Note: Stacie Al-Chokhachi is a parent of a son with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Today we are honored to share their story, and blessed to know and love this family as a part of our own.
These three men have touched my heart. Immensely!
They are now in day SIX of their Ride4Gabe from Birmingham, Alabama to Pikes Peak, Colorado. I have been glued to my Facebook newsfeed, as I continue to check on them and lift them up in prayer.
It is almost impossible for me to comprehend how three men are willing to RIDE BICYCLES nearly 1,500 miles and a total of 75,000 feet of climbing for the sake of Gabe and all boys like my Dalton. The drive and determination to bring awareness to this monster that invaded our lives in 2010 is like something I have never witnessed.
If we all took their example just think of what we could do to END DUCHENNE!
It is so easy to navigate this life in a bubble as if horrible things don’t, or won’t, happen to good people ... to CHILDREN! It is almost as if the human mind refuses to admit these horrible things exist because, let’s face it, most of us are not strong enough to deal with such a catastrophic reality that Duchenne brings with it.
Birthdays are an entirely different ballgame than they once were. My Dalton will be turning FIFTEEN on Monday. Though I am so incredibly blessed that my deliciousness is still here with me, birthdays are a reminder that the sand in his hourglass is moving far too quickly. From what doctors, and history, tell me, we are past the half way mark of his precious life.
That is a hard pill to swallow and one which terrifies me to the core. Every passing birthday I try to tell myself that I am NOT going to let the next one make me sad. I will NOT let fear and sadness overshadow all the JOY that we are blessed with.
That, my friends, is something I cannot seem to accomplish. I want to freeze time –– right now –– while my baby can still use his arms. He can still hug me ... with some help. He has been in his wheelchair since he was 9 years old.
How can I sit back and watch this monster
rob my hero of the beautiful life I once dreamed for him?
I cannot. And neither could you, if he was your beautiful little boy.
Suffice it to say, this week has been an emotional one for me. I had planned to be emotional, as his birthdays always are. However, the Team R4G –– Gabe Griffin's family, plus Michael Staley, Demetrious White, Brian Toone, Stephen Peters, Katelyn Staley, John Bourque, Lou Pfau, Tara Stallworth Lee, and Tod Ingram –– have brought more HOPE than ever.
To see this journey unfold each day brings me such happiness and makes my heart fill with joy. It challenges me to want to do more, be more, and raise MORE AWARENESS!
We don’t have to go to the extreme of riding 1500 miles on a bike, but we can all do a little something. If you have $5 or $50, I encourage you to make a tax deductible donation to Ride4Gabe. Even just SHARING THE POSTS ABOUT THEM FROM MY FACEBOOK PAGE will help a lot.
On Monday, we will CELEBRATE Dalton's birthday and the extraordinary gift these strangers have given him. It will be a fabulous day and we will thank God for another year. We are blessed to have our hero a single day –– everything else is a bonus!
If you would like to follow Ride4Gabe's journey to Colorado, you can find them on Facebook. The cyclists will be live-streaming Ride4Gabe IV on Facebook. Your comments or questions across all social media posts will keep them charged for the final push to the summit.
I am the luckiest momma in the world.
Life is short!
Love your babies!
LIVE ON PURPOSE!
Facebook Fundraiser (*no fees): https://www.facebook.com/fund/HopeforGabe/
Our Route – www.ride4gabe.com