BENEFITING: UPS FOR DOWNS NFP
ORGANIZER: UPS FOR DOWNS NFP
EVENT DATE: Oct 08, 2017
This year, Dan is allowing me to write a story for his marathon page. I think he's a bit nervous to see what I'll say!
When Dan told me he wanted to run the marathon the first time in the Fall of 2006, I must admit I thought he was crazy. The next weekend after making up his mind, he went out for his first run-I think it was about 1 1/2 miles. He trained for a whole year and completed his firt marathon in Oct 2007, in 80 degree temperatures! I remember seeing him cross the finish line, coming over to us and stating "I never want to do this again". My reaction to that? Good!
You may wonder why that was my reaction, after all he had gotten in shape and raised a lot of money. Well, training is a BIG deal, especially for a non-runner. As many of you know, Dan works long hours and traning just meant even more hours away from home (and more nights falling asleep early on the couch after a 5:00am training run). And hey, it's tough work following him around the city all day cheering him on! LOL.
Additionally, my dream has always been to go to New England and see the Fall colors! I abosolutely love Fall!! And come one, Columbus Day weekend is Fall break from school, we'd have 5 days to spend there!
So, you can imagine my surprise and, admittedly, disappointment, when he said he was doing it again the next year. What??? It was supposed to be a one and done! No way, another year of not going to New England, another year of his training. And so went it for the next 8 years.
Today, as I reflect back and think about the over $75,000 Dan has raised in his 8 marathons thus far, I can't help but think about the hundreds of kids that have benefitted from that. The marathon supports the UPS for DownS Katie MacDonald Literacy Program. Included in that are the plays that UPS for DownS put on each year, which Sarah has participated in the past two years. Literally hundreds of kids have benefitted from being in the play-both typically developing and those with Down syndrome. The experience has inmproved their self confience, their speech (we had speech therapists working with them during rehearsals), thier ability to work with others and more! The money Dan and other marathoners have raised allows these plays to go on and a low cost to families, as UPS for DownS pays the majority of the costs.
Next Chapter Book Clubs allow individuals with Down syndrome to explore their love of reading and discuss what they've read with others. Again, the funding for this has come from the literacy program. Dan's funds alone could fund approximate 150 book clubs!
So, do I like all the time he spends training? No. Do I wish we could get to New England? Absolutely. But it will happen, some day. For now, however, and as long as he is able and willing, this is what he's supposed to be doing, this is what's important.
Thank you for supporting Dan's efforts and for supporting all individuals with Down syndrome.