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Thursday, May 26, 2011

This one is for you mom!

Every time I run a marathon and I have done four, I dedicate the run to someone. It helps me to get thorough the race when things get tough.

  My first race I ran for my nephew Brandon. He'd sent me a paper Flat Stanley doll as part of a middle school project.  I pinned Flat Stanley to my running number. Flat Stanley made the entire distance in just under 4 hours. When Flat Stanley returned to his owner he took my finisher medal from Lake Front Marathon with him.  Over the next three races I 've dedicated my races to various nieces and nephews.

The Madison Marathon will be no different. This race will be special since I have 4 Team CMT members running and it is my first marathon since my diagnosis. It is the race I will use to qualify for Boston.

 I am dedicating this race to my mom who passed away on March 26th of this year. For the last year my mom was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes. It was a real challenge to sneak in marathon training around visits.     She had dementia her last year, so she knew nothing about CMT and my work to raise awareness. I hope she would be pleased and proud and I intend to run a good race on Sunday in her honor.

There isn't a day when I don' think about her.  She was an old fashioned cookie baking, PTA attending, dinner on the table every night mom. When I was in high school she got up every morning and made me breakfast before my 6 am bus. When I wanted to go to a private high school, my stay at home mom got a job to pay the tutition.  When I was in the grade school musical, my mom who hated sewing made me a beautiful costume.

She never learned to ride a bike, but she encouraged me to be active.  Her parents did not allow her to attend college, but made sure I got the chance for an education.  She loved to cook and we spent hours cooking, baking and sharing recipes. For her food equaled love. You could not be in her house more than a few minutes without being offered something to eat.  We both shared a love of gardening and she would proudly showed me her garden whenever I visited.  She had a deep belief in God that gave her strength.  She instilled that faith and strength in me as well. My mom was fiesty right to the end and faced death bravely. I will take that same courage with me as I run. Hope you will be proud on Sunday mom! Madison is for you!

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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