Friday, July 15, 2016

David's Journey Marathon

When you pray, move your feet.
African proverb

Today I witnessed an outpouring of love for David. It's a miracle David is alive after his July 2013 deadfall from an 8 foot ladder onto a concrete sidewalk. As an electrician he was performing a routine task when suddenly sparks flew.  He was found sprawled on the sidewalk with blood pooling. He was rushed to Health Science Centre where he was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury. Placed on life support in a comatic state, he was not fully expected to wake.


Eleven days later he slowly returned to life... back to life, ever so slowly. Learning to walk and talk took years of intensive therapy, but daddy had returned and that was good enough for little Liam.

It's a journey no one ever wants to travel. From receiving the phone call at home to the work site to the Health Science Centre to Riverview Hospital and back home again.   This was David and Mandi's journey and today it became the journey of 24 runners strong. Unlike David's 2013 journey, today's journey was a celebration of life and family and community. Today's journey brimmed over with hope and optimism. Today's journey was happy chatter, laughter, and gentle teasing. Today's journey was about love and family.

David's amazing wife Mandi organized today's journey to raise awareness and funds for Manitoba Brain Injury Association.  Her friend Junal charted a 26.2 mile course along the route and used his full charm to encourage others to support the journey (caution, it's near impossible to say 'no' to Junal, his charm will soften the most bitter of hearts). We gathered at David and Mandi's home at 7 AM and pushed on through the journey. Twenty-four runners strong, we pushed and pulled one another.  Our very own, and much beloved Natalie (an intrepid runner in her own right) joined us for the last leg (is it just me or does Natalie inspire others to no end?). We also had the pleasure of Fast Eddy from British Columbia join us for a portion of the journey... how cool is that!?

It was a slow dance.

It was a perfect dance.

It was a dance of love and grace.

I send my thanks to my friend Sandi who first invited me to David's Journey several months past.  I thank Mandi for her dedication to her family and for her love of David. I thank Junal for his spirit and unbridled energy.  I thank Scott for carrying me over the line. I thank Winnipeg's running community for their inclusivity, for their love of diversity, and for moving their feet. I thank David for being the man he is today; a daddy, a husband, and an icon of hope.

Most of all, I thank the Manitoba Brain Injury Association for piecing David's life together and the lives of many, many other untold journeys.

Well, it is obvious, but worth repeating... especially today, especially now...

It's a good day to be alive.


To donate to Manitoba Brain Injury Association David's Journey click here.