This was Evan's 3rd walk-n-roll. As a little reminder of how far he's come...
1st walk--Dec 2014 (2 years, 2 months)
He took over half an hour to complete the walk
|Look at those feet!!|
2nd walk--Nov 2016 (4 years 1 month)
(Started the walk as the 2nd team, ended as the 2nd to last team--but walked/scootered the whole way on his own!)
3rd walk--Sept 2017 (4 years 11 months)
First place, RAN most of the way!!
First place, RAN most of the way!!
We started 2nd to last this year, so there were a lot of people in front of us. (Mind you, this isn't a race. It's an all-inclusive, family-friendly walk.) Once I told Evan the walk started, he took off running. I was holding Seth and the "Go Evan Go!" poster so my running was a bit more clumsy than Evan's. He quickly caught up to the team in front of us, and I thought he would stop and take his place walking behind them. Nope! He just ran right through them! I had to excuse ourselves as I weaved my way through team after team. "Sorry, but my son is up there and I need to catch him! He won't stop!" When he got tired he'd say, "Show me the poster!" Once I showed it to him and cheered him on, he was able to keep running. He's a rock star. It wasn't about being first. It was about seeing my boy determined to run. Seriously, so cool.
These socks were the key to his speed.
Thank you to family and friends who supported us through donations and wearing crazy socks on Saturday. I loved that people were willing to wear some ridiculous socks for Evan. We are so grateful that people care about spina bifida! In fact, next month is spina bifida awareness month and theme is "Care about Spina Bifida." I'll be sure to bombard you with reasons why you should care if you don't yet.
Part of the walk-n-roll is a resource fair where healthcare vendors and non-profit organizations have booths to advertise their services/what they offer to people with spina bifida. One of the groups this year was the Capital City Adaptive Athletes Foundation. Among other things they are really good at wheelchair basketball. Their group includes a guy, Joe, who played professional wheelchair basketball in Europe and played in the Paralympics for Team USA. He has a prosthetic leg. With Evan's obsession with basketball, I knew he needed to talk to these guys. They watched Evan dribble their ball and played pass with him. Then they tried to convince him to get in a little wheelchair to try it out. He was extremely resistant. Joe talked to Evan about how he didn't want to get in the chair at first either. But then he realized how fast he could go in it, and how he could do spins and tricks, and then he liked it. That eased Evan's nerves a little and he eventually agreed to just push the chair from behind. Maya came up and decided she would get in and try it. After that, Evan was ready to try it himself. He got in and started wheeling himself around the parking lot slowly. He was a little cautious, and the chair was a bit too big for him, but he was actually in a wheelchair for the first time. It seemed like an important moment to me.
The team members talked to me about how any lower limb disability qualifies you to play wheelchair basketball. And regardless of the level of disability, or the fact that he doesn't need a chair all the time, Evan could probably qualify for a grant to get a sport chair if he wanted to start playing. I'm definitely going to look into that for him.