Chicago. October 10, 2010. Me and 40,000+ crazy runners. Some first timers, some veterans. 26.2 miles. Every one has their reason.... To finish. To PR. To run in memory of their dog who died of cancer. To fulfill a lost bet. To prove to their friends that the 16 weeks they sacrificed their Friday night happy hours was worth it. and for me? To fundraise for the Special Olympics.
After Estes Park, I knew that something had to change. I felt an emptiness that I haven't ever experienced before. I wanted to replace this marathon with a more positive experience and desperately needing to get back to my hometown, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon for a charity. I chose the Special Olympics because the message is so powerful and it was clear to me that it was a perfect fit. For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. Many live lives of neglect and isolation, hidden away or socially excluded from full participation in schools or society. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.
Every day I wake up, I have the opportunity to do what I love and it comes with no expense, ridicule or hardship. I think everyone deserves to feel this. If you can, please join me on this journey and donate. Whether it be $5 or $25, you can help fulfill the Olympic dreams of such special athletes all over the world. Get involved...you have no idea how good it feels!