Hogs! It was such a fun time, and I am so thankful for the money donated and the outpouring of love. Obviously it will take research dollars to find an answer for ALS and an answer is our ultimate goal, but it takes even more support to stand beside those knee-deep in the battle.

Thank you to everyone who has given in one way or another {psst... click here for an incredible way to donate and help ALS patients in Arkansas with the costs that come with the territory}. Jonathan's dad, my father-in-law, my kids' Poppy needs as big of a shield as he can get. I loved seeing all of these people stand together, united, to form one for him.

Also, I think his little sidekick helped in the smile department:

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Looks like a lot of fun, and what a great way to teach the kiddos about giving and doing for others!