September 27, 2015

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Maintenance Day 172: Love and Support

Today was far too busy of a day to just label some pictures. We began the day with the Courage Over Cancer 5k in Neenah with our Snowdrop friends. This year’s race was run in memory of Lily and Harrison, two of our Snowdrop friends that earned their angel wings this year. Although we didn’t run, it was a great opportunity to catch up with the majority of our Snowdrop family. We discussed plans to attend CureFest next year, met friends we have only known through Facebook, caught up with families we haven’t seen since summer, and even found Scarlett a future boyfriend (I’ve got my eye on you Isaac!). It is always so nice to talk to families who are living the same life as we are. No matter what they are going through themselves, they always offer help if we need it.

Part of the run is climbing up a very steep hill at the end of the race to symbolize the struggles that our kiddos have to overcome. This year, we stood on top of the hill to cheer the runners on. We were told that four women were running the race for Scarlett. Since we arrived after the race started, we didn’t know who it was. We hadn’t heard of anyone that we knew running. So we waited until we saw “the girl in the orange tutu”. It turned out to be my best from high school who had driven almost four hours just to run in Scarlett’s honor! We were speechless and crying by the time she finished the race. Amy Francisco, you have no idea what that means to us. To know that Scarlett has affected and inspired people is amazing. I don’t even know what to say to thank you and your friends.

After the race, we were also introduced to a wonderful family. Nathan is growing out his beard for the next year to raise money for childhood cancer. This part of the story we knew. What we didn’t know is that he plans to shave it after the Madison Iron Man next September. And that he plans to train and run that Iron Man for our Scarlett! We greatly hope to be able to be in Madison cheering him on!

After a morning with Snowdrop, we made it to our friend Ava’s birthday party. She is so sweet and we had a lot of fun. The kids will be in a candy coma for weeks!

Finally, we made our way to the Live 4 Lily benefit to honor Lily. I remember the day she flew to heaven. I found out while I was at work and just couldn’t hold in my emotions. Losing Lily made me cry like I hadn’t done since…I don’t think ever. We never had the opportunity to meet her in life so we wanted to be sure to support her family. I met her mom and little brother. I admire her so much. I don’t think that I could be as strong as she is. We also had the opportunity to meet Harrison’s family. Again, they are so amazingly strong. These families are a true inspiration to us to continue the fight, continue to give, and continue to raise awareness. Their deaths were so unnecessary. We did win four baskets at the benefit – we “bid” on baskets that we could divide up and add to our backpacks.

If you are interested in honoring Lily and Harrison, please consider signing up to run/walk a Snowdrop event or you can donate directly to the Snowdrop Foundation. Thank you Snowdrop friends for an amazing day and fly high little Lily and Harrison!

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