As a husband and father and a man I face the same joys and struggles as most 30 something's: balancing time at work, with time at home; wondering if I am doing everything I can to be a good husband. Am I helping my wife and giving my three children the attention they each deserve, wondering if I'm giving them enough, or giving them too much, am I too hard on them, am I too easy on them, do they know how much I love them? Am I a good role model for them? Do I teach them what is really important in life "“ doing the right thing even when it's not the popular thing, helping others even when it means sacrificing of yourself?
However, I also face a struggle that thankfully most 30 something's don't. I struggle to find time with my daughter in heaven. I wonder if I am giving her the attention she deserves, am I doing enough to preserve her memory, to let her and others know that she is equally as important as her siblings?
While I rarely talk about this, it is something that is constantly on my mind. Elle is constantly on my mind. Especially when I run. Running is my time with Elle. It's my time to devote to her, to think about her and remember her. She helps motivate me through a difficult run and when I have a fantastic, easy run and I feel like I could go on and on, it's because of her.
All of this has led me to share my current mission with you. While I have run off and on since I was a teenager, until this year I have never had such a commitment to running. This commitment has come from many places; my desire to be healthy and fit and live a long life, to be a good role model for my children, and to spend time with Elle. So, I have decided to take what I love to do "“ running with my daughter "“ to the next level. On March 16, 2013 I am headed to our nation's capital to run my first marathon. I am seeking sponsors for the race and all money raised will go the Elle Foundation.
The Elle Foundation was setup by my wife and me, with the help of our family and friends, to fund research and treatment and to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Defects. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause that will undoubtedly help those suffering from CHDs live longer, fuller lives and prevent parents from knowing the horrible pain of losing a child.
No donation is too small to make a difference.
Please help us spread the word by sharing this page. With every mile I run, I am one step closer to my goal. Every time you share this, you are helping us take the next step to raise awareness for those 1 in 100 suffering from a CHD.
Our journey with Elle and CHDs will go far beyond March 16th and the 26.2 miles of this marathon so please join us on our lifelong journey by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theellefoundation
Zack & Elle
P.S. Why a goal of $7,212? That's $10 for every mile I will run between now and the race.
Quick Facts about CHDs and the Elle Foundation:
-- Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 birth defect.
-- Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
-- Approximately 1 out of every 100 babies is born each year with a CHD.
-- Nearly twice as many children die from CHDs in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for CHD research is only 1/5 that of pediatric cancer research.
-- The Elle Foundation is a 501c3 certified charity, so all donations are tax deductible.
-- The Elle Foundation is run on a 100% volunteer basis!