Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Walking for Apraxia & Learning that THIS is OUR thing
We had the walk last Sunday and it went unbelievably well! The day started out a little crazy. We woke up to downpours and threats of thunder and lightning. Bill and I decided we needed to change the park that we were originally planning on having the walk in, to a park with a shelter. We made some phone calls and then it went much better. The weather was okay, we had a huge turnout and as of date we have raised almost $10,000.00! My mom flew up for the walk, both of Bill's parents were there and his brother and sister. We had cousins, aunts and Lucy's Godmother and friends attend and were all decked out in our "I love Lucy" attire. It was wonderful! We felt so supported and I realized that there is a "village" that is cheering, supporting and loving Lucy! There were two experiences that day, that gave me goosebumps.
When I woke up that morning I was very proud of the money we had raised but felt that I wasn't sure if I would do it again next year. I don't like asking people for money, nowaday there are walks for everything and it took a lot of my time. But, then these experiences happened:
There was a 19 year old girl at the walk named Elizabeth. Elizabeth was at the walk with her mom and had joined a local team with out even knowing the kids. Elizabeth is 19, attending UW and has apraxia! She has been in therapy since she was 3, but did not get a diagnosis until she was in 2nd grade. Elizabeth's mom stated that she has been waiting for the northwest to finally recognize apraxia and they were so thankful to be there. I talked to Elizabeth and was intrigued by the way she talked. Her speech was in her throat, kind of like glottal sounds. It was different, but not too different. I found myself listening to her and praying that Lucy will talk that well someday! Her mom was so thankful and Elizabeth was very proud. She knew how hard she had worked and this group of people are the only ones who would understand that!
A dad walked up to me after the walk and asked if I was Kari Weed? I said "yes" and he said, "Thank you for organizing this walk, for the first time ever, I heard other children who speak like my son. Thank you." I had tears in my eyes by the time we were done talking.
Now we will be organizing this walk every year! After the walk was done and we cleaned up, some of our family came back to our house. We toasted with champagne, ate chicken wings and then crashed for a great nap! After nap time we again met with family and had a celebratory dinner. It was a wonderful day!
I have learned that yes there are walks for everything, but this is our thing. These parents and kids need a place to see that other families are dealing with the exact same issues. Our kids were celebrated that day. Our kids who get the dirty looks in restaurants when they scream a lot because they cannot talk; our kids who we all fear will never speak; our kids who we love so much and we would do anything to give them a voice. Yes, we will be planning this walk again next year because this is our thing.
Thank you everyone who supported us!
[Special Note: CASANA thanks the volunteer efforts of Kari Weed and all the Walk for Apraxia volunteers who dedicate their time to bring awareness to their communities, and so much more. At the Walk for Apraxia you are among "your people", those who understand just what you are going through and share the struggle and the hope. The Walk for Apraxia also raises important funding for programs and research.]