Hi there! I've been pondering what exactly to say about Joeli's birthday and birthday run. I am in complete awe of the response to Joeli's birthday and to the Ella Jewell Foundation last week. I want to include a few photos before I continue.
(the release outside Yankee Stadium)
(A night in the city with my best friend, Leigha, from college and Kristin)
(I love this friend of mine!)
(The back of our team shirts in honor of my sweet girl!)
(Bobby and Kristin McGuinness with myself post race)
(The beautiful cake because there was definitely reason to celebrate!)
These images are just a few but some that have very special meaning to me. Some I will cherish forever. Eight months ago I launched this blog in hopes that people would hear. In my heart I knew Joeli was destined to do big things. Boy, has she once again surpassed everything I could have imagined! Some of the faces in these images may be familiar to you and not so much to others. Kristin McGuinness, you my friend, my partner in awareness, have been an incredible piece to this puzzle I call "life".
Kristin and Bobby McGuinness have two beautiful daughters and one of which fights Neutropenia in the SCN form daily. They make a pretty amazing team! What a blessing it was for me to be able to hang out with them and play with their sweet girls before we hit Yankee Stadium for the 5K responsible for raising funds to benefit cancer research! Our team for the Ella Jewell Foundation raised over 15,000.00 to go directly to neutropenia research!! That's HUGE!
I look forward to the day when our children no longer have to consider neutropenia in any form. There's a cure out there, we just have to find it. Research is paving a way and I'm honored to be a small part of that.
As you probably can imagine, Joeli's birthday is a very emotional day for this mama. One of the best and happiest days of my life is now filled with only memories of the short time we shared and thoughts of what should have been. I was left speechless when I saw balloons for Joeli outside the stadium. Each team member held one..42 in all. I held 10. I included a photo of that release that was lovingly taken by a fellow runner. I'm left amazed at how people can love a little girl they never got to meet. Simply amazed. I spent much of the run alone (and not always running). I ran/walked and reflected on what had just happened outside that stadium and cried for the sweet girl that I missed so much.
I cried tears of happiness because I got to call her mine. I cried tears of happiness for the children her story may one day help. I cried tears of pure joy for the beautiful people God has allowed to cross my path and hold me up on such tough days. The words escape me. I'm left at a loss.
Kristin McGuinness, I am amazed at your strength and in awe of the love you seem to find for so many! Thank you for loving my girl and thank you for being my friend!