Day 62- 

This was never about running. It’s about the stories of everyday Americans battling Rare Diseases. A story about America and her great People. 

Having an amazing, unscripted morning. Nothing less than fascinating and a prime example of the kindness of the American People and how we can all work together to lift each other up and help each other out. I am inspired. Meeting Veterans as well. And a special link to a local Rare Disease in Russelville, Arkansas. 

It started last night at the Super 8 Motel after I checked in. First of all, thank you to manager Nick for the complimentary room! 

It started last night when Michelle from the River Valley Leader arrived to interview me at the hotel. 
  
Did a brief interview, then she left. I slep. We made arrangements for her to come meet me on the Road this morning. I didn’t realize she shared the Run4Rare story last night. Awesome. 
As soon as I started my first mile, manu people pulled over to wish me luck. One guy named Will pulled over and introduced himself. 
So, this morning I met Michelle on the first half mile by the Russelville Court House. And she brought some locals with her. John Paul, Will, Erin, and Shannon- thank you. 
   

So I keep walking and Will joins me. Turns out he is also a long distance runner and has run the Boston Marathon a few times. I told him about my 2013 finish in Boston and how the State of MA and City of Boston supplied the Presidential police escort for the final miles past the Marathon finish line. He recounted being there when the April 2013 attacks occurred. Boston is a proud city and a proud people. Proud Americans. 
  
In further conversation, turns out Will is an uncle to a 2 year old boy named Brody Gommer who is battling the Rare Diseases – 22q Deletion and DiGeorge Syndrome. So today, I run. I dedicate today to Brody from Russelville, AR! 
Soon enough, I get a phone call from Super 8 Manager- Nick. He tells me the local Record Courier newspaper and the Mayor are on the way. Awesome! 
So Laura from Record Courier arrives as well as the Mayor Randy Horton. Laura intervied Will and I. And the business owners came out to greet us. I was able to tell them all about the plight of the 30 Million Americans with a Rare Disease and the reason for the Run 4 Rare. 
   

  

  

So I keep walking with Will for a mile or so, and he had to leave, but will join me later. Then…..a US Air Force Veteran named Wes pulls up. I explained what I was doing. I thanked him for his service and talked about the Flag I carry (courtesy of Travis Air Force Base- flown in Iraq last year). 

Wes asked if I needed anything. I half jokingly said “a backup American Flag” (in case high winds or tornadoes rip away my current Flag) ….and guess what?! Wes actually had an extra 3′ x 5′ American Flag with him which he gave to me. Awesomeness again. 


And as soon as he left, Randy and Melinda pulled up after reading my story (from Michelle’s posting). Turns out Melinda battled an extremely Rare   Disease which was “environmental” …not genetic. 

   
 More info later. 

This was all in the first 5 miles. 20 more to go! Rare Disease awareness at its finest when we all come together as a community and Nation. We are all in it together to make Every Life Matter. Gotta Run! Thank you Russelville! Thank you Arkansas! Beautiful states. Beautiful people. You are my motivation. #run4rare