We want to thank ALL of our volunteers, runners and fundraising-teams that went the “extra mile” to help make this year’s I LOVE BRAINS 5K amazing! Special thanks to our sponsors:
Of the astounding $27,000 raised; $15,000 goes to help continue cutting-edge research through IRB approved studies and $12,000 will be providing much needed financial assistance to 50 Realm Cares families for the REMAINDER of 2016!!
We wanted to share the story of one of our participants at the run... because this is why we do what we do:
As the organizers were calling runners/walkers to the starting line, Lukas dropped to the ground with a 30-40 second seizure. The empathetic organizers knew both the pain and normalcy of the situation and asked if we wanted to hold the race until he recovered. Sometimes seizure recovery is fast, sometimes, painfully slow. This one was slow. Lukas could move but with little coordination and he still couldn’t talk. We said they should go ahead and start and Lukas nonverbally protested by trying to get up but lacked the strength and coordination to stand.
Jenny stayed with Lukas and I ran with the other two boys. Inspired by their brother and encouragement for one another, they finished first and second (we opted to do the the fun run instead of the 5K). When we were done, Lukas had recovered and, though still wobbly, wanted to run. With his helmet on and my arm under him, we ran. I mean we ran! I may have been helping him keep balance but Lukas set the pace and I had trouble keeping up! He had a few smaller seizures during the run but none that knocked him over and he just kept going. He stopped at the water station.
He had another few small seizures there but when he was done, he wanted to keep running again! He pushed and pushed the whole way, determined not to let the seizures stop him from this run. My dad was a runner and running with him as a child brought me incredible joy. I could hear my dad from heaven, shouting with his embarrassingly loud voice, “Come on, Luke! Go boy!”
Tears were streaming down my face as we hit the final stretch. Some of the spectators had seen Lukas get up and start the race late, the finish line was packed with screaming fans as Lukas crossed the line. He had another small seizure in the chute and couldn’t put his hand up for all the high fives being offered but he knew they were cheering for him.
A few minutes after the race, he had recovered from the seizure in the chute and said, “I did good, huh? You and all of those people are really proud of me.”
“YES!” I said, and hugged him. He is so awesome, he has no idea how much people like us grow from watching a person like him.