The world is so much bigger than me. I think it took me thirty years to understand what all that means. As Moms, we do so much that is selfless on a regular basis for out kids, and it is very easy to get caught up in making sure “me and mine” are good. Which is how it should be, take care of home first. But I want to do more! There are too many privileges that I take for granted daily. I am aware of the privileges I have that others miss out on. We live in a society that has a ridiculous amount of hate and ignorance running through it. We are so quick to judge others for anything: the color of our skin, our gender, our gender identities, who we chose to love, how much money is in our bank accounts, whether or not we need government assistance, our nationality, our religion, our physical abilities, and even our intellectual capabilities. I feel like we find the simplest reasons to differentiate ourselves from people and isolate them, instead of realizing that we are all human beings and rallying around and encouraging one another.
I’ve realized, I find the most happiness in being an advocate and voice for amazing human beings whose voice often goes unheard. This past year, Charm shared stories with me about a group of children at school whom she spent more time with because other children were either bullying, mistreating, or simply not including them in play. Charm told me she wants to be supportive and inclusive of her friends at school that have been marginalized because of Down Syndrome by kids that merely do not understand them. Because of this, she wants to find ways to bridge the gap, not just between her classmates, but with the community.
Sitting at the bus stop one morning, Charm was sharing a playground story with me about playing with some of her classmates that have Down Syndrome. She had a great deal to say about other kids not wanting to play with them and had a bunch of questions in her attempt to understand why. Before hopping out of the car to head to the bus she said, “they are just as special as anyone else and deserve to be treated the same, they deserve to be loved too”. This was amazing to me for so many reasons:
- My daughter was 9 in the fourth grade, and as always, she was thinking compassionately about other people. She doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. She just wants to give.
- I realized I had to do my best to make sure this is a quality that sticks with her! This is not a trait I want her to grow out of.
- I realized as a team, her and I could be doing so much more to give a little bit more to the world. We are beyond blessed, why not share whenever we can.
- I don’t have a lot of money, but I have a lot of time to give and there are a bunch of things that I am decent at…I needed to find a way to harness that into my community.
One of my life goals is to facilitate my daughter’s compassion and commitment to enhancing the lives of others by leading by example. The same day Charm and I had this bus stop conversation I was set up to register for an adventurous weekend of racing at Disney World. After the conversation with Charm that morning, I made the decision to register as a Charity Runner to raise $3,100 for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS):
- The NDSS is the leading human rights organization for individuals with Down Syndrome.
- The NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to enhance the quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities.
The NDSS has been a leading advocate for people with Down Syndrome since 1979. We have made the decision to team up with Team NDSS to do what we do best and RUN FOR DOWN SYNDROME at the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. On January 4th, I will be taking on the Dopey Challenge running FOUR RACES in FOUR DAYS. I will join other amazing runners to run one race each day (5k, 10k, & half-marathon) leading up the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 7th.
Race day is less than 10 weeks away. I have been training for this journey since June, check out my #journeyToDopey as I prepare to run 48.6 miles through Disney World. We will be sharing this journey with you all! This race is 100% about the amazing people we will be running for, and we will highlight that along the way. Please stay tuned for updates.
To learn more about the NDSS and their amazing work please check out their website: NDSS
Help us be advocates! Take a moment to visit our fundraising page: Charm and Ebony
I am running so you don’t have to!
And share our journey with your friends and family!!!
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