In life it seems we are always absorbed with the idea of finishing, be it a race to our degree. We are so concerned with what it looks like to finish that we may not think of who even gets to start. For the past few years, The Guides of Texas at the UT Visitor Center have emphasized and encouraged students to do the Longhorn Run. They even had practice sessions during the weeks that meetings weren’t held!
It was up to the student to decide whether or not they would or would not participate, but when Amie Jean was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis it seemed fate had made the decision for her. With fatiguing muscles, nerve pain, and muscle deterioration on her left leg, running was not an option. In fact, due to her change in gait functionality, she physically cannot run and uses a wheelchair as a mobility aid. Patrick Olson, her supervisor at the UT Visitor Center, had experience and a passion for running and was aware of the marathon lifestyle. Growing up near Boston, a marathon city, Patrick had observed a runner pushing his son and knew hope was not lost for Amie. He believed she had the opportunity to both start and finish the race with a racing chair.
They were excited but soon found out the racing chairs were very expensive, ranging from $1500-3500. With help from Ainsley’s Angels of America, who provided a chair on loan, Patrick, Dylan (whom they recruited for more help), and Amie were able to complete the Longhorn Run. They even finished within the top 50! We want UT to have chairs of their own so all students, no matter their difference in ability, know they can participate fully supported. But we can't do it without your help.
Will you help us finish this race with the funding we need to ensure every student at UT can fulfill this dream?
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A full marathon is 26.2 miles! Each racing chair comes with brakes to ensure safety when moving downhill for all racers. Slow down and take a picture with us after LHR2019!
In 1977 Team Hoyt, creator of the racing chairs used was started. They have an awe-inspiring story that informed Patrick of the possibilities during his time in Boston. We want an orange one! We bleed orange!
On 4/13/19 we'll be at the starting line and you've helped us reach the finish line. Each chair is pretty expensive for the, so every dollar counts. Generous donors like you will make our students' pursuits reality.