Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, ’Slim’s Journey FARA 5k run/2.5k walk’ was held in Warrenton, MO at The College United Methodist Church for its 6th annual benefit for FARA (Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance). This was my second consecutive year participating in this journey and as last year, it was a memorable experience. My Team ‘Gotta Have FAith’ grew by 11 people from last year to this and I hope each year this event is held, my team will keep expanding.
As stated in the event title, this was a 5k run or 2.5k walk, but my team totally rocked the 5k walking style. Over achievers, we are. This was done totally by accident as we had a few stragglers running fashionably late to start the race; and by the time we started we couldn’t see what path the other racers took, so we got turned around and made a couple turns that led us down the running path. Even though we started late and walked the run, my team were troopers. Gotta Have FAith finished with sweat, hungry bellies and smiles – they’re all the best!
After the race, everyone is invited down to the church basement for some delicious eats and some mingling with all the other racers. I saw some familiar faces from last years race and met more FAmily, as well. And Slim’s Journey had the pleasure of welcoming the infamous, Kyle Bryant, to his first Slim experience, which all were super excited to have him. Kyle is very dedicated to FARA and makes a lot of effort to physically support an FA event. If you haven’t met him yet, you need to!
Here’s a little background on Slim’s Journey:
Jeff & Julie Myers are proud parents to their daughter and son. Their son has FA and raising awareness is very important to Jeff and Julie.
Slim’s Journey represents two things...Slim is a nickname Jeff called their son growing up and it also represents the rarity of the disease. There is a lot of symbolic things included in the logo and in the shirt designed every year. First, there is a heartbeat line in the logo. The heartbeat line represents the part of the disease that is the most fatal--cardiomyopathy-- when the heart muscle becomes enlarged. A possible side effect of FA and that disease (cardiomyopathy), like FA, currently has not treatment or cure. Julie explained, “the heartbeat line is also the symbol of hope, which is the focus of our event in which we define Hope by giving Him a name. And that name is Jesus.”
“The symbols of slow, stop and reverse were added on the back of the shirt this year to help others remember the goals of FARA - to slow, stop and reverse FA. And the shirt design this year depicts a person with FA running without the need of a wheelchair toward the cross. It is a reminder that our pain and suffering while in this world are just temporary. One day, whether it be in this world or when we are with our Father, we will all be healed, including those we love that struggle with FA. The person is running to the cross, to our one true Hope. And you may notice only the person and the crosses have shadows. The person and the crosses are "present" tense. The wheelchair (whether physically or metaphorically speaking) is a thing of the past. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have the opportunity to run to the comforting arms of our Father and it is there we will find rest.” -Julie Myers
This year's event raised over $20,000 for FARA. AMAZING! And to put one of the attendees, Ben Tyler, on the spot, had the highest donating team; raising $2,200! Woot! Woot!
One more shout out goes to ‘Creekside Place Church’ having the most amount of team members - 22. Holla!
All in all, this journey was wonderful and heartwarming and I encourage all to participate in the years to follow to [continue] to be a part of the FAmily. YOU WONT REGRET IT!