Who wouldve thought I would finish the Boston Marathon last year? Not me. And here I go again!
2 and a half years ago I began what would be a life-changing career working with then 5-year-old Harper Oates. Harper was injured when she was stuck in the breech position and doctors tugged too hard when delivering her by C-section. Her spinal cord was injured, paralyzing much of her body.
At 18 months, Dawn, Harper's mom, realized that she never left the house except for doctor’s appointments. She didn’t have a single friend. There was nothing at the local playgrounds that would allow her to engage in meaningful play with her siblings. That’s when Dawn knew something needed to be changed.
The Play Brigade was started, with a mission of creating inclusive opportunities in play, recreation, and sports, so kids like Harper could be included in the community and thought of when it comes to programming, public spaces, and FUN.
Last year, I was running just for Harper. Every run I ran last year, her smile was in the back of my head. This year, I am runing for all. For all of you, I want to be able to provide the awareness and teach everyone what Harper has taught me; anything is possible.
Raising awareness and funds for The Play Brigade allows people like Harper to fully participate in the fun aspects of community, not just as kids, but over the course of their lifespan. It helps bring to light an important social justice message: That every person deserves to play.
I’m excited to be running the Boston Marathon for the 2nd year in a row in on Team Play Brigade. So please join me in supporting The Play Brigade by donating anything from $5 to $500 or whatever you are able to contribute.
Creating a world for all individuals where there are no barriers to play, recreation, or sports, and where inclusion is the cornerstone of community.
When Boston-area parents Dawn and Justin Oates realized their local playground was not equipped so their mobility-impaired daughter Harper could play alongside her siblings, they had a vision of creating a world for all individuals where there are no barriers to play, recreation, sports, and where inclusion is the cornerstone of community.
From that vision, The Play Brigade was born to educate people about the importance of fun, regardless of age or ability; provide inclusive play, recreation, and sports opportunities to communities and organizations; and develop programming that brings both together.
The Play Brigade is honored to have the support of John Hancock Financial and partnerships with The National Inclusion Project (co-founded by entertainer Clay Aiken), the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department, the Town of Brookline Division of Parks and Open Space, and the Boston Red Sox.
Please consider making a 100% tax-deductible donation to this important cause, and you will see how your contribution directly impacts the community in a way that is both tangible and vital.