This year I am excited to announce I'm joining Team CHOP and competing in the 2022 TCS NYC Marathon to support kids at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
I am calling my story "CHASE N DREAMS" and it begins with the little boy across the street by the name of Chase Coopper.
Chase was born on November 13th, 2007, in Syracuse, NY. At 10 months old, Chase was diagnosed with Polymicrogyria, which is a rare condition characterized by abnormal brain development before birth. Polymicrogyria is a condition where there are too many folds on the surface of the brain and results in uncontrollable seizures.
When he was 5 years old, it was determined that the Polymicrogyria was contained to the right side of his brain, brain surgery was performed, and his right hemisphere was entirely removed. Upon recovery the daily seizures had stopped but the aftermath of only having half his brain became a daily struggle for him and his family.
When Chase was 10 years old, he developed Hydrocephalus and urgently required a VP Shunt placement. The shunt is used to help drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid which bathes the brain, but the problem was after installation it over-drained this fluid. The following year Chase's parents sought a second opinion from Dr. Benjamin Kennedy at CHOP. Dr. Kennedy replaced the valve on the shunt with one that allowed an adequate amount of fluid to be shunted out of his brain. At that point, Chase's parents transferred all of Chase's care to CHOP. Chase and his parents thank Dr. Kennedy and CHOP for the excellent and continued healthcare he receives.
Chase is now 15 years old, struggles with things we take for granted but has learned to adapt and succeed beyond his disabilities. He plays high school golf, throws shot putt, fishes, hunts, and is a high honor roll student.
A marathon involves many miles and a dream can be full of ambition and aspiration. Chase and I are headed into uncharted territories. As this will be my first marathon, I have 26.2 miles to run while not knowing if the next mile will be harder or easier, but I will rely on my dream to get to the finish line. Chase on the other hand wakes up every day not knowing if tomorrow will be better than today but relies on his dream of being just like every other kid his age. He knows his limits but refuses to give up on something that he really wants to do.
I hope you will consider supporting me as I prepare for the race. 100% of all donations will benefit Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and all donations are tax deductible. Your gift will help make today’s innovative ideas, tomorrow’s reality for kids in the Philadelphia area and around the world.
Thank you for supporting me!
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