If you follow me on any of my social networks, then you may have seen a new hashtag pop up: #iRun4Breckin. About 6 months ago I signed up to participate in a volunteer organization called “Irun4 Michael” also knowns as IR4.
What is IR4?
Well, I’m so glad you asked! IR4 is a community, founded by Tim Boyle, that fosters relationships. They pair special needs children and adults called buddies with runners. The runners put in miles for their buddy, carrying them in their hearts and spirits. Each mile is dedicated to their buddy and we keep them updated with our activities through a Facebook page so that they are involved in our training and workouts.
Not only does it give me a new purpose to my running and inspire me, but it also allows my buddy to extend his support system. We runners are advocates for our buddy’s condition, helping to raise awareness to disabilities, illnesses and/or diseases. A little over a month ago, I was finally paired with my own buddy. Meet Breckin Ridgway…
Breckin was born premature at only 27 3/7 weeks as a result due to complications during the pregnancy. His mother was diagnosed at 13 weeks with a genetic blood clotting condition and also developed HELLP syndrome. He spent 95 days in the NICU. Breckin has brain damage called Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL for short). He began having seizures at 8 months due to his PVL. He is now 2 years old and is diagnosed with Juvenile spasms. Spasms are considered to be worse than seizures because they erase everything learned causing him to relearn all over again. Thankfully Breckin has been considered controlled since October 7, 2014 and his last spasm was on October 6, 2014. He is an amazing fighter and he inspires me. I run for both of us, because he can’t.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I needed you to know why I will be wearing purple tomorrow. I will be wearing it in honor of my little buddy, Breckin.
Did you know that 50 million people around the world have epilepsy?? In 50% of the cases, the cause is unknown. However, in Breckin’s case, the cause is known, yet there is still little knowledge. There is no “cure”. Epilepsy is not contagious. Epilepsy is not a disease. Epilepsy is not a psychological disorder. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. Increasing awareness for this disorder is important because it is widely misunderstood and tremendously underfunded.
Please wear purple tomorrow, March 26, 2015 to promote epilepsy awareness world-wide.
See you on the road!
Stay tuned for these upcoming posts:
- 5 Reasons to Work with a Coach
- #MedalMonday: Palmetto 200 Relay Race Recap
- 5 Reasons to Foster