Thank you for visiting my page! I’ve been asking myself if I’m crazy for having committed to running the Boston Marathon in April... and while the answer is most definitely...Yes!... I couldn’t miss the opportunity to raise money for an incredible charity that is providing a better quality of life for so many amputees.
For my family personally, 50Legs not only connected us with the best prosthetic provider in the country, they also provided emotional support for my daughter, Olivia through the most horrific decision that no one should ever have to make, which was to amputate her feet at the age of 14, just before she would start high school. Her goal was to walk into high school on her first day.. and she did!
Raising funds for 50Legs also means raising awareness that prosthetic companies need to do a better job for their patients. Even with excellent health insurance, private funds, and living in Boston...we could not find a local prosthetic company that could provide Olivia comfortable and functional prosthetics. We were fortunate to already know Steve and 50Legs but what about every other amputee or person having to make that awful decision to lose a limb? They too deserve to walk or even run.
When I think about how difficult this will be to run 26.2 miles... I’m reminded of the countless times when Olivia has been in pain and unable to walk, nevermind run. If you are looking for some inspiration or just need some life perspective.. keep her in mind. She was a healthy child until the age of 5 when she became deathly ill from what we’d learn to be a strep infection that attacked her body. Had she not been the first case at Boston Children’s to have this they could have treated her with antibiotics and sent us home. She would have been back chasing her brother, Justis around the cul de sac. Instead she was going into cardiac arrest..twice.. and suffering a massive stroke that would leave her dominant hand paralyzed, making every single thing you need two hands for nearly impossible.
She required a life support machine that local hospitals don’t have...the 3 wks the doctors predicted we’d be at Boston Children’s turned into 5 months of numerous setbacks and continued devastation. I would run the flights of stairs most nights just to clear my mind of the idea we’d never leave that place, trying to convince myself we’d take her home one day to find our new normal. After an additional 2 months at Spaulding Rehab we came home...4 days before Christmas! That year Santa ran out of space to put all the gifts for Olivia and her brother!
The stroke and sepsis severely damaged Olivia’s body to the point she has had over 80 surgeries and struggles daily with what most of us are fortunate to simply do without a second thought... although the doctors were always optimistic they told us she may never attend school or walk.. she recently graduated from high school and was accepted into every University she applied to. She is now a full time student at SNHU studying psychology, as she plans to be a child life specialist at Boston Children’s, helping kids who are sick and scared.
We owe her ability to walk comfortably to 50Legs and the best prosthetic company in the country, POA. Now she will be able to walk down the halls of Boston Children’s along side a sick scared child, providing reassurance as someone who truly understands exactly what that feels like.
Thank you for considering the support of this charity! 50legs.org
Here are more inspirational videos of Miss Olivia... 😊