Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Friendship speaks in words your heart can understand

Some people are just truly genuine people and sometimes it surprises me in this world that we live in today to come across such amazing individuals.  

About 4 months ago, I met a woman in an exercise class who was mentioning that she was going to be running in the Boston Marathon.    Coincidentally, two days prior IRSF sent out a message stating that the Boston Marathon was letting the  Rett Association of MA have their first Rett Team to raise awareness.  In talking with my new friend, Debbie,  I asked her if she would be willing to run for my daughter.  I gave her Anna Cate's "business card", describing Rett syndrome and how it affects her and also told her that I would send her the link.  We exchanged some emails, she read my blog, and then I got an email from her saying she was signed up and yes she would love to!  I was in awe!  I couldn't believe it!

I thought she was just going to be running in the marathon, not having to raise awareness and funds.  She set a personal goal of $1000 and raised well over this, close to $3k!  The Rett Association of MA had a page for their runners to tell their personal connection to Rett syndrome.  Here is what my friend wrote:

I met a woman, Em, at a fitness class and I learned that she had three children, the oldest daughter having Rett syndrome.  At the time, I knew nothing about this disorder.  Em learned the same day that I was running the Boston Marathon and asked if I would consider running on the Rett team.  She gave me a card with information about her daughter, their webpage and her blog.  I was touched by her story, and so impressed with her ability to meet the needs of her family despite the hurdles she encounters each day. In comparison, my life has no hurdles, and I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to help make a difference for a family like Em’s.

Does this not bring you tears?  Well, if it didn't this will!  I wish that we could have been in Boston to cheer Diane on, but it was Spring Break and our family needed just that....a break.   So we followed her online from South Carolina.  She ran the race in three hours and forty minutes!  I think I would still be running!

The last week of April, our county hosts a Special Olympics event called, Little Feet Meet.  Anna Cate participated and she had her cheering crowd of 16!  One of her fans was Debbie who came out to meet Anna Cate for the first time!  She spent the whole morning cheering her on and getting to meet our family.  It was extremely thoughtful of her.  Before she left she gave me a gift bag and said this is for Anna Cate.  I thanked her and told her we would open it when we got home together.  I never knew that what was in the bag would move me as much as it did.

After getting home and talking about the day, I said to my parents, let's open the gift from Debbie.   So I brought the bag over to Anna Cate and my dad read the note that was included out loud.  It was the most beautiful note I think I have ever received.  We were all crying.  But the words that went straight to my heart were, "I wanted to give you something that means something to me from the marathon and I hope you know that you are the real winner and person who deserves this finishers medal."  Debbie gave Anna Cate, the medal she received when she crossed the finish line running the Boston Marathon!!!!  Every time I think, write or talk about this moment, I still get teary.

Debbie, you truly are an amazing person, one with a huge heart and I am so thankful to call you a friend.  Thank you for making a difference in Anna Cate's life by not only raising awareness, but believing in our cause and believing in her.