A few weeks ago on a bright and sunny Sunday morning I packed the kids into the car with the grandparents and Lyla’s fairy godmother, Jo and we made our way to the MCG with about 30,000 other people to take part in the Melbourne Marathon. Obviously I wasn’t running the marathon (no shock there!) but Kris was running the 10km to raise money for our beautiful Lyla’s therapy centre, CPEC (Cerebral Palsy Education Centre). CPEC has been the major charity partner for the Melbourne Marathon for a number of years now and every year the families and kids walk the 3km together and many people run the other distances and raise much needed funds to keep the centre going and enable them to support the 110 children who attend every year.
The best bit about the whole day for me is the opportunity to be part of the CPEC community and to do something together with our CPEC friends publicly to support our kids. I love that the kids get out there in their wheelchairs, adapted bikes, walkers and wheelchair prams and join in the festivities with their families. It’s so wonderful to see so many smiling faces wearing their CPEC t-shirts and holding onto yellow and blue CPEC balloons crossing the finish line.
Melbourne put on a belter of a morning and it was 30oC when we started our walk (poor marathon runners!). Little Miss Lyla slept soundly while she was pushed the whole way round the 3km route but I was so proud of her big brother Blair who walked the whole way round, with on a couple of little complaints about being too hot. Kris completed his 10km course, a PB with no training I might add and we were lucky enough to have three of Lyla’s Angels who also fundraised for CPEC in Lyla’s name. Lynne and Amanda, who ran the 10km and Kat who ran her first marathon! I am in awe of anyone who runs, personally I can’t run the length of myself, and I am so humbled and grateful for these gals who ran the distance in honour of kids who can’t. It didn’t stop there, our friends didn’t just step up to run, Karen and Mia also stepped up to give up a day of their precious weekend to volunteer for CPEC at the marathon.
I struggle to find the words to describe how our friends’ willingness to give of themselves to support Lyla and our family makes me feel, the best I can come up with is extremely grateful. They say it takes a village to raise a child and our village is pretty bloody awesome.