This past weekend, Give Kids The World held its 4th Annual Gingerbread Run 5K presented by Aaron’s, which raised more than $128,000. More than 1,100 participants of all ages and abilities ran, walked, rolled or strolled 3.1 miles through the Village. One of those participants took the time to write in and share her special story with us.
My daughter, Dakotah, was a previous Wish recipient and we stayed at GKTW in 2011. I knew immediately that I was going to do this 5k. I also immediately decided that this would be the first 5k that my daughter would do with me.
She is completely dependent on me for her care and totally non-ambulatory. I found a special needs jogger and prayed it would get here on time. It did – Nov. 2 – just in the nick of time. Well, she was too tall for it so I just said, “Well, looks like we’ll be using her regular wheelchair and hope for the best.”
Everyone there was so sweet to us and she got to meet all the characters. At race time, we lined up in the Start area. I’ll admit I was a little nervous of how stable the chair would be since we’d never done this together before. Well, the chair did great, she did great and we actually finished in 54 min. I couldn’t believe it; I pushed 100 lbs of weight and still finished under an hour. I also think she enjoyed it even though she’s non-verbal and can’t tell me.
Those cheering us on at the finish line really touched me – I was in tears.
My Dakotah wasn’t even supposed to live past 2 years old and I still don’t know her life expectancy, but I will have this picture of us crossing the finish line of a 5k FOREVER! Thank you, GKTW!