This morning, I’m running in my first 5K ever. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not much of an athletic person, and I have a particular aversion to running. There are a whole lot of reasons for that, but they mostly just boil down to: I don’t like it.
But today is different. There are a lot of races out there that support good causes, but the Hooper 5K is much closer to home for me than any other. That’s because the family being helped here belongs to my cousin, Jeremy Hooper.
About ten months ago, Jeremy was involved in a horrific car accident on the PA Turnpike in Philadelphia. The moving truck he was a passenger in hit a Department of Transportation (PENDOT) vehicle, and the turnpike came to a standstill for 8 hours. Surgeons had to be choppered in help extract my cousin from the wreckage, and he spent most of the rest of the day in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
There are a lot of unfortunate results from that accident, and one of them is that Jeremy’s right leg had to be amputated above the knee. An artery in his leg had been pinched by his own broken bones, and the lack of circulation to his lower leg meant the doctors couldn’t save it. That’s awful, but not quite as awful as what could have happened: The doctors said that had the artery not been pinched, Jeremy likely would have died before anyone even arrived on the scene.
One of the reasons why I wanted to run today is because about a year before that accident, Jeremy ran his first marathon. He could have run it just on his own, and upon finishing, I’m sure he would have felt a sense of great personal accomplishment. But when he ran that marathon, he asked for sponsors to help support the non-profit organization charity: water. Just this past week I got an update about the people Jeremy helped by running that marathon. His selflessness then is still having an impact on the world now.
Now, it’s our turn to help him. I’m not a runner, I don’t even pretend to be. But if my running (and probably some walking) can help Jeremy get the prosthetic he needs to have as normal of a life as he possibly can, then it’s the least I can do.
Even if you can’t be at the race, you can still help Jeremy and his family. Please visit the Hooper 5K website and consider donating a little bit.