We asked our friend, Jamie Morhard, why she runs with Victory Junction at the Run to Victory. She graciously shared her family's story with us.
Runners are strong. You have to be strong to run long distances. Or to run up a hill. That's what is was like for our Lily her whole life. She was running up a hill, trying to prove herself. And oh how she ran!
Lily Grace Morhard was born on June 3rd, 2015. Until the week before I went into labor and delivered her via emergency C-section all seemed perfectly well. It was a total shock when she was born with spina bifida and a cleft lip and palate. It was an even bigger shock when she was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder, a week later.
But Lily was strong. And we had to be strong. Lily fought through a spinal surgery, extubation, trach and g-tube surgery, and multiple infections. One infection finally took her from us three days after her two-month birthday.
Even though she is no longer with us, her strong, fighting spirit left an impact on Earth. It impacted her dad and me. Our families. Our friends. Our church family. Other church families. Friends of friends. Strangers. We have boxes of cards and letters to prove it!
I knew about Victory Junction because my cousin had landed her dream job there just two summers before. Once Lily was born with spina bifida and then Trisomy 18, it became a dream of mine that she would one day be stable enough to attend Victory Junction. She never physically made it there, but through a campership fund set up in her memory and the first Team Lilystrong, Lily's fighting spirit finally made it to Victory Junction in September of 2015 at the 10th Annual Run to Victory.
Lily is not alone.
There are so many children with strong, fighting spirits who are fighting through illnesses and life limiting diagnoses. Victory Junction is a place that helps strengthen children and their families and gives them hope to keep running and to stay strong.
Run with Victory Junction on September 17 at the 11th annual Run to Victory and give families hope to run against all obstacles in their life. Register: runtovictory.org.
About Victory Junction:
We believe that every child, no matter their illness or diagnosis, should enjoy normal childhood experiences. Victory Junction is where children, whose lives are filled with limitations and boundaries, face fun challenges and discover just how resilient they are. The camp experience is not just about playing games, it is about helping children learn more about their abilities and what they can do.