Wednesday, June 13, 2012

donate life!

this past sunday was the race to donate life 5k, which i'm happy to report was a big success. more than 800 runners and walkers made their way to occoquan, va to support the washington regional transplant community (wrtc) and to remember loved ones who were organ donors and celebrate loved ones who received those donors' gifts of life.

i was joined by 18 family members and dear friends in honoring Jarronn's memory and legacy at sunday's race. i was extremely blessed by the support, and extremely proud of all of the runners and walkers. that course had some serious hills, y'all! and it was hot! but everyone finished and looked pretty good in the process. check out more photos below.

i had committed to run the entire 5k, and i'm glad i can say i stuck to my promise (those who know me well know how much i can loathe running). there were definitely moments facing the crazy hill and blazing sun that i considered slowing to walk. but i would quickly hear Jarronn's voice saying, "c'mon boo. you can't be a quitter." and then i pictured him giving 110% during his intramural flag football games on sundays and pickup beach volleyball games during our honeymoon (the second thought made me laugh, because really, those dudes were so serious, while the wives stuck to reading under cabanas).

as one of the larger teams at the race, i was overjoyed to see people who had been touched by Jarronn's life in various ways. his mother. his little brother. his mother-in-law. my cousins who trekked down from nj to participate. his best college friends and their three-year-old daughter who will grow up hearing about the uncle Jarronn she never got to meet. my closest girl friends. and even those friends who really only know Jarronn through what they've heard from me.

there were also those friends and family who couldn't be there physically but made generous donations to the wrtc in Jarronn's honor. in total, our team of runners, walkers, and donors contributed $990 to an awesome cause.

perhaps even more special than the money raised is the fact that running this race in Jarronn's honor somehow helps to keep him alive. there were parts that were a bit emotional for me. posting his photo on the wall of remembrance. seeing photos of, and messages to, other donors. some older people. some infants. and knowing that everyone from our team was united there by the life of an amazing person who is no longer here. but i'm really happy we did. and i hope we do it again next year.

i'm extremely grateful to following people for their support:

avril. caroline. dad. derek & rasheida. femi. gbolahan. karla. kevin & julie. kwaku. marc and brandy. marck & ludgina. mary. momma etelle. mom. nikki. noelle. pops. theo. tianna. tiffany. tish. tramaine. tracy.

 everybody say "Jarronn!!"

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