In June, I will be running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Honor of my Grandpa Bud and Grandpa Kelly. As a part of my running journey, I'm also fundraising on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. If that's all you'd like to know, that's great! If you'd like some background info, here we go. . .
2017 was a year that will always be special for my family for a few reasons. The highlight was my wedding, a day that married my best friend. It was a fantastic day (and entire week!) for both of our families. The year was also a special because in 2017, heaven gained two of my favorite angels, Grandpa Bud (my mom's father) and Grandpa Kelly (my dad's father). As many of my close friends know, this was taxing on my family. Losing these two men leaves us all with sore hearts that feel like they will never be the same.
My local community, New Richmond, also lives with heavy hearts after multiple student tragedies this fall. As I look back on the year, I find myself fixating on happy memories to remind myself that even on our darkest day- there is light. Even though some days we feel down, there is always reason to smile- and when I think of my grandpas, I find it nearly impossible not to.
My Grandpa Bud and Grandpa Kelly were perfect models of positivity for myself and my family. They were quiet hard workers who always put the well being of others before themselves. Both men have always inspired me to go the extra mile for those I care about, and to turn in my grief into something productive, I've decided to do just that. In June, I will be running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in honor of Grandpa Bud and Grandpa Kelly. As a middle distance runner, this will not be going "the extra mile", but rather an extra 12 miles. I will be out of my comfort zone, and will have to work hard, but I think it is something Grandpa Bud and Grandpa Kelly would encourage.
As you may know, Grandpa Bud lived with Parkinson's, and it is that disease that ultimately took his life. Parkinson's also affects the lives of some other very special people in my life. For my race, I am fundraising for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
My goal is to raise money for this special cause, to run hard to honor my grandpas, and finally to spread positivity. I'll do my best to give updates on my training and fundraising. Thanks to all who are able to support me in this journey!