Thursday, June 05, 2008

RUN FOR ISAAC! An Incredible Success

Hi Everyone!

Wow, it's been a very busy few weeks for us. Things got off to a great start in Ottawa, with us setting up our booth for the Pfizer Health and Fitness Expo. This Expo is an incredible experience to be involved with. Close to 30,000 people travel through the expo, with most of the traffic taking place on Friday night and all day Saturday. It gave us a great opportunity to meet people, talk about Isaac, his disease, and our hope for a cure. It was also nice to have a location for our running team to meet at, drop off pledges, and receive their running shirt.

This is the second year that we have been a part of the Expo, and while I'm there, I'm always hesitant to decide if it's worthwhile or not. Giving up all that time to stand around is difficult, but by the time Saturday evening had rolled around, I was sure that the time and effort was worth it. The people we talked to were so supportive of our search for a cure. We signed up more runners for next year's event, and we were able to spread awareness of this disease to large amounts of people. But most importantly for me, it kept the whole idea of The Isaac Foundation at the forefront of my life.

When you are immersed in something, it's easy to forget the true goal that you are seeking to achieve; it's easy for everything to simply become a process, or an event, or about the bottom line. Speaking with the people that stopped by my booth, the parents, the grandparents, the newlyweds, and the expecting mothers, I was reminded that the whole reason I was there was for my son. I was reminded how personal and how close The Isaac Foundation is to my heart, how important the time I was putting in is if I'm going to help him beat this disease. I felt a true sense of appreciation to my visitors as we shared laughter and tears, all within the span of, at most, 5 minutes.

It was this reinvigoration that got me through the rest of the weekend. While the Expo is a drain emotionally, I still hadn't started on what would drain me physically! Ellen and I had been planning on running the 1/2 marathon together, which we also did last year. But the week before, a group of my grade 8 students decided that they wanted to run the race as well. So I agreed to organize a ride for them (thank you Brenda!) and have them join me at the race. I also agreed to run the 5km with them, which would mean I'd be running the 5 km and the 1/2 marathon, all in the space of 16 hours!

The kids came up and had a great race. As did the entire team that we were blessed to have take part in our event. And everyone participated in the event for different reasons, but they all had the same goal - helping to find a cure for Isaac. Isaac's Great-Grandmother, a young 88 year's old, came out and walked the 5km event with other family members. Isaac's grandparrents, his Nanny and his Poppa, walked the 1/2 marathon, and his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins all ran in a race as well.

I was also fortunate to have a large team come down from The Limestone District School Board in Kingston to support us. Not only did this group include my grade 8 students, it included teachers from the board as well. It felt so great to have their support! And one teacher, Jean Paquin, even qualified for the Boston Marathon with her time!!

One of the runners that truly touched me was Sarah. A few months prior to the run, Isaac had such a terrible ear-infection that we had to get him to the hospital in the middle of the night. We rolled in at 3:00 a.m., Isaac being his happy-old-self, me being the basket-case, worry-wart that I am. Sarah was the person checking patient's in that night, and Isaac and her bonded immediately. We left in short order and headed back to bed. A few days later we checked Isaac's guestbook and found the following entry:

"I was working at CHEO on the morning of Saturday December 8th. I work in the Registration Booth in the emergency dept.Issac was such a ray of sunshine in my day. It was my 3rd overnight shift and I was extremely tired!!! He has a sweet little smile and a great personality. You must be sooo proud of Isaac. Such a brave little boy. I would like to participate in some fundraising!! Good luck to the whole family."

Flash forward to April and we received Sarah's registration to be a part of our team. Like everyone else, she worked hard, trained, gathered pledges, took time from work and took some time from her busy schedule to support us.
We truly appreciate everyone for their dedication to helping us find a cure. In total, we raised close to $9,000 at the Ottawa Race Weekend. But just as importantly, we met some great people, advocated for our son, and got closer to the cure we are seeking.
The Isaac Foundation

No comments: