Last year began with my Aunt Susan passing away in March 2020 at the age of 63. Off the back of a year that was unprecedented in many ways –in addition to our first year without Susan – there’s been a lot to reflect on, but biggest takeaway for me has been the importance of learning from people who are different than you. The sad reality is that when Susan was born, many people with Down Syndrome or other ‘disabilities’ were institutionalized, and given the life expectancy of about the age I am now. While there’s still work to be done in destigmatizing neuro-diversity, I think people emerged from 2020 with more gratitude, and having realized the importance of empathy, inclusion and pure kindness. Susan lived by all of those things, and above everything, loved everyone unconditionally without bias.
Everyone could benefit from having an Aunt Susan in their life, which is why this September, I couldn’t be more excited to run the BMW Berlin Marathon with the LuMind IDSC Foundation to support Down Syndrome research. LuMind IDSC Foundation actively works in taking the ‘dis’ out of ability by creating a network of individuals within the Down Syndrome community, and providing families with additional resources, medical care options, and overall support. Someday we will be able to create a world that does not disable individuals with ‘disabilities,’ and my goal is to get us a step closer to that with your help.
In terms of fundraising, many of you may know the drill here, but it was a lot of fun last time so I’m doing it again: first off, any donation amount is incredibly appreciated! To make things a bit more interesting, if you do choose to donate, for every $20 donation, I’ll be adding a song of your choice to a playlist for my final training run – please just leave the name of the song(s) in the comments sections and I’ll take it from there. I received everything from Christmas songs to nursery rhymes last time, so have at it, and I’ll post a video recapping the final playlist after my last run.”
Thanks so much for your support in this experience, and cheers to the LuMind IDSC Foundation and Aunt Sue!