Back in April, we hosted an Inspiration Challenge Giveaway where we asked our community to share stories of the people who inspired them for a chance to win a hand-inscribed Inspiration Journal. We received so many deeply touching responses that it was difficult to choose just two winners! We read every single one of the nominations, and the RTE team was incredibly moved by all of them. These are the two that stood out to us the most among so many gems. We share them with you now in the hope that their words move you in the same way they moved us. Thanks again to Brittany and Stacy for these amazing stories! We are honored and humbled to have you in our community.
"I’d like to nominate my mom Wendy for the Inspiration Challenge.
She had always struggled with manic depression, obesity (after having 3 kids) and then body dysmorphia. When we were little, she enrolled all of us into Taekwondo for ‘self-defense’… And as it turned out, it was the best thing for her out of all of us. She continued for 20 years, reaching the highest ranks in her school and teaching the younger children. That was when she realized how important exercise was for her mental health, along with consciously practicing the power of positivity daily.
When she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2016, all of our worlds were turned upside down. Quickly, she went from an active woman to near death for 6 months- right over her birthday. We truly believe that her practice of positivity, and maintaining a healthy body, was what helped her heal so quickly; the doctors were astonished with her quick recovery. But her rehabilitation has been the true struggle for the past four years. Her body has never returned to capacity.
She was diagnosed with lymphedema which has caused painful swelling in her arm. She is also not allowed to go out into the sun, or get bug bites…
Although she continues to push her body, it will only go at the pace it wants to. About this time, I had started running... and encouraged her to join me at the gym on a treadmill. Starting slowly, she did! She worked her way up to a slow jog, and stuck it out for months. We even did a 5k together, in Door County, Wisconsin! It was probably one of her proudest post-cancer moments. We enrolled in the Run The Edge Run The Year 2020 challenge together, as she was feeling happy, healthy & whole again. This challenge gave her excitement and purpose! You should have seen the happiness on her face when she received her packet in the mail.
We even enrolled in another race together scheduled for May 2nd, 2020.
Earlier in the year, she tried to help in the yard, and fell as her body is still weak... slipping four discs in her lumbar spine. Since then, she has returned to physical therapy 4 days a week while only being allowed to sit or work for a few hours at a time, then return to bed rest.
She has taken the cheerleading position for our Run The Edge team... as she wishes she could be out there with us. Daily, she allows her body to heal taking it one step at a time. Luckily, our race was rescheduled to Halloween due to the COVID-19 ban... so she has a new goal to focus on.
Her determination, positivity (although hard mostly) and perseverance has been a complete inspiration to me. Every time I run, I run for her also.
I celebrate my miles with her, and keep her in mind as I go mile after mile.
During the times I do not feel like moving forward or even running, I remember my mom— who can NOT run.
My mom would do anything to hit the trails with me.
For her, I run.
She is my inspiration."
"I would like to nominate Helen Gilmore. She's not in this group.
I met her and her grandson, Bryson, about 2 yrs ago. He is my running buddy from a "I run for" group.
Helen took full guardianship after Bryson was born. He was born with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC), a rare birth defect in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum.
He will be 6 in May. The doctors didn't give her much hope. In the few years I've known them, he has grown so much. He cannot walk or talk, but always has a smile.
She has him in a special program and they are wonderful.
Not once has she complained about any of it. She loves that little boy so much. She works full time as well. I don't think she ever does anything for herself. It's always for others.
I would love to see her win this. She deserves so much more. She just started a FB page : A Voice for Bryson."