Monday, November 3, 2008

Jingle Bell Run Kick-Off Party

It's November & we are officially into the season for the Arthritis Foundation JINGLE BELL RUN! The first Sunday of December in Downtown Portland, the children run a 1K & everyone is invited to run a 5K. This year they have an ugly sweater contest & a costume contest! (oh ya, you are thinking about that ugly sweater contest aren't you!? Mee too!!)

Charlotte is the grand marshal of this years Jingle Bell Run. Which is bitter sweet right? This is our one year anniversary. It was last year that we still in the dark about this disease, we just knew we were in it, so we gathered friends & formed TOTTIES TEAM. Awesome, amazing support, loving friends who braved the most AWFUL of conditions that day!!! Thank you Friends!
This year, we know more, she's been through more, however, I still talk to people about arthritis in children while crying. It makes me mad.... I cant stand what it has done to her, or what she has to put up with, what we as a family have had to deal with.... the scares, the learning, the medicines, the appointments and the rigmarole of raising young spirited children in the middle of all of it! Yes, the drugs are amazing & looking at it in a positive way, we are fortunate to be living in a day where we have the drugs to help Charlotte keep the arthritis from damaging her joints & eyes in a crippling way. We are thankful for the medical advances. And we will continue to rally to support MORE.... more advances, more research... more!

Yesterday, hundreds gathered at the NIKE world headquarters for the kick-off party for the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run. Ryan & I introduced Charlotte & I couldn't even start to tell her story without crying. I apologized & tried to continue to get our story across (it is our... it has affected the entire family since Charlotte is so young). I always blame my mother at those instances :) YES Marmee - its you coming through, still talking while crying :) And so I carried on. And you know who was amazing? Charlotte. She came to me after my talk, gave me a kiss & then spoke in the microphone, "Thank you!" I love her.

So we will continue the fight to keep her arthritis under control. And we will continue to meet new families who are just entering this world of childhood rheumatic diseases & share with them our heroes: The Kelly's of High School running across finish lines. The Marian's of college, having fun & utilizing their intelligence in engineering! The Bella's of grade school, finding the magical drug that FINALLY works & allows her to ride her bike & have the energy after school to play with her friends. Those are Charlotte's heroes. The girls before her with JRA who are keeping it controlled & not letting it control them.

For Charlotte & all the children with Rheumatic Diseases, we celebrate family & mobility & the season of giving & LOVE: We run the jingle bell run!

Would you like to join us & get your bells on?!

Come join TOTTIES TEAM!!

12/7/2008 8:00 am - 8:25 am Costume Contest and Awards ~ Costume contest for all participants. Awards will be given for Best Adult Costume and Best Youth Costume .

12/7/2008 8:30 am - 8:45 am - 1K Kid's Fun Run Start

12/7/2008 8:50 am - 8:55 am - 5K Run/Walk Start

5K Run (Chip Timed): $25.00Includes Long Sleeve T-Shirt and Jingle Bells
5K Walk: $25.00Includes Long Sleeve T-Shirt and Jingle Bells
1K Kids Run: $10.00Includes Long Sleeve T-Shirt and Jingle Bells
5K Run - Kids 12 & under (not Chip Timed): $10.00Includes Long Sleeve T-Shirt & Jingle Bells
5K Walk - Kids 12 & under: $10.00Includes Long Sleeve T-Shirt and Jingle Bells


Team Houston said...

If we are not out of town that weekend for Family Christmas then we will be there.

Lisa Milton said...

I'm checking my calendar...we'd love to be there for your girl.

Heaven's Eye Phtotography said...

I heart you guys! I think about Charlotte all the time on my journey and I tap into her child, super Hero strength and I know I can make it through because she can and does! We will be out of town but we will be with you in spirit! I hope you win the sweater contest:) K

Jacob's Mom said...

Hi Erika,

I guess we are both having our share of ER visits. How is Ellie's head doing? Poor kid! I guess girls get their share of boo boo's too!
Not too much time in between projects for you. That is great you are doing the Jingle bell run!
Tottie looks like she really enjoys the events!

Hope all is well,

Take care!
Your friend from the other side of the country,