Special Visitor: The SMA Fighting DIVA!!!July 29, 2010 by Victoria
We had a very special visitor this week -- Ms. Lauren Lundy O'Connor aka SMA Getter aka Team Run For Owen aka Supreme Awesomeness!!! We adore Lauren! You may remember her from here or here. Or you may remember that in May Lauren ran the New Jersey Marathon in honor of Gwendolyn. Lauren is incredible. She inspires us constantly with her tenacity and go get 'em attitude, but also with her sensitivity and positivity and thoughtfulness.
Lauren loves running. She ran her first race in 2002, but after her best friend's son, Owen, was diagnosed with SMA, she has turned her running into opportunities for awareness and fundraising. And now every race she runs is in honor of a child impacted by this awful disease. She has made ending SMA her mission -- and she is doing an amazing job!!! But it isn't just her SMA fighting that makes her so amazing. It is how she does it, who she is, and her positive, fun attitude in all of it.
Just to give you a glimpse of what type of person Lauren is think about this...On the day of the NJ marathon in May, it was a record heat wave and Lauren wasn't able to complete the full marathon as planned, pushing herself to the half point to a respectable finish. To do any of this at all was amazing to us and we know Gwendolyn was proud of her a long time ago. But, Lauren felt disappointed. And so, while still dehydrated, hot, and exhausted, she decided she would run another half marathon for Gwendolyn to make it a full. The first thing she did when she got home was try to find a half marathon around Gwendolyn's birthday in October. And guess which one -- the DIVA half marathon being held October 3rd, the day before Gwendolyn's 3rd birthday! Isn't that just so fitting! And now she and Owen's Aunt Moe are running the Diva race for Gwendolyn and to fight SMA!!!
Our time with Lauren was so much fun. She flew in from NYC and then she and her awesome friend Dierdre took time out of their action packed vacation schedule to drive up to Santa Barbara just to hang out with us -- okay Gwendolyn They showered Gwendolyn with attention. Gwendolyn proudly showed off her almost finished big girl room. And then we headed to the beach to meet Bill for dinner. It was a tad cold -- okay freezing -- but we sat outside, listened to the waves, talked the night away, laughed and just soaked in Lauren's awesomeness. When you are around Lauren you just know that you are surrounded by someone very special, someone extraordinary. Gwendolyn was delighted to hold her hand the entire drive home and that night insisted on sleeping with her new friends -- "Lauren Ballerina Bear" and "I Love NY Monkey" -- gifts from, of course, Lauren.
We are complete fans of Lauren, her family, her friends, and pretty much anyone that this incredible girl wants to know...because, well, like I said, she's awesome. She's extraordinary. Thank you Lauren for taking time out of your busy vacation schedule to come spend time with us. We can't wait to see you again soon!!! And we're hoping Owen's baby sister - the newest Diva - (due in just 3 weeks) may get to come out soon, too!!!