“I am running this day for 2 of my family members.

1 – My nephew Kaiden. He is an 8 year severely autistic child. He does not speak in any form. But he is the sweetest, most loving child there is. He doesn’t always understand and his frustration gets the best of him. Despite the autism, he is a true example of what it is to wake up and love each and every day. A couple years ago Kaiden’s mom passed away at the age of 25 due to finding out she had stage 4 lymphoma as well as HLH cancer. Kelsey had just delivered her second child just 2 weeks prior. Because Kelsey spent her last 2 months of life in a coma, Kaiden never was able to say goodbye to his mom or kiss/hug her one last time. Kaiden was a champ through everything and became like a son to me rather than a nephew. Life just wouldn’t be the same without him.

2 – I run this race for Kelsey. The race just happens to fall on Kelsey’s birthday. There is no doubt in my mind that this is how Kelsey would want us to celebrate her birthday. Kaiden was her little boy and despite his struggles Kelsey was his biggest supporter. When her passing came about we were all left with a struggle to know the steps Kelsey had taken to help Kaiden. I believe with all my heart that had she not passed, Kaiden would have made leaps and bounds in this autism journey. Kelsey, I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to help raise such a charming and loveable little boy. Autism is rough, but you never made it seem hard. Today I honor both Kaiden and Kelsey.”