Charging Up The Support

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I have been thinking a lot about batteries since July 12. July 12 is when I got matched with “G” through “I Run 4,” an organization that matches children who have conditions that make running difficult with runners (and other athletes) who run in honor of those children.

Here’s a little about “G” from his mom, Kim:

G is 10 yrs old and looks like any typical 10 yr old.  However, he lives with a rare, life-threatening disorder called MCAD (Medium Chain Acyl Co-A Dehydrogenase).  Basically his body cannot take stored fat and turn it into energy.  He is at risk for low blood sugar, muscle weakness, and organ failure when in crisis.  We have been blessed that G has been relatively “healthy” or symptom free but the reality is that any illness or fasting episode could put him in a life-threatening situation.  He must eat every 5 hrs so that his body does not create poisons that affect his organs.

MCAD falls under the umbrella of Mitochondrial Disorders.  The Mitochondria are the “batteries” of the body.  Anytime there is a dysfunction with the mitochondria, the energy level of the person is severely affected.

I suppose if you know me personally or are a regular visitor to any of my social media venues, it doesn’t surprise you that this idea appealed to me. But I just have to say, this one is unique! The Facebook page is constantly streaming with support, and not just support from runners to “their kids” but “kids to runners,” “runners to other runners,” “runners and kids to friends of the IR4 community who are stressed or grieving.” The exchange of support constantly flowing in every direction possible.

And it’s so easy! I’m going to be running anyway.  Why not use that time and energy to pass some support G’s way (using a basketball analogy here because it’s a sport he loves)? And it’s a two-way street. One of the first pictures his mom shared of G with the group was him doing additional laps walking in the pool because this group had motivated him so much!

I’m thinking we’re charging more than our physical batteries through “I Run 4”! If you feel like you can maintain a commitment to your child (they really do count on hearing about your miles/laps/steps/pushups/etc.), consider joining us! See number 8 in the list below.

IR 4 Gareth Cropped

I customize this image with the date and mileage each time I run, and post it to the IR4 Facebook page and Instagram!

Here are some additional details:

1) The website: I Run for Michael (the name is explained on the site!)

2) For the Facebook group, click here

3) For the Twitter group, visit @whodoUrun4

4) For Instagram images, use the hashtag #IR4

5) About G’s “Get Up and Go for Mito” Walk (this year’s will be the 2nd annual): www.mitoaction.org/garethswalk

6) If you have any connections for sponsors for this year’s Get Up and Go for Mito Walk (9/15/13), please contact me for additional information!

7) I entered this video in a contest to try to win the sponsorship money for G’s walk. It didn’t win, but hopefully still conveys the message that this walk needs to happen, preferably without G having to dip into personal savings:

8) Last but not least, to get matched (either kids looking for runners or vice versa): http://www.whoirun4.com/match-me/