Monday, June 16, 2014

I Run 4 Jenna

I want to tell y'all about a program I recently got involved with.  It's called I Run 4 (IR4).  Basically the concept is pretty simple.  Runners are matched with those that can't run and dedicate their workouts to the non runner.  But a simple concept has turned into so much for me and for so many others.  In the IR4 website's words:

The mental and emotional encouragement for both runner and honorary runner is proving to be a whole new level of motivation and awareness.  Runners are able to find a whole new sense of purpose in their running while sharing who they are running for and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types.

I am so excited because after a long(ish) waiting period, I got matched with a honorary runner, Jenna!

Jenna is six years old and in her mom's words is a "fearless warrior!" Jenna has a cleft lip and palate, but when she was born doctors could not figure out why she was struggling. The first hospital missed the fact that she was born without her pituitary gland (panhypopituitarism). As a result of needing an immediate central line in the NICU (which they placed in her belly button at the first hospital), she also has a liver disease that has to be monitored (portal thrombosis and cavernous transformation). 

Jenna also has severe hypoglycemia (induces seizures; she had a feeding tube up until a year and a half ago) and hypothyroidism. Her epilepsy is pretty under control thanks to her meds for her panhypopituitarism!

So yes, Jenna has so struggles to overcome in life, but according to her mom is feisty and sassy. I feel incredibly blessed to have been matched with such a special little girl. I love dedicating my workouts to her. I imagine her mom sharing all my post (via Facebook) and Jenna getting excited knowing someone is running/riding/working out just for her.

Recently I sent Jenna a medal and shirt from the MS 150 bike ride I did and I loved seeing her reaction to getting these special items.

Ella and I made Jenna cards to send with her goodies
So if you follow along on instagram (@momswimbikerun) or Facebook, you can come along as I Run 4 Jenna! It's going to be an exciting journey and one I feel incredibly blessed to take.

If you're interested in being matched with an honorary runner or if you would like a runner for your special needs child or adult click here for more information.


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