Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Disney Marathon and Victory Party

***For those of you that read our family blog too this has quite a bit of repeat information but we have a lot of people that check in on Kate and not our family. I felt compelled to share the victory party story there too. There are new pictures in this blog though.***

Kate was a trooper for the first 2 days at Disney and came out to cheer on the 1/2 marathoners on Saturday and then back on Sunday to cheer me and the other marathon runners. Both days she and the family had to get up at 5 am to be there as supporters too, so it wasn't an easy task.
I can speak for myself (and my friends that ran the 1/2) when I say that it was very motivational seeing her cheering on the sideline. I finished the marathon feeling very tired but super excited that I'd made it. My friends even handed Kate over to me and she ran the last 100 yards of the race with us. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's -Team in Training had an amazing "ball" (aka victory party) the night of the marathon. All 1,900 runners and family members were present for the celebration. Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy were there for photo ops which was a huge plus in Kate's book! There was yummy food and dancing, dancing, dancing.

Quick story - After the race a guy came up to us to take our picture. He made mention of something about "my son". I quickly told him that she was my daughter, no big deal really but I didn't want Kate to feel bad. When we got to the party the same man came up to me and asked me if I remembered him. I actually didn't but he recounted the story and apologized again. He asked Kate if she'd go up and dance with him and she hopped right up to head to the dance floor. He told her not quite yet but he'd grab her later. Then he heads up to the stage where he begins to DJ the party. Turns out that he is the MC and travels all over the coutry to TNT races and DJ's the parties. He also photographs the race and puts a slide show together of those pics. Turns out that he took the BEST picture of us too. Here is a picture of the slide but we are working on getting the actual shot because it was so good.

Kate was itching to get to the dance floor so we headed out to get the party started. I so wish that I'd had my video camera to show you how that little girl was bouncing her hips and getting her groove on but a picture or two will have to suffice.Here is a picture of the DJ showing off his "Kate button" which TNT made for our team to wear during the race.

The DJ asked Kate if she was ready for a dance and then brought her up onto the stage. It was cracking me up to watch this girl shake it and dance in front of thousands of people without batting an eye. Kids are so funny - sometimes they can be shy in the presence of a single person and other times not mind an audience of a thousand! Here the DJ was teaching Kate the cabbage patch. Hilarious!

Kate danced nearly the entire 2 hours. Only pausing for a character photo-op and then was back on the dance floor. One of the neatest moments (and one that I'll remember my entire life) was when the entire dance floor formed a huge circle and everyone was taking turns dancing in the center (high school flashbacks anyone). Anyway, Kate hopped out in the middle and strutted her stuff for a second when the DJ said "Group Hug". Everyone closed in tightly and my friends and I were right next to Kate, then the purple and green confetti shower started. This really was like a scene in a movie. I look down at Kate and see that her angelic face, surrounded by bodies in looking upward with a smile pure happiness at the confetti coming down. The DJ was playing the last song of the night, Simply the Best by Tina Turner. We were all singing and hugging with tears streaming down our faces after we saw Kate's reaction to the moment. It was magical. I am sure that I haven't conveyed the moment as I felt it but hope you could catch a glimpse of the magic.

We left the evening on such a high that I think rivaled the marathon. It was very touching to see Kate having so much fun and living in the moment. My teammates were so wonderful with Kate and made her feel so special. We are going to miss them so much. Love you guys!


Crystal said...

Congratulations, Carolyn! Sounds like you had such a great experience. That photo of Kate kissing your cheek is adorable - I know that both of you must be so proud of each other.

Angela said...

that moment was my favorite too...Kate looking up during the group hug and her joyful spirit reflected in everyone's eyes. I wrote about it in my letter. I will never forget it or the dancing machine that is Kate

Anne Hatch said...

The photo of Kate kissing you says it guys are amazing!

My favorite marathon moment was meeting up with you after you crossed the finish line and watching you hug Jason. The two of you are strong and have been through so much...

I love all of you!

Kari said...

I could read about your experience over and over and get emotional every time!!

The Smiths said...

You rock girls!!! Carolyn it is so awesome you were able to do the marathon! And little Kate...we pray for you every night and read your blog to keep up with you! Hugs!!!

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