Sunday, April 1, 2012

Twelve Months of Giving Back: March

Is it really April already?!  Absolutely loving the spring weather we are having.  Actually, it is more like summer as we are nearing 90 degrees today!  We have been logging a lot of time outside which means lots of dirty little fingers and toes at the end of the day!  Soaking it up!

1. Earlier this month, my iron levels were high enough that I was able to donate blood.  I do this every 8 weeks as long as the iron levels are good.  It is astounding how many pints of blood are needed every single day to provide for the need in our area: 580 pints per day.  It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t hurt-trust me!

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2.  Donated money in support of the 2nd Annual Greater Kansas City Myasthenia Gravis Walk, Run & Roll.  I

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This event was started by my good friend Allison, who has Myasthenia Gravis. She is human goodness at its best!  We are so excited to be in KC to attend the event this year!

Thoughts from Allison:
In July 2008, I started receiving Plasmaphersis treatments to treat Myasthenia Gravis, a condition I have had since the age of 5.  It’s not like you run out of things to think about while you are hooked up to a machine for 2-3 hours every 3 weeks watching your blood be filtered and remade with fresh, clean plasma, but you’ve got to get creative or the uncomfortable-ness will overtake you.

One thought I kept coming back to as I watched the machine slowly separate and clean my blood was how could I give back and make this a positive experience for others going through the same thing. I’d seen the medical bills come across my mail box. Lucky for me, a job with the County which supplies me with good insurance means my out of pocket expenses each year are minimal.  I couldn’t help but think of others with little or no insurance coverage and what they must go through to pay the bills. After you get to a certain point in your daily battle with Myasthenia Gravis Plasmaphersis is what keeps you alive; you have to have it. 

So as the machine droned on, on this particular day in June 2010 while I lay getting my treatment I thought a flyer I’d seen about an upcoming Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Walk taking place in Ottawa, KS.  I thought maybe a good thing for me to do would be to shoot an email out to family and friends and see if anybody wanted to go with me to the Ottawa walk.   It was the least I could do to give back.  As my thoughts continued to carry me through the treatment, I began dreaming of an even bigger event to be held in Kansas City possibly featuring a 5K and a mile stroll where awareness could be raised on a bigger scale.  A few days following that treatment I got on the phone and called Chris Almvig, the Executive Director of the Myasthenia Gravis Association of Kansas City. I shared with her my dream of holding an event in Kansas City and my hopes of raising over $15,000 plus awareness of the widely unknown disease.  Chris told me to “go for it” and that is when the planning began.

I pulled together 6 friends, participated in the Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Walk in Ottawa to get a better grasp on what it would take and thus began the undertaking of the 1st ever Greater Kansas City Myasthenia Gravis Walk, Run and Roll.  Over $20,000 was raised at the walk, run and roll on April 9, 2011.  A beautiful day following a spring thunderstorm the night before where we celebrated runners and walkers alike all coming together for a great cause; just what I had dreamed. 

Following the event I realized how much momentum there was to continue such an event and the enthusiasm of the volunteer based committee.  In the summer 2011 we began planning of the 2nd Annual Greater Kansas City Myasthenia Gravis Walk, Run and Roll.  As with last year, the entire planning process has been a journey. We’ve been amazed at the generosity and support of the community.  To date there are over 20 sponsors and 70 registered participants.  We hope you’ll join us on April 21, 2012 at Heritage Park in Olathe.  The 5k run and mile stroll begin at 9am.

The event will take place on April 21st at Heritage Park in Olathe, Kansas and offers both a professionally timed 5K Run (RaceDay Timing Solutions) and an untimed walk around the beautiful lake.

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for students (age 18 & under). Each participant will receive an event t-shirt with their registration.

Register now by using this link:  http://www.enter2run.com/Search/event.aspx?event=ec3cb8c6-380b-4c8f-b71c-a9941ae9c7d1.aspx

Make a donation by using this link:  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/allison-foss/allisonfosssfundraisingpageforthe2ndannualgreaterk

To learn more about MG, visit http://mgakc.org/newly-diagnosed/sample-page

Please consider donating if you are feeling a need to GIVE BACK!

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