Pam + Maida = Running
Team Pamaida Seeks Your Support!
Approximately one year ago, after 12 years without running in my life I was matched with Maida, a 2 year old, black and tan German shepherd. I never dreamed I would be able to run again let alone run whenever I wanted to without having to coordinate guide runners and schedules. Maida has made it possible for me to run again. I’m currently training to run the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler at Bear Mountain in New York on May 13th. My goal is twofold; one I needed a running goal, something completely different from what I have done in the past. I’ve never raced more than a 15K so YES running a technical trail 50 Miler matched the bill and secondly I want to give back to an organization that has given me and so many of us with blindness the gifts of independence, freedom, empowerment and the confidence to live life despite the challenges that accompany blindness.
Last June Maida and I began training together in order to become “one” runner. Through the incredible support and training from Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB); Nick Speranza, and Ben Cawley we learned to run together. Maida became my running guide. I got back the sport I so dearly loved– the sport that played a tremendous role in my life. I’m a runner again!!! Without Maida, without GEB Running Guide Program, without the love and support of the GEB family, without the courage of the GEB leadership team to embark on something never done, without the support of John and JT, without my race guides Nick and Mike there would be no 50 Mile race at Bear Mountain for me. Maida is one of my key training partners putting in mile after mile, day after day, week after week. This race will be equally challenging and rewarding. It will test my physical and mental limits. Maida will not run the technical terrain of Bear Mountain with me on race day. Maida is training me to run that race. My race day success will depend on my human guides Nick, and his friend Mike who are both sacrificing their races to be the eyes that lead me to the top of the mountain. Maida will be at the finish line waiting to reunite, waiting to celebrate the TEAM’s success! Coincidently, this race takes place 25 years after I climbed to the top of the podium for my coveted gold medal. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that success.
I want to give back to Guiding Eyes for they have given me so much and thus the development of this fundraising initiative on their behalf. A small token of appreciation for the gift they have given me and for the fine work they do with so many individuals who are blind and visually impaired. There is no greater feeling than that of independence, confidence and freedom–just some of the things one gains from having a guide dog, the gift given to so many from the effort and commitment of the Guiding Eyes for the Blind staff, board, and volunteers.
It’s truly a TEAM effort! Please join my TEAM by making a tax-deductible contribution to support the fine work done by Guiding Eyes. You can make your donation in honor of my efforts by clicking the link below and at the box titled Support a Project please click on “Pam and Maida Fundraiser”
Thank you for your support!
In the coming weeks I will develop a Facebook page that chronicles this journey and I hope that you will “like” the page and visit it for updates as well as share it as we can TEAM up to raise awareness and conquer the stereotyps often assciated with blindness. Many of you reading this have played a key role in my life journey and we’d so greatly appreciate words of encouragement as the feat that lies ahead is not one to be taken lightly. Remember I’ve only been running 10 months after a very long time away from my sport so we cherish your support. Six weeks to race day!