Sunday, August 19, 2012

8 Months With A Purpose

It is now 8 months until the 2013 Boston Marathon. As I was thinking about that future event, I read the words below from Ashley's mom Carol on Facebook:


Ashley, Carol, and Emily
Yesterday proved to be quite an eye opener for me. As most of my friends know, Ashley is out and about collecting donations to raffle for her upcoming event...Dancing (Zumba) for a Cure .... This of course is not an easy task for a girl with no motion in one leg bent in a kneeling position, the other laboring in quiet pain trying to keep up with the other, her one arm permanently resting to her side while tucked underneath 2 inches of skillfully copied articles of her disease and announcements of the upcoming Zumba event, to show local merchants just what this is all about in order to solicit gift card donations; gift baskets or the like in order to make this event worthwhile.

Meanwhile as I lay on the sofa yesterday, exhausted from washing and folding laundry, the door opened and in she came dragging her sore, calloused foot and the other painfully arched on a 5 inch sole with papers tucked under her one arm, balancing on her cane, face beaded with sweat and her paper thin sundress pasted to her wet, bent frame. Her labored body screamed 'help' but her face held a smile as she dragged herself to her usual position on the chair and smiled with 'I did great.' Suddenly my laundry didn't look so bad and without going into detail of her accomplishments (which were award winning by the way), Ashley once again displayed her ambition and desire to serve others.

Her FOP body is pretty much taken over aside from the little movement she has and hopes and prays to keep at least that, but has shown to all of us how important it is to her to keep the research going as they are so close to the cure. There are still so many children and young adults who still have the chance to keep their legs and arms moving and have so much promise just to remain as a functioning human being.

I know how hard it is every day for Ashley to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. I know how hard it is for her to put her make-up on and to drive her golf cart with 5 fingers and cross her left leg over to a right foot pedal to drive it. But her unselfish desire to find the cure for not only herself but others and her labor of shuffling in painfully to each merchant to display herself as the visual aid as to how cruel this disease is and how important their donation is to her cause, gave me an awakening yesterday just how unselfish she really is.

Feeling quite thankful this morning I can sit here and type with two hands and then run to take my own shower, dry my own hair and fix my own breakfast. Better yet, off to Zumba to gear up for the upcoming event that will hopefully bring more to the financial table to keep the lab functioning so Ashley can keep her foot dragging and her one arm slightly moving. Functions she so desperately desires to keep while she continuously encourages and inspires others just by moving at all.


This same week again I was able to witness another one of those small miracles I have written about before. The AMP It Up 5k is a race that happens to be on the same weekend of my next visit to ProCare in Buford, GA. Although my training in being restarted after my leg infection, I felt I needed to do this race in support of the cause: helping kids with amputation and limb differences attend a camp that meets their needs.

Ashley is not only attending this race, but will be a participant in her first ever 5k! When I read this at work on Thursday, to say I was overwhelmed would be a severe understatement. Work worries dissolved into the mist and hope remained in the light. It was unbelievable. I spent some long moments looking out my window, reflecting on this amazing person, our friend, Ashley.

As if I needed any more fuel for my Boston fire, here it was set ablaze anew. Ashley is not sitting around waiting for the day to come when FOP is beaten, she is out there every day living with it, helping others understand it, and by god doing something about it.

You can too. Please help us here.


OMG! I always get an email alert when someone has made a donation to my FirstGiving page. I just went there to copy the link for the sentence above and saw where there were two more donations I was unaware of! I always write a note to our donors and feel terrible I missed these.

Mike Nice and Jen Price, THANK YOU so much for the donations. I know you two understand how much this means to us, as friends and as compassionate people of the first order. I am sorry I missed seeing your donations but know when I found them this morning it was a wonderful surprise! I am contacting FirstGiving about why I did not receive emails, and will keep closer tabs on the donations when they happen.

Thanks everyone who has helped and continue to support the cause to stop FOP. Jen and Mike, a special thanks for making the morning before my long run one that will have added inspiration...that of friends helping friends helping those we have not met yet.

I run for you all today.

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