March for Babies

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wish it Forward

Last year Amanda had the privilege of receiving the 6,000th wish granted by the Make A Wish Foundation of Michigan. We were invited to participate in the awards ceremony on day two of the three day, 300 mile bike tour called WAM (Wish-A-Mile). It goes from Traverse City down to Chelsea in three days! Seeing these riders coming in after two full days on their bikes and collapsing on the floor of the gym where they would spend the night before getting back on their bikes the next morning to finish their journey was awe inspiring. They were sore, they were exhausted and they were doing this to themselves willingly! They did this to raise money for Make-A-Wish. They did this to provide wishes to kids that they would probably never meet. Some of the riders were from previous wish families. I cannot think of a better way to continue the relationship formed with the Make-A-Wish staff than participating in their fundraising and awareness raising programs. The only word that comes to mind to describe what these riders go through is "brutal". But they do it year after year after year. (Keep in mind, my thoughts on the subject come from my own experience which is riding a bike one weekend a year and complaining of the sore fanny afterwards. These riders are people who actually enjoy riding, otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place.)
The finish line of the WAM bike tour is called the Heroes Hurrah. It is a huge family festival of sorts where the riders are welcomed in and cheered as they finish their unbelievable journey. Each rider is awarded a medal when they come in by a former Wish Child who has been their Wish Hero throughout the event. The riders are matched up with their Wish Hero beforehand. They get pictures, details of the child's wish, the child can write encouraging letters to the riders and send pictures. The kids cheer on their riders and the riders fight harder to give a wish to another deserving child.
This year, at Heroes Hurrah, Amanda will be a Wish Hero. You can see her web page here. We are so excited to be able to participate in WAM and Heroes Hurrah again this year. (They have added a new 50-mile bike tour this year for those who cannot make the full 300-mile ride. Now THAT sounds like something I could train for!) We continue to feel the love and support of the Make-A-Wish staff as we prepare to take our trip to Sesame Place in July. When we get back, we'll head to Heroes Hurrah and say THANK YOU to everyone and anyone who will listen. Yet another situation in Amanda's life where the words "Thank You" just do not cover the gratitude we feel and wish to express. There are no adequate words.
Please check out the Wish Hero site and cheer on the team Amanda has been matched with. They could use your support and we would love for them to feel the love and support we received when Amanda was going through her treatments. I am sure you are familiar with the phrase "pay it forward", well, in this instance, we want to help Wish it Forward so that others may experience the blessings that we have.

Thursday, June 3, 2010