This was our first year participating in Dreams on Wings as ‘Team Gabby Faith’.
We were running to celebrate our miracle daughter, Gabrielle, who underwent a right hemispherectomy almost 6 years ago.
We were running to celebrate the amazing 4 1/2 years of seizure-freedom we’ve been given and all of her accomplishments that have come with that.
We were running to raise awareness of this radical brain surgery and to support the Hemispherectomy Foundation, an organization that does so much for these special individuals and their families.
Many of our dear friends and family registered as virtual runners. Thank you! We appreciate you so much!
Then, because we don’t live anywhere near TX or NH, we had to make a decision: Would we actually run or just proudly wear the t-shirt as pretenders?
We decided to mark out a 3.1 mile loop at a local park and do the deed.
We only had 6 runners this year and a fine group of cheerleaders who really did wonders in spurring us along.
Seeing my Gabby bouncing up and down like a string bean as I approached the 2-mile mark, definitely helped me to press forward.
While running along the bottom stretch of that trail (seriously tempted to walk), I found my mind flashing back to that hospital room 6 years earlier.
My child is awakening from a very deep sleep, face swollen, a white bandage wrapped securely around her head.
Her eyes slowly open and I carefully watch, looking for the slightest eye flutter or facial grimace. I exhale heavily realizing I’ve been holding my breath. I’m holding onto hope with all of my being, afraid to allow even the air to escape from my lungs. Wondering if this surgery, with all of its sacrifices, will be the miracle for which we’ve been searching.
I carefully observe the affected side, looking for movement, hoping those chubby little fingers will begin to miraculously wiggle despite what I’ve been told and understand.
My child struggles to sit up straight without collapsing to one side, she fights nausea and raging fevers.
She is so brave.
My child is fitted with an orthotic and forced out of bed. It’s time to learn how to stand on two feet and walk again. The work is grueling. It takes everything she has. She returns to that hospital bed, drained after hours of challenging therapy, and somehow she manages a weary, crooked smile.
Her mouth is all drawn up on one side and the corner of her eye crinkles down to meet it.
My child is such a fighter.
She has courageously taken some of the most difficult steps in this world.
When everything was numb and pins and needles, she stretched her leg outward in trust.
When half of her visual field was blurry darkness, she turned into it, facing the unknown.
My Gabby Faith learned to run again with a leg that doesn’t fully do its job and an arm that often fails to break falls.
Our Hemi kids have fought for everything they have.
Surely I can run 3 miles.
And finally I cross over the word ‘Finish’ written in orange sidewalk chalk.
I’m surrounded by friends and family who have shown up at a ridiculously early hour on a Saturday morning.
People who have walked along side our family every step of the way.
Folks who were there at the bleakest hour and remain beside us as we’ve celebrated every miracle since then.
Thank you for encouraging us at each and every milestone.
Thank you for encouraging us today, that perhaps this first small race is the beginning of something bigger.
I look forward to seeing and experiencing all of what God has in store for my girl and our family.