"Maya has two older sisters she adores and admires, and wants to emulate. Ella is in eighth grade and can run like the wind. She loved the Girls On The Run program at her school, so of course, Maya wanted to join the program too. She can't run as far or as fast as the other girls, in fact, she can't even walk without canes or crutches. To be honest, there were times I wondered if having her participate was inspiring or just a reminder of what she couldn't do.
But to my joy, the other girls were very supportive and made Maya feel like she was one of the group.There wasn't a dry eye at the finish line when you could hear the clump, clump of those crutches and see the determination on her face as she completed [a portion of] her first 5K race.
Yes, it breaks my heart when she asks "why can't I be free like everyone else," but her spirit teaches us all a lesson on will and attitude.
Maya has worked all year to be a part of a 5K last weekend just after her uncle passed away and she was only a mile in and her crutch broke and she fell to the ground and couldn't finish, so many of the participants in the 5K came to help her and they got her to the finish line so she could cross on her own. This was very devastating to her since her mobility is already limited and it happened in front of her peers.
An adaptive bike will be the help she needs so she can participate in endurance events."