My name is Chelsea. I am 27 years old and originally from Wausau, Wisconsin. Shortly after my husband joined the military, we had our oldest son, Jayson, who has Down syndrome.  We lived Fort Riley, Kansas for seven years and had two more children, Jaxon and Clara.  When my husband medically separated from the Army, we moved back to Wausau, to be with our family.  While in the Army, we were quick to realize we didn’t know much about Down syndrome, but we knew we wanted the best for our kids.  Upon returning to Wisconsin, we noticed we knew little about civilian life or what resources there were for Jayson.  Luckily, I met some lovely ladies at the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin that showed me the way.  One of the ladies brought up GiGi’s Playhouse of Wausau, and their mission”…to provide therapeutic and educational based programs to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.”  Right then, I knew I needed to figure out a way to help, so Jayson and other children , can get what they need to thrive in today’s world. GiGi’s Playhouse is a great organization and I’m excited to see it grow.

 

I started running a few years ago, after I had Jaxon. My family (my mom, sister, and brother) was obsessed with running. They ran 5Ks, 10K, half marathons, and full marathons while I was pregnant with Jaxon and Clara. To say the least, I felt left out and wanted to see what the hype was about.  Come to find out, it’s a great way to clear the head and burn off some steam, and find yourself.

 

Last year, when Clara was five months old, I ran my first half marathon. I felt like death by mile 11, but I would definitely sign up for that race again.  Even though I was incredibly nervous, a selfless woman sat next to me and helped me calm down.  She was telling me about her story: what she does now (teaches water aerobics), her goal to run 50 races in a year, along with her marriage struggles and how they used running to make their relationship stronger than ever. She didn’t care about how fast she finished, she just wanted to cross the finish line.

 

Since then, I’ve kept up running and plan to continue for as long as I can. This year, I signed up for my first marathon, the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon (my mom, sister, and brother all ran their marathons there) on May 19, 2019. I asked myself, “why am I sacrificing my time to train for a race just to say I completed it? Why not do something more?” Gigi’s Playhouse is a great organization, so close to opening! I would love to help them by raising $2,000 by May 18, 2019. If you can donate a little or a lot, anything helps! All funds raised will go to GiGi’s Playhouse of Wausau…and a fun fact: they’re partnering with the Special Olympics. How amazing is that?!

 

Thank you for your time and consideration to helping this great organization!

Please use this link to support Chelsea and GiGi’s Playhouse Wausau: https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/138b171a-41a2-4789-a784-fdd5c37e5ff0?prv=448390 

 

 

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