One Foot in Front of the Other – The Motivation to Keep Going

I had always been passionate about fundraising for kids who are sick, but running for Starlight during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend was different. 

I ran my first race in 2017 and after pausing during COVID, I decided to run again in 2023 to benefit a participating charity. When I saw Starlight Children’s Foundation on the list and read about their mission to bring happiness and emotional well-being to kids during their hospital stay, I knew I wanted to run for them. I saw it as a full circle way to help kids and families like my own.

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I have experienced navigating the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in my own life. My son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was pregnant with him. In 2021, my youngest child, Olivia, who was five at the time, was hospitalized multiple times because of her epilepsy. She had brain surgery to remove a benign tumor that was causing her seizures. Staying in the hospital was traumatic and so stressful for Olivia, but when her Child Life Specialist brought toys to play and interact with, it helped her to take her focus off hospitalization. And when I found out that people fundraised to donate those toys, it lightened the mood during a challenging time.

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It was the hardest time of my life. Now, by running for Starlight, I want to help other kids and families get through it too. 

When running the Disney Princess Half Marathon, it can get hard to push through around the 10th or 11th mile. But when I remember who I am running for – the people who have supported me, kids like my daughter, families who are faced with the challenges of hospitalization - I can keep putting one foot in front of the other. 

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