Why you should support the Miracle Kids Triathlon
In the last 2 years, I personally fought the cancer battle and won, but I’ve yet to get back to the ranks of a true athlete. I am hoping that yoga and long walks will get me back into the Minneapolis running community.
Fortunately, I am in a family of triathletes who inspire me daily. My husband competes to win his age group, and my step-daughter races in triathlons to raise money for kids with cancer and their families. Year round, she can swim the butterfly with the best of them.
I’ve yet to get over the mental hurdle that running for me is stroll; my idea of biking is a leisurely ride on a beach cruiser; and isn’t swimming just an excuse to lay out at the pool? Not so much for Brian and Camila. They are the athletes in the family.
Father and Daughter Athletes
Brian’s weekly workout involves swimming, biking, running, and his new found favorite, paddle boarding. He is race-ready all year long. Although he’s raced many an Ironman Triathlon in his day, after a few-year-break he’s been back in the game. I couldn’t be more excited for him. His mind is free. His heart is open. Physically, he is at the top of his game. He looks great for 40-something racer, and my baby is fast!
Camila takes after her dad, and she has been racing herself for the past several years. Summers for her, involve the Miracles of Mitch triathlons. It is a kid’s triathlon in the Twin Cities area that raises money for kids with cancer.
What is the Miracles of Mitch Triathlon?
Mitch was a nine-year-old boy with bone cancer who wanted to give all his money to other kids suffering from this disease. Before Mitch passed away, he made his dad pinky swear that he would continue to help other kids with cancer and their families. Thus, the Miracles of Mitch Foundation was born.
All the money kids raise goes directly to help kids and families battling cancer. Camila carries around the baseball cards of Mitch’s all-stars who are other kids with cancer. Each year she races for one of the all-stars and last year, she also raced for me during my battle with cancer. I’m a big kid I guess. She wrote my name in sharpie on her muscular leg. All the triathletes do to remind them of who they are racing for, and that when the swim, bike or run get tough, they can remember the kids by name, who are battling cancer.
Honoring Kids with Cancer
Before the start of the race, the triathletes parade in for a pre-race ceremony to honor kids with cancer (who are sitting on the stage), remembering Mitch, and being reminded of why they are racing: “racing for kids who can’t.” Last year, the parade began with the kids with cancer and their families walking in to Mariah Carey’s When You Believe, blasting over the loudspeakers. It was hard to hold back the tears so I just let them flow. They were proud, strong, and beautiful.
In 2011, many of the kids shared my bald hairstyle. I broke down thinking of how they had to suffer the pains of chemotherapy. No one should experience that. As Brian and I wiped our tears and clapped for the families, a dad tenderly looked in our eyes and said “Thank you.” We smiled and nodded because we were connected by this cancer community.
The rest of the racers walked in by age group. Brian and I whistled for Camila as she paraded by. We are so proud. She is connected to the race, the cause, and looks forward to these races all year.
Donate to Help Kids
Her next Miracles of Mitch triathlon is coming up on August 17 at Lake Ann in Chanhassen. Athletes, runners, please consider giving, volunteering and finding out more about this great cause.
If you would like to contribute to her race, please visit Camila’s fundraising page.