My name is Michaela and I am proud to be running the 2020 Boston Marathon for Boston Children’s Hospital as part of the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team. I am running this year because childhood should be the most carefree time in a person’s life. While it comes with bruises and runny noses, as well as occasional hurt feelings and tough learning experiences, childhood should largely be spent in far happier ways. As a mother of two and a school psychologist, I see children handle adversities daily; however, I primarily see them enjoying outings with their families, having fun with friends, and easily learning new things. On some occasions, especially through my work, I am inspired by children overcoming greater obstacles in these areas. And now, as part of the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team, I am gaining a different perspective on people facing extremely difficult situations.
I am proud to be paired with my patient partner Jackson, who has a rare progressive brain disease called Moyamoya, because Jackson is a fighter. When he suffered from a stroke at the age of one, doctors questioned if Jackson would ever be able to walk or talk. Now, as an outgoing and energetic second grader, Jackson chased my rambunctious two-year-old around and put french fries on his face to make my four-year-old laugh during our first meeting. He excitedly told us about a trip to see The Lion King and displayed a very impressive appetite (especially when it came to dessert). These things, that are viewed as typical and often taken for granted, are rather extraordinary in Jackson’s case. With the support of his parents and sisters, Jackson has bravely faced brain surgeries and worked incredibly hard through therapies to achieve so much. Although training for the marathon will be more challenging than the running I’ve done in my life thus far, it will never compare to the challenges that Jackson has faced. And while I’ve wanted to tackle 26.2 miles for as long as I can remember, especially in Boston, I am eager to run it with this team that will help raise funds that can vastly improve children’s lives.
Credit Unions Kids at Heart is a collaborative charitable organization of the credit union community throughout New England. Together, we raise money for research aimed at the prevention, treatment, and, one day, cure of pediatric neurological disorders. Our fields of interest are pediatric epilepsy and seizure disorders, Moyamoya disease, Cerebral Palsy, and pediatric brain cancer.
Our Team of 15 runners will be part of the Miles for Miracles team this year. However, our Team’s fundraising goes directly to medical research and clinical trials, performed at Boston Children’s Hospital and in partnership with their research affiliates. Boston Children’s Hospital has led the way in superior innovations in treatment and care since their founding 150 years ago. Our medical investigator partners believe, as we do, in the remarkable resilience of children, and in a future where every child can enjoy good health. We are proud to partner with their world-class research enterprise to help make their important discoveries and innovations available to children worldwide.
When setting a big goal, there’s always a bit of doubt as to whether one can achieve it, but when that doubt creeps into my mind, I will think of Jackson and all that he has accomplished; it is the strongest motivation I can fathom. Thank you for supporting my run. Thank you for supporting my Team, and for joining our mission to help children lead happy and healthy lives.
To learn more, please visit www.cukidsatheart.org.