–By Tammy Shuler, Team OAM NOW athlete
On March 31st, 2014 I was matched with a young boy named Cainen, through a site called “I run 4 Michael”. A friend told me about the group, and that they had the same motto I had. “I run because someone else can’t and I can.” After visiting the sight I signed up. It took two months before I was matched. They gave me Cainen’s mothers contact information. We hit it off right from the start.
She was a single mother caring for a severely handy capped boy. He was 2 almost 3 years old. He couldn’t walk and was nearly deaf and legally blind. He had sever Down’s syndrome and possibly autistic. As a member of the group you are encouraged to post on Facebook, twice a week, include pictures and positive thoughts about running.
Over the last two and a half years I have been in contact, through Facebook, texts and private messenger, with Cainen’s mother Melissa. I have run more than 10 marathons, two Ironmans, two half Ironmans, a 100k, multiple other triathlons, and races, as well as all the training that goes with that, and dedicated it to Cainen through Facebook. Saturday I got to meet Cainen and his family. I was given the honor of pushing him in a “BOB” stroller at a fund raising event for children with brain cancer in Wisconsin. He is a sweetheart.
He loves the feel of the vibration and the wind on his face. His mother has lost 80 pounds during our friendship. I like to believe that these posts and encouragement had something to do with this. She has also gotten married and had another child Charley, who is a healthy active boy. fI gave Cainen all the metals I had collected over the past two and a half years. As well as some tee shirts. I think he likes them. I have a forever bond with this amazing family, that I can not thank “I run4″ enough. I hope to make the Briggs & Al’s children’s run, walk , an annual event with Cainen, my buddy.
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