Running for a Reason

On your Mark.
I know some of you that know me from here on our little sandbar were probably wondering why I traveled 3 hours to run a 5K run that I could have run anywhere, heck I think there was one here on the Outer Banks Saturday. The reason for running Saturday's Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5K wasn't about the what, it was about the why.
Daddy, Me and Deanna

This particular run was in support of the Denbigh House, which is an innovative vocational rehabilitation program for individuals with brain injury who live on the Virginia Peninsula. The program seeks to help survivors of brain injury achieve greater levels of independence and productivity. If you would like to read more about them and their history you can find it here.
My best friend Mark, Wes and Sandra

Mark, Julie, Wes
Daddy, Julie, Me, Ed, and Deanna (I need a new sweatshirt.. it makes me look huge and I am not any longer)
You know how you go out and run a race for say the Food Pantry, but yet your family has never been hungry, you can say you did a good thing for a good cause, but it isn't quite .. it isn't quite.. I am not even sure of the words I am looking for, as meaningful maybe?  I can't say that about this particular run.
Promise and Shannon, my girl has some lungs on her! She's running this thing next year.

Steve.. yea he beat me darn it, he met his goal though. 
Our family, oddly enough, has been no stranger to automotive tragedies, sitting back looking at our extended family and the history it seems we have more than most, maybe it is because we are such a large family or maybe because we are actually close to even our second, third, and twentieth cousin six times removed. On October 18th in 1997 at 10:15 pm our family came incredibly close to losing my second cousin (or maybe it is First Cousin Once Removed... I cant keep all that straight), Wesley, he was involved in an accident which sent him to the hospital in Richmond to fight for his life. I remember the first time seeing Wes after the accident, there aren't words for me even to put here to describe what exactly I felt and thought at that moment, at the time I was living in North Carolina so it was days later that I saw him, I don't even want to think of the night of.  We all prayed, prayed, and prayed some more that he would pull through, that our Wes wasn't going to leave us. God answered our prayers and Wesley is still a HUGE part of our family today. Wesley has a personality that is larger than life, always has and always will, to know him is to love him and I am so grateful to have him in my life.

Angie and Sandra
Carrie and Justice
When all was said and done, Wesley had a brain injury that affected his speech and mobility, this is where the Denbigh House comes in. The way I look at it is this, if we as a family can potentially help just one more brain injury patient through our running and volunteering at this race then we have succeeded. There was no other place I would have rather been on this Earth on Saturday than with my family and friends giving it all we had for Wesley and the Denbigh House, and quite honestly, finishing the race, being there with Ed, Mark, my Daddy,  the rest of my family and friends, coming in second in my age bracket, or getting a Personal Record was no where near close to the best part of the evening, hearing Wesley over the crowd when the announcer asked if anyone was there for Lynn's restaurant holler "Mama!" was.

Jill, Aidan, JJ, and Isabella
Deanna, Daddy and Me coming into the finish
TT, JJ, and Wes, I can't tell each of you how much I love and admire you all, thank you for being such a inspiring part of my life.
Wes and Promise

If you have a chance in your life to give back to a cause or charity that you truly believe in or have vested interest in I suggest you take it, the feeling is amazing. Me, I will be right back in Virginia running the 4th annual Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5k in May with my friends and family, I mean after all I need to beat the Doc! :)

Much love to you all,

 Photos of the day by Theresa Ashberry, posting with permission.


thanks Re for the tears but they are tears of joy. love to you..
Stacey said…
This is wonderful and Great! I wish I was in town for it! I def will be there for the one in May hopefully!
Jay Bowman said…
well done, my friend.

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