A Role Model: From Children's Hospital Los Angeles and beyond

It all began with Children's Hospital Los Angeles. That much is not a secret and I have said that from the beginning. When I went to the camp for children and families that are affected by adrenal insufficiencies, mainly Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, I wanted to give back to the hospital that saved my life. It was a way to make it real to those families that there is the opportunity to have a life full of adventure and it was my way to help the doctors and staff  of the CAH Clinic to make it real by having a person who lives with it daily speak to the families and not another medical person speaking.

This is why I call myself an ambassador and fundraiser for the hospital. There is a constant need to provide monetary support to continue the help the CAH Clinic provides. Please, if you have the opportunity consider making a donation of any size. The link will be at the bottom of this blog. No scrolling down, that's cheating. You must read this whole blog! :)

Amazingly, CHLA gave back to me in the most incredible way. Late last year, I was interviewed by one of two Sarah's that have been a tremendous help at CHLA. At the urging of the first Sarah, she was writing a story about me, my return to CHLA and Tri-ing By 50.

The story came out the week of the Los Angeles Marathon. It blew my mind! There I was on the CHLA website wearing my Charlotte Running Company Racing Team shirt in the Marine Corps Marathon. The title says it all, Finding Inspiration from One of CHLA's First Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Patient.
This part of the story makes me laugh every time: 'Rewind to June 2016; Mitchell Geffner, MD, head of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, received an intriguing email. “It was out of the blue. I think he must have had an epiphany,” says Geffner.'

That is the best word for it Dr. Geffner. It truly was an epiphany!

The response to the story was overwhelming. The comments on the CHLA Facebook page were incredible. It was Tweeted and Instagrammed. Also, the CARES Foundation posted it to their Facebook page. This was when things got crazy. There were comments on their page, people reached out to me through email and crazy enough, people that I had no clue who they were started liking my various social media outlets. I even did some messaging with a couple mothers of children with CAH.

I am learning so much that I didn't even know about CAH from these contacts!

One of the most moving messages came from a mother who said that it was nice to have a role model to show her children. It's what I hoped would be the outcome of Tri-ing By 50, but to actually have it told to you is extremely humbling. I am an ordinary person who is not spectacular at running or triathloning (if that is a word). My goal is to finish events. That is my goal later this month in the Huntersville Sprint Triathlon. It is my goal when I participate in IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta at the end of September. If that is being a role model because of CAH, than I will gladly accept the title.

Interestingly, I have even been invited to attend another camp for children and families living with adrenal insufficiencies. I will keep you updated about that.
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