Thursday, September 22, 2011

For Zoe

Last Saturday morning, approximately 30 people came together to form Team Zoe and participate in the Briggs and Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.  Team Zoe, one of many, many teams of walkers/runners, is the team formed in honor of my baby cousin, Zoe Mae, who was born with a congenital heart defect.  Now, almost a year-and-a-half old, Zoe is doing well.  It was really important for me to be a part of the team this year as I wasn't able to be there last year for Zoe's first walk, and I am so glad I was able to be there to experience the event with my family.

Though it wasn't an extremely early start to the day, a Starbucks stop was necessary, so I made my way there and ran into a few Al's participants on my way inside.  Then, I met Mom, Grandma, Deb and Auntie Lynn at State Fair Park.  From there, we took a shuttle to the Marquette campus, which was where the run/walk began and where Team Zoe was gathering.  As a very, very proud UW alum, I make it my mission to hate all things Marquette and normally wouldn't dream of spending time in enemy territory, but I was willing to briefly put aside my Badger pride in order to meet up with everyone and get the show on the road. 

Before the race began, we all got bandaids for our T-shirts, which we put on the heart that made the "o" in Zoe.  Then, we gathered at the startling and began the 2011 Al's Run and Walk.  Ed and Kaleena decided to walk the five mile course, and most of us joined them - it was a really beautiful morning for a walk, so five miles was no big deal; it was sunny and pleasant the entire time.  Volunteers were positioned all along the route and would cheer when we came by.  A "We Love Zoe" sign traveled with our group, and the volunteers and cheerleaders would cheer for Zoe whenever they saw the sign.  Zoe was very tried by the end of the race (she missed her morning nap), but she was a trooper, as she has always been, and she even walked across the finish line with her mommy and daddy.  It was a really sweet moment..and it must have been a great feeling for Ed and Kaleena, who have been through so much with Zoe!

After the walk, Team Zoe spent a bit of time hanging out and had lunch before parting ways...our group had to catch a bus back to State Fair Park. All in all, it was a wonderful day.  I enjoyed celebrating Zoe's personal victories and supporting Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and look forward to doing the same next year.  The only thing I am disappointed about is that my camera ran out of battery power just as I was trying to snap a picture of Zoe crossing the finish me when I say it was a really touching moment!

getting ready for the walk

Team Zoe T-shirts

The Italian ... with the Italian 

Deb, Auntie Lynn, Grandma, Mom and me 

Gearin' up 

Ed and Kaleena 

and we're off 

on Marquette's campus...anything can happen once

The whole group is together for the last time
ZOE <3

Walking like a big girl!

 cousin Dylan, Ed, Zoe and Kaleena

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