Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stepping Up

Stepping up for a good cause. Yup, it's that simple.

As we get ready for Grace's 5K event in Hillsboro later this fall, Grace had a chance to participate in a couple of walking events this past weekend. And it makes us all the more excited to share in "A Grace Filled 5K."

Balin Robbins Memorial Superhero 5K Fun Run/Walk
Up first was a 5K event in Hillsboro in memory of Hillsboro High School student Balin Robbins.  Kyle and I couldn't go because we were out town the night before, but Grace spent the night with mom and dad, so she walked with them.

Our little superhero with her grandma and grandpa.
One of the neat things to see about some of the 5K events is the theme. Some of them are glow-in-the-dark, others spray you with bright colors and some even have you run through the mud. This one had a superhero theme, since superheroes were some of Balin's favorite characters.

Throughout the race, people were dressed in costumes or t-shirts of their favorite superhero characters.  We picked out a special T-shirt for Grace. Although it has a Superman shield on the front, the letter F replaces the letter S. F for Faith. We picked out Grace's "Fight with Faith" shirt because Faith is one of the biggest superheroes we know.

I'm not sure who had more fun at the walk, Grace or her grandpa.
I'm not sure who had more fun on that walk, Grace or her grandma and grandpa. They loved being able to do it together, and helping such a great cause in the process. The organizers were able to raise more than enough money for a memorial bench outside the high school and to start a scholarship in Balin's name. Those are some pretty awesome superheroes.

Step Up For Down Syndrome
Several weeks ago, Kyle's sister, Mikaela asked if we would be interested in walking with she and Scott in the Step Up For Down Syndrome walk in St. Louis on Sunday, June 7.

One of her friends, a physical therapist in the area, put together a team in honor of her son, Logan, who has Down Syndrome. This same physical therapist just so happens to have been Grace's very first physical therapist when we started Early Intervention, someone we are lucky to call a friend.

We were thrilled at the idea of coming down to help with such a great cause for Jen and her family, and Mikaela took care of registering us and ordering our Team Logan shirts.

We were SO honored to be part of Team Logan and cheer him onto the finish line.
The walk takes place in Forest Park in St. Louis on the grounds of The Muny, which is one of our very favorite places. They had all sorts of activities set up for kids and families from inflatable slides and bounce houses to face painters and balloon vans.  Everything was very family-friendly, and just a fun experience to be a part of.

When it was time to take off for the walk, nearly 50 members of Team Logan gathered with hundreds of other walkers, many with brightly colored shirts in honor of other participants. There were SO many awesome kids there taking part in the walk.

One of Grace's favorite parts of the walk was hanging with Aunt Mikaela.
As we headed off for the one-mile walk, Logan's dad set down his reverse walker (similar to one Grace used to have), and he took off toward the starting line, amid claps and cheers, and he would just grin.  Although he did part of the walk in his stroller, Logan took up his walker again just in time to cross the finish line and get his very own medal.

It was the most inspirational part of the day watching Logan smile as he crossed that finish line, such a special moment to see.  His mom has been there to share in so many of our special moments with Grace, and they will always be a special part of our family.

Our favorite superhero!
We hope you will consider joining us for another very special moment this fall as we celebrate "A Grace Filled 5K" and raise money for the INAD research study at Washington University. It's a guarantee that everyone who steps up to help will be a true superhero in our book.

Click the link for online registration for "A Grace Filed 5K."


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