When my daughter Dylan was born, the word "strength" took on a whole new meaning. I had to be strong for pretty much everyone in my family while I was breaking apart on the inside watching her struggle to live. Then we made it out of the hospital 6 weeks later, and while my family and friends all took deep breaths and moved on, I realized that had just been the beginning of the lifetime of obstacles that my baby and I would be faced with.
Over 11 Years and more major surgeries than years, she has been braver and stronger than anyone I've ever met. She has shown me what it means to overcome and push through things that scare you, and she has grown physically and mentally stronger with each win. I may not have been born with physical or intellectual challenges like she was, but there are plenty of ways that I can overcome and push through fears of my own to become physically stronger for her. This "Ragnar" Race is one of those ways.
I have never run the distances that will be required of me in this race, but I know I can. I grow older every day, but that doesn't mean I have to grow weaker. I am proud to be part of this group of moms who have all been dealt more in life than they probably ever thought they could handle, yet they are here ASKING for more challenges! I look forward to pushing ourselves to the limit and growing together with the physical and mental challenge we have CHOSEN to tackle this time.
We are Steel Magnolias...a group of mothers of children with "special needs." Our babies have varied diagnoses and prognoses, but the one thing that makes us the same is our hopes and fears when it comes to their daily lives and futures. The "Steel Magnolias Moms" is a group that allows us to come together and share, support and truly get each other through this journey.
It's not something that any of us would have chosen for ourselves or our children to have to face, but it has made each of us learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of. The "Steel Magnolia Moms" provide a respite from the constant struggles that mothers of special needs children deal with and remind us that we are not alone. I am so grateful to have found this organization and so proud to be raising funds and awareness of its existence for others families like mine.