11 years ago when Hailey and Livy were born, we started a journey that challenged us in every way imaginable. Livy's epilepsy and other disabilities tested us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Relationships with friends ended and our most sacred bond of marriage was strained to its limit. The biggest reason for us was the feeling of being alone and isolated. We felt like we were stranded on a deserted island with no escape. Was this how our lives were going to be forever? Would we always be scared to leave the house? Is there no one we can turn to for support?
It took a long time for us to get used to our new lives and to find strength in sharing our story and helping others. But that wouldn't have been possible without the support of some incredible people. One such person is Tracy, who we met several years ago when the organization I Run 4 was just starting out. The purpose is for a runner to be paired with a child with disabilities who is not able to run themselves. Athletes tend to be motivated individuals and knowing that every step is for another person can keep someone going when they think they have gone as far as possible.
Livy was paired with Tracy back in July of 2013 and it has been amazing since the start. Tracy is dedicated and has always kept us informed when, where and how she is running for Livy. She even sends Livy medals from competitions! Tracy and her family have held Lemonade for Livy fundraisers and they support much of the work we do through Livy's Hope.
So when I saw this image, I was brought to tears. It had a profound impact on everything I know. Tracy has literally had Livy's name emblazoned on her, permanently. She is now a part of our family and of Livy's life forever. To me, it represents the meaning of hope and the farthest thing from being alone I can imagine. Tracy will wear the I Run 4 Livy moniker with pride every day knowing that she has changed a family and will be inspired by a little girl who gives hope to so many. When others see it and ask Tracy what it means, she will be able to share Livy's story and describe to people why they should never give up.
Tracy and her family were visiting Disney in early April and it was wonderful to have lunch with them. Although they live in Texas, the miles apart seem small because Tracy lets us know that she is always running for Livy. Allison, Hailey and I are so grateful for Tracy and we are honored that she is a part of our journey.
Happy Birthday Tracy!
We love you!!