Indiana Donor Network wants me to do what…a 5k?!?! No way! But then, it hit me. This is for my brother. Ok, let’s do this. It just took one Facebook post. My sister and I shared the event with our friends and family on social media. Before we knew it, we established a team for the Indiana Donor Network 5k.
The day of the event, “Chris’s Crew” showed up to be a part of this event. There were 14 of us total that all rallied to show our support for Chris and celebrate his legacy as a donor.
As the 5k began, we all looked at each other, took a deep breath and started on our walk. In the time it took us to walk the 5k and pull along our little ones in their strollers and wagons, the memories flowed. We talked about Chris – what we missed about him, what he would be saying to us if he saw us. We also tried to make sense of why this happened in the best way we could. During the walk, we laughed, we cried and before we knew it, we crossed the finish line! We did it!
Taking a walk through the Garden of Hope immediately brought tears to all of our eyes as Chris’ face was right there in front. His great big smile was smiling back at all of us as if to say how proud he was of us. As we turned our heads, we spotted Boomer from the Pacers. A year prior to Chris’ death, he posed for a photo with Boomer flexing his muscles. It was only right for us to ask Boomer to do the same for us…and he happily obliged.
The people we met at the Indiana Donor Network 5k were amazing. There were so many families who had also lost their loved ones. Seeing the shirts and posters amongst the visitors was overwhelmingly emotional. There were so many people lost – but through all of this, there were so many people smiling, taking photos and remembering their loved ones together.
Our Garden of Hope sign has already been purchased for this year. We can’t wait to see Chris’ smiling back at us once again.
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