Sunday, August 02, 2009

Triathlon for Kate Clark

August 2, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

On May 29th 2009 I received some sad news from my family. My cousin Kate had been involved in a freak accident resulting in a severe spinal cord injury. That Friday Kate was volunteering at her son’s school supervising kids during recess. As she passed under the slide a boy jumped off the slide and landed on Kate’s head. After arriving at the hospital the doctors diagnosed a severe spinal cord injury at C4, the very same injury of Christopher Reeves. Kate was paralyzed. That same night Kate endured 5 hours of surgery. Immediately following her surgery doctors could not fully determine Kate’s prognosis. Only time would tell how much mobility and function Kate would regain.

Kate’s story is unfolding as a miracle. I myself am in awe of God’s faithfulness in this situation. The very next day after surgery Kate experienced a “heavy sensation” in all four of her limbs. She was also able to sit and stand twice with assistance from her physical therapists. Kate was progressing so well that she was moved to a rehab hospital one week after the accident (a week sooner than expected). Through the power of prayer, determination on Kate’s part and wonderful therapy, Kate is now able to walk unassisted after only 1 month! Kate still has many small and gross motor skills she is working diligently to regain. Her spirit and faith is strong.

I write asking for you to become a part of Kate’s story. Kate is married with 2 young children. Due to Kate’s injury her family does not have her income to help with family expenses. On July 14th Kate was discharged from the rehab hospital because insurance would no longer cover her stay. Kate’s doctors and therapist have said she will require about one more year of outpatient therapy. Her insurance does not cover outpatient therapy or the medicine she needs to keep the nerve pain under control.

Since Kate’s accident I have offered each time I run, bike and swim as an intercessory for Kate; praying that she too will one day again enjoy those same activities with her family. Now I would like to take one more step in helping Kate. I will be competing in my second triathlon on August 22nd to raise money on Kate’s behalf . I hope that you will be a part of Kate’s journey toward healing by sponsoring me. If you would like to sponsor me please send checks to Kate’s church. Her church has set up a foundation for Kate to receive tax-deductible donations to help cover her medical costs.

Please send checks with “Triathlon for Kate Clark” in the memo portion to:

Church of the Servant

3835 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546

In Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness,
Michelle Cullum

Saturday, January 31, 2009

New & Improved ?

I was somewhat surprised by how much my focus and determination for achieving my 2008 health and fitness goals increased when I posted them online for others to see. I thought of them numerous times throughout the year, spurred myself on by the thoughts of the end of year public "report card" and mentally checked off each item that was a single accomplishment as I did it.

  1. more water.....Grade: B I do great as long as I'm training
  2. regular flossing....Grade: B+ huge improvement - buying a metal dental pick helps
  3. regular vitamins.....Grade: C some improvement but still missing too many days
  4. more raw veggies.....Grade: B, more veggies (cooked & raw) .....Grade: A
  5. learning to use bike shoes/clipless pedals.....Grade: C I learned just in the nick of time - I had only 2 days of practice in December before I pulled/tore a muscle which has kept me off the bike for over a month, but those 2 days were enough to fall in a laughing heap on the road when I lost my balance trying to get my foot out of the pedal.
  6. swimming......Grade: A - not for speed, but for consistency of training until the pool closed for the season
  7. triathlon.....Grade: A - for training, completing and enjoying 2 sprints

Strange that even though posting the goals publicly was such a good thing for me last year, I haven't settled on any fitness goals for this year, other than to continue to improve in each of the above, and if my schedule and body cooperate, to complete an Olympic distance triathlon.

I would like to hear what health and fitness goals some of the rest of you are setting into motion for yourself for this year/season of your life....mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness count also, so young'uns and not so young'uns, please sign on to post or comment.