Sunday, September 27, 2009

Walk for PKD 2009

Yesterday was the 2009 Hudson Valley Walk for PKD. As usual, the day was hectic, fun, emotional and exhilirating all at the same time! The alarm went off at 5:45 and thankfully, we had all but Brian up out of bed on their own before 6:30. A quick breakfast and we were on the road a little after 7:15, getting us to Bedford Hills right on schedule at 8:15.

Jeanne and I started out by setting up the Hudson Valley Chapter information table while TJ pitched in and help muscle some tables to their proper spots. A small football that our walk team received in our prize basket served as more than enough entertainment for Brian and Jason, who were very happy to have Luke join in the fun with them.

After a while working the chapter table, Heidi asked me to work at the registration table, helping people fill out forms to submit their donations at the walk and pointing people to the proper places to check in. I helped here last year, and think I'm getting quite adept at recognizing the "I'm not sure where the heck I'm supposed to go" look on people's faces. I like this job, as it is a good chance to meet folks and hear some of their stories about why the walk. Once person was down from Rhode Island and was wearing a T-shirt from a PKD Comedy and Music festival. I asked her about it and learned that it taken place every August for the last three years. This sounds like it might be a fun weekend trip for next summer. I'll have to google it up and find out exactly when and where it takes place.

A little after 10, the opening ceremonies were run by Sam and then the walk was off. TJ and his ham radio were at the front of the walk. Jeanne had a bit of a headache and wasn't feeling up to walking, so she decided to stay behind at the pavilion. Since I was helping with some last minute registrations, I got a late start and had to jog the first 1/4 mile or so to catch up with the rest of the family. For a while, we were keeping pace with the rest of the group, but then Brian and Jason started to tire, and we eventually ended up the same place we do every year - the back of the pack.

The good news is that by walking at the back of the pack, I was able to meet Bill Brazell (aka Kenny the Kidney), who is a member of the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees, and had the pleasure of chatting with him for a while as we walked the route. At one point, when I began to tell the story of how PKD is affecting our family, Bill suddenly interrupted: "oh - are you the Bob from Team Teddy Bear?" Apparantly, he had just been reading through this blog the other night and recognized my story. Bill's a wonderful guy, so if you ever see a seven foot tall kidney walking down the street, don't be afraid to walk up and introduce yourself.

Once we got back, it was time for the post-walk festivities. TJ once again received the second place youth fundraiser award for raising over $1000! Great job, TJ! And, after four years of trying, I finally won some of the famous Grossman family maple syrup in the raffle! Can't wait for our next pancake breakfast.

After the walk, it was back to our house for a little post-walk eating and relaxation. Since Friday was Mom's birthday, Jeanne had ordered a cake to celebrate the occasion - turned out the cake was her 5th birtday cake in as many days. Better spend some extra time on that treadmill this week, Mom.

Pictures? Well, those will need to come later. You see, I have this bad habit of leaving the camera behind. I think it's a subconscious response to my other bad habit of dropping and breaking cameras. But, Dad has some pictures and I'll post some of them as soon as they get passed along.

Thanks again to all of those who have supported us this year. I've lost track of our official total at this point, but I know it is now over $4000!


Daniel said...

Congrats on the great walk! I work at PKD Foundation HQ and head up the social media efforts. Keep an eye out in the coming days for a link to your blog from the foundation's Facebook page (search FB pages for "The PKD Foundation). Keep up the great work!

Sheila said...

We were proud to be part of the Walk for PKD in Hudson valley. The family thoroughly enjoyed it, and you guys of course pulled off a great event once again :) Great people, great time!

Bob said...

I've been following and enjoying your posts on facebook.

Thanks, but most of the credit for the great event goes to others, especially Heidi, who took the giant step of putting the first walk in place a few years back. My role is pretty small. It's really special to have your family walk with us. I know it's no trivial task to throw three little kids in the car first thing in the morning and drive a couple of hours to the park.

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