Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Medals for Mettle"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I had received a phone call from the journalist that had previously written a few articles about Oliver asking if he could give my number to a woman from the 'Medals for Mettle' organization. He briefly explained to me that she wanted to award Oliver with a medal for the courage he has shown throughout his ongoing battle with cancer. I got off the phone and looked up the organization online to gain more information about it and found the following site...


"Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2005. Its mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life. As marathoners run through the streets, large crowds cheer the runners for their effort. Medals4Mettle lets these runners, healthy enough to compete in such an event, to return the cheers to those who have supported them."

I got a call from Jann Miller, a school teacher who is also an avid runner. We chatted for a bit and set up a time for her to come and meet Oliver. She came at around 1:00 on Saturday afternoon and sat down and asked Oliver some questions. Ollie's friend, Nick, stopped by to hang out for several hours so he was there for it as well. After our visit, she turned to Oliver and told him that someone that recently ran the Des Moines Marathon, October 17, 2010 donated their medal for this cause to honor Oliver's courage and bravery during his fight. She presented him with the medal and he was all smiles. The first thing he said was, "Wow... this is heavy!"

It was a special thing for Oliver to receive and I am grateful for organizations like this that honor the children and others who are fighting. I am grateful for the runners who selflessly donate their medals that they earned by not only running a race, but preparing and training for it. Working through grueling hours of running and training. Lots of blood, sweat and tears along the way and I'm sure there were times when they wanted to quit running, but they didn't. They kept going and got to the finish line and were awarded with the prize. A medal and a sense of victory in such an accomplishment.

Oliver's journey has taught me a lot about myself and others. I didn't realize that there are so many other organizations out there like this one. Organizations that want to sincerely help and honor our children. We want others to know our kids, to know what kinds of kids they are. This journey has taught us so much more about ourselves and what we don't do that we thought we did and what more we need to do. We all want our children to be remembered, honored and not forgotten. That is one of my greatest fears and worries -- that if Oliver passes -- I hope that people will still talk about him. He lived... talk about him. No parent wants their child to be forgotten.

1 comment:

Christi said...

This organization was feature in RunnersWorld last year. I'm so glad Ollie got a medal!!! Sending hugs!