Courage--a word we've heard a lot lately floating around this great country. Many people are talking about the people who have the courage to stand up to bullies...about the people who have the courage to stand up to someone who assaulted them...and about to those men and women who display courage everyday fighting on the front line protecting American’s overseas and domestically. All of these people display great acts of courage, but there are some people who often get forgotten in the conversation about courage-- people who have to wake up each and every day and simply have to fight just to be “normal.” The people who struggle just to make the day to day because of a disability, disorder, or disease.
Some of these people are wheelchair bound, like my buddy Kyle Pease, who is competing at Ironman World Championship in two weeks, and some of these people have a genetic disorder and/or a neurological disease, like my daughter Olivia. To me, these are the people are courageous as they face the odds each and every day. They don’t complain, they don’t speak up, its life and they wake up every day ready for a new fight.
Olivia was born on October 25, 2012 on a Thursday morning in the city of Houston, TX. She spent the first two weeks of her life fighting in NICU. We did not know at the time, but Olivia was born with a rare genetic abnormality, that we discovered when we found out that Olivia was having seizures, and was diagnosed with Epilepsy. At just 7 months old, Olivia had been through more tests and procedures than I, her father, had ever had in my lifetime, to try and figure out why she was having the seizures.
Today, Olivia is one of the happiest kids you will ever meet. She has a gorgeous smile, a kind personality, and a laugh that makes everyone who hears it smile. Which brings me to the reason for this blog.
Epilepsy, is something we have to deal with every day, it’s our norm. From driving in a car, going to school, to
vacation and being sick, we have to take precautions just to be on the safe side. We are some of the blessed ones that Olivia’s medicine controls her seizures 90% of the time. If you had met Olivia you wouldn’t have a clue.
My BFF’s (Jeremy and Paul) and I will be racing Waco 70.3 in three weeks. Our main goal, to raise awareness. Personally, I will be donating a dollar for each minute I am on the course to the Epilepsy Foundation General fund in Olivia’s name. We will be selling T-shirts with all proceeds going to the same fund. The T-shirts are a testament to the strength that we have seen in this little girl as she faces life.
What I am asking, whether you are racing, or coming to cheer, is help support my BFF’s and I raise the awareness of those affected with this terrible disease. While you’re out there, swing by the Mindright Endurance tent (check social media for the location of the tent as race day gets closer) on the run course and hear one of Olivia’s laughs, I promise it will put a smile on your face.