Running for Rare First Timer

imageimageimageimageAbout two months ago my childhood friend Emily asked me if I’d be interested in running the Hartford Half with Running for Rare. I knew I could do the running part, but was nervous about the partner part. I asked myself selfish questions like, What if we don’t get along? What kind of commitment will this be? I told myself to stop questioning things and  do it. At the beginning of September I submitted my application and was paired with Parker a then 10 year old boy diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. His mom Becky reached out to me to share some of his story. He had brain decompression surgery last year on October 9, 2015 but you would never know it. I got to meet him, his mom and his family for the first time last weekend. What a cool kid! I learned that he likes basketball, architecture and wants to go to Dubai really really badly! Becky told me that if you say he can’t do something he will do it if for no other reason but to prove that person wrong. After spending more time with him this weekend at the Hartford Half I can tell he’s a special kid. And maybe he’s special because he just seems like a normal 11 year old! He wants to go down the up escalator and go check out the pool on the top floor of the hotel. You’d never know that he’s dealing with a lifelong illness everyday. He even ran the last mile of the half with me yesterday. I was ready to be done at that point but when I saw him waiting with his dad to start running with me I had a surge of adrenaline! He talked to me while we ran asked how it had been going, and then jumped over the finish line. Pretty cool, right? Then he said he wants to run a half and a full marathon. I’m pretty sure he can do it. I’m also pretty sure his bucket list is going to continue to grow and be checked off the older he gets. It was really great getting to know him and his family. Parker lives about 30 minutes away from me and I would not have met him or known his story if not for Running for Rare. This was a unique experience that brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed to connect with a special kid dealing with more than I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. Sooo, should we do another one?

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3 comments on “Running for Rare First Timer
  1. Anne Burtenshaw says:

    What a lovely story, so pleased that you, Parker and Parker’s family are part of RFR. Sounds like everybody is gaining from this experience.

  2. Em says:

    Yes! Do another one 🙂 I’m so excited that you guys hit it off. It means so much to me to hear the story about your positive experience. Love you!

  3. Phil says:

    Sarah, wonderful having you on the team this year! Love the story and the smile on Parker’s face! So nice to meet him in Providence.

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Archive of posts from Marathon runners dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people with serious disease.