Yoga Reaches Out – New England

I wasn’t planning on posting tonight. I have been focusing on living in the present and so many amazing things have been happening that I’ve been doing my best to stay off my computer. It’s involved a lot of reflection inward and grasping what it truly is that I want and what I need out of life. Today was a step in the right direction and completely eye opening.

As some of you may know I have a team called One Love for Yoga Reaches Out New England Yogathon. The yogathon is a massive event held at Gillette stadium on April 26th to raise money for Boston Children’s Hospital and Ben Speaks. I was originally excited to be involved in such a project merely because I love giving back and I love yoga, win win! However, after attending my first planning committee meeting I was able to see that there is SO much more to this event.

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When I first arrived at Boston Children’s Hospital this morning I was greeted by amazing women who were involved with yoga and fundraising in so many different ways. It was truly a gift to hear their stories and what led them to Yoga Reaches Out. I was so happy I took the time to attend the meeting and hear the stories of these fantastic people, but it didn’t stop there. Once the meeting started we dove right into event planning which was a tad out of my wheelhouse but was great to listen and absorb as much information as possible. It’s absolutely mind blowing the amount of logistics go into an event of this magnitude. However, it was what came next that truly inspired me.

Dr. Scott Pomeroy and Dr. Charles Roberts gave us the rundown of the exciting new developments in not only understanding cancer but finding a way to kick its ass. They both spoke about Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors or AT/RT. It’s a rare but extremely aggressive brain cancer that primarily effects infants. Both doctors were able to break down the research they were doing and how fundamental fundraising is for them to continue their research. I couldn’t help but feel excited by the prospects of children and parents no longer feeling trapped and hopeless. The doctor’s were genuinely fired up; it was like seeing a runner right before a huge race that they had been training for all their lives. These doctors are nothing short of passionate and it was impossible to not feed off their energy. My next post will have more details about their work. I’m not comfortable attempting to summarize their presentations without the facts. Luckily, they’ll be sending along information in layman’s terms so I will absolutely add that to the blog later on.

Once the doctor’s had given their speeches I was mind blown yet again when a couple, Cameron and Aileen Routh, told their story of the daughter they had lost to AT/RT. Now they are doing absolutely incredible work to help find a cure for AT/RT in memory of their beautiful daughter Avalanna. I have never been so overwhelmed with emotions. The excitement from the doctors, the sadness for the strong couple that sat before me telling their story, and finally the push to do more and fundraise more.

The meeting ended with an exciting opportunity to tour part of the hospital. They had renovated a huge portion of the hospital to make it more kid friendly. It was amazing. They had beautiful fish tanks and large interactive TV screens for children to feel more comfortable. It was small things that really showed how much care and effort is put into every aspect of the building. The stairs were musical so as you climbed up to the second floor you could hear sounds pouring from the speakers. Even as an adult I was jazzed! The tour guide spoke of all the events they have in the hospital and how even if a child is too sick to actually attend the event everything is live streamed to their televisions in their rooms.

It was impossible not to notice the care and thought that was put into every corridor of this hospital. They hung art that was made by patients and told us they regularly change the artwork so the parents and children don’t find the halls monotonous. There is even a family center where people can stay when they have to drop everything and come to the hospital. This includes computers, televisions, private rooms, yoga and meditation, and a full library not only for leisurely reading but also so parents could research their children’s ailments and find comfort in new knowledge. There is also an international center where people can speak to someone who knows and understands their language. The workers in this office know up to 72 languages! It’s just amazing the attention to detail found throughout the entire building.

I realize this post has nothing to do with being vegan and nothing to do with ultra running but it was something I couldn’t help but share. Today was extremely impactful and eye opening. I personally don’t know any children with cancer but I have had relatives pass away from the disease. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to go through that process with a child. These kids and parents are the strongest people in the world. They make me want to be better and do better.

Below is a link for my team One Love who is currently fundraising for Yoga Reaches Out. Please feel free to donate, and if not I appreciate you reading my words. There’s no way for me to describe the experience I had today but I promise you it was eye opening on so many different levels.


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