As I laid my head down Saturday night, I said to Chris, "I loved today."
The day started off with thunderstorms and dark skies. I was imagining all of us sitting in our cars waiting for the 5K to start and no one at the start line because of the down pour.
But it passed, thankfully the clouds kept moving, and a few sprinkles made for perfect running and walking conditions.
We were able to get a group picture before the start, missing about 10-12 people, but with such a large group it was the best we could do at the moment.
High school and college friends, family, roommates, coworkers, coaches, players, friends we hadn't seen in years, neighbors, cousins, uncles, small group friends, and friends of friends. Not only were we there with all of these people, but they brought their families. Some of them did their first 5K! Awesome! Some of them drove over 4 hours to be with us. We are blessed by each of you, your love for our Jack, and coming out to celebrate people with Down syndrome means more than you know. Thank you.
Jogging for Jack helped raise over $3,000 for Gigi's playhouse and many of you helped us get to that number. Again, we are just blown away by your generosity. Your donations will help Gigi's provide free programs to people with Down syndrome and families. The Twin Cities location only has one paid employee and tons of volunteers. If you ever are in the Hopkins area, stop in and see the amazing environment that Gigi's provides. Check out their website
. There are many areas where you can help besides monetary donations. Check out their wish list which includes office supplies and more.
Chris and his friend, Ryan, crossed the finish line 1st again with a time of 17:40. Repeat! Last year, Chris casually walked to start and thought, "I'm going to win this for my son." And this year, he had to live up to his last year's performance, and he didn't disappoint.
The kids dash was about 10 yards long and Luke would describes his performance like this, "I shot out like a rocket!"
To have young children Jogging for Jack brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful to have kids that will grow up with Jack and learn more about people with Down syndrome. Thank you for sharing with your children how Jack is beautifully created like they are, that there isn't anything 'wrong' with him, that those that have Ds can do many of the things that they can do, and that he deserves the same opportunities and respect as anyone. Explaining that Jack may do things a little differently and need extra time to accomplish things, but he will do great things and has great potential like each child does. I love your children and I am so thankful for the sweet friendship and love they will have for Jack.
I love my family and yours too.
Of all the marathons and runs I have done, there is nothing that beats the feeling of running for your own son. It could bring me to tears thinking about it. Then to have people that are there in the rain and cold, taking time out of their weekend, generously giving, and sharing the impact that Jack has had on their lives, fills me with a feeling that is so hard to describe in words.
"I loved today."
This guy still makes my heart flutter after 8 years and I am so blessed to have him as my husband and such an amazing dad to Luke and Jack. He encourages me in a lot of ways, especially by being a hard worker at whatever he sets his mind to. So proud and thankful for him.
We had some interest in more Jogging for Jack shirts. If you didn't get a chance to order before the deadline in May and are interested in ordering one, we may order a few more in the next few weeks. They are $15. We will keep the same shirt for the years to come and do an order each year. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are already excited for next year's event. If you weren't able to make it this year and are free next year...come join us! I promise you will have a such a great time!
Again, we love you and are so blessed by each of you! Thank you.