In June of 2010 my mother suffered from a stroke that affected the language center of her brain. She now deals with a language disorder called aphasia, which makes it very difficult for her to speak. As a result, the past three years have been a huge challenge for her, as it would be for anyone whose ability to speak was suddenly taken away!
When I graduated from High School, my mother gave me a very special present. It was a small book called " I Hope You Dance" and on each page there was a line from the song written by Lee Ann Womack. The lyrics of the song embody everything my mom taught me growing up...
"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
When you come close to sellin' out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance"
Although we could have never imagined that we would be faced with such a challenge, my mother's stroke has truly tested my entire family to live by these words, and to have the faith to continue to fight even when things are extremely hard. Every single day, my mom works to improve her speech. She wakes up every morning with an enormous challenge ahead of her, to work towards saying words that used to come so easily.
I am competing in the New York City Triathlon as part of the Stroke Challenge Team to show my mom that she is not in this alone. As long as she works hard everyday to improve, I will work everyday to improve. I want to show her that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to, because that is what she taught me and that is what she continues to teach me everyday.
My goal is to raise $2,500 for the National Stroke Association, and a cause that is truly close to my heart. Every single donation I receive will not only be motivation for me to swim harder, bike faster, and run harder, but more importantly it will be a demonstration of support for my mom and all of those effected by stroke, and the challenges they face everyday.
I truly appreciate your support! And no matter what challenges may face you...
When you get the chance to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance.