Ever since Grace was diagnosed with INAD, Kyle and I have tried to give her as many "normal" opportunities as we possibly could. We take her on trips with us, like to the zoo or the Magic House. We do our best to treat her exactly like any other five-year-old girl. Sometimes it's tough, but it's always worth it.
|Mommy is turning Grace into a zombie.|
|Daddy adds some fake blood.|
Several weeks ago, we got some publicity at the paper about the annual Zombie 5K event in Hillsboro, which is a fundraiser for one of our very favorite organizations, the Montgomery County Cancer Association. Kyle started talking about wanting to enter he and Grace as zombies in the race. We kind of went back and forth for a little while, as we usually do, but eventually decided it might be kind of fun to try.
|Watch out for our zombie photographer!|
|These are two scary journalists!|
Not ones to plan for anything much ahead of time, we waited until the day before to stop by Target while we were in Springfield to get some zombie supplies. Kyle decided he wanted to be a zombie reporter and that Grace could be his zombie photographer. We picked out some gray face paint, some zombie tattoos and some fake blood.
|Someone sure liked being a zombie!|
The premise of a zombie 5K is that regular runners sign up to participate as runners and walkers, then others sign up as zombies to chase the runners and try to steal their flags.
|These zombies are ready to run!|
On the afternoon of the race, Kyle and I set out to turn Grace into the cutest little zombie we could. We added some Grace face paint with black circles around her eyes, and her daddy added the fake blood. I helped some with his make-up, and we were dressed and ready to go.
|Waiting to get started with the other zombies.|
|Grace collected flags along the route.|
Of course, we hadn't actually signed up ahead of time, because let's face it, that's just not how we roll. We prefer to do things at the last minute, but we managed to get all signed up and visit with some of the people who were signed up to run. One little boy from Grace's preschool class last year came over to say hi and see Grace all dressed up like a zombie, and we even saw Grace's speech therapist with her family and one of Grace's favorite babysitters.
|Grace and her daddy are hiding out waiting for runners.|
After getting lined up for a group photo with all the zombies, it was time to do some chasing. I sort of followed along and took photos as Kyle and Grace planned their "attacks." They headed down the street and a few people we know, stopped by to let Grace pull their flags off.
|Runners, watch out!|
Once the runners were off, Kyle and Grace set up camp in front of the driveway at our house, which just happens to be on the race route. They "hid" behind a newspaper and jumped out to scare runners as they went by. Again, some very sweet people stopped to let Grace collect their flags as they went by, and she had quite a collection toward the end of the route.
|Grace LOVED all the attention along the route.|
|Grace and her daddy had so much fun along the way!|
Though we had several people tell us that they couldn't believe we turned sweet Grace into a zombie, we think she really had a good time, and definitely enjoyed all the attention from runners who stopped to talk to her.
|These two little zombies sure made some great memories.|
Some days, it would be easier to stay home and be sad about the fact that Grace can't do things other kids can do. But it's always worth it to make that extra effort. And though she may not understand what it means to be a zombie, she definitely understood all the people who stopped to make a fuss over her. We're fortunate to live in a place where the kindness Grace is shown every day by far overshadows the horrors of living with INAD. From preschool to playtime to zombie 5K routes, you will find us sharing as many life experiences as we can with Grace, and we wouldn't have it any other way.