2017-09-14 / News

“Race for the Dream” Fundraiser Set for September 16

BY LAURI ELBING
View Newspapers Correspondent


Ireland Morningstar 
Photo provided Ireland Morningstar Photo provided DAVISON — Ireland is a little girl with a big dream and her parents, Megan Strauchman and Mark Morningstar, have dedicated themselves to making it happen.

Ireland was born with cerebral palsy and her family learned that therapies that improve her quality of life are not only difficult to find and very expensive, but insurance rarely covers them, and some of them are so far away the travel is cost-prohibitive.

They are raising money to build a state-of-the-art, innovative medical center for children with cerebral palsy and are hosting the second annual “Race for the Dream” fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 16, in Davison’s Abernathy Park.

Get your best pajamas ready, because this is a Race for the Dream, and there’s no better way to do it except sporting your most creative “Dreamland Attire.”

There will be an award for best pajamas. There will also be awards for the competitive 5K run, and all participants will get a t-shirt and a little goody bag.

This year also features the “Cerebral Palsy Swagger,” which is for those who are living with cerebral palsy and their caregivers to walk, run, scoot, or ride ... whatever they need to do to cross the finish line.

It’s not too late to register for the race online and you can also register the morning of the race.

Race for the Dream details and schedule

• Location: Jack Abernathy Regional Park

415 W Rising St Davison, MI 48423

• $35 per participant (3 years old and up)

• Cerebral Palsy Swagger and children under 3 years old are free

• Registration starts at 9:30 a.m.

• Line-up starts at 10:30 a.m. with all Cerebral Palsy Swagger participants lining up first.

• Please wear your best (family friendly) “Dreamland Attire” (a.k.a. pajamas)

To register and get additional information, go to the Race for the Dream website: http://www.active.com/davison-mi/running/distance running-races/raceforthedream-2017 or website www.irelandsdream.com or look them up on Facebook.

Ireland’s Story

During the birthing process, an umbilical cord prolapses resulted in Ireland having cerebral palsy. Ireland spent her first 7 weeks of life in the hospital, as her parents waited anxiously to take her home to meet her two older brothers, Kael and Gabriel. She has a new little sister, Colleen. Ireland is now a beautiful little 5-year-old girl with a million-dollar smile that lights up the room.

“This was our first real world experience with cerebral palsy. Many people we talked to didn’t know about cerebral palsy,” said Strauchman. “Cerebral palsy is a variable type of brain injury that affects people in many different ways. Some children are only slightly affected, while others are permanently disabled, wheelchair bound, and need constant attendant care.”

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, however, there are many therapies available worldwide that can significantly improve that person’s quality of life.

“We were lucky enough to discover and use many of these treatments with Ireland, and have seen dramatic improvements,” said Strauchman.

“We truly believe that no child with cerebral palsy should have his or her treatment options limited by a parent’s financial status. Out of this belief, Ireland’s Dream was born.”

Ireland’s Dream was established to create a medical center that is fully-dedicated to the treatment of people with cerebral palsy and their families. The group is to raise $1 million and will fund the rest of the project through loans. If their dream comes to fruition, the center will have the latest in treatment technologies available under one roof and will be affordable so that parents don’t have to make a choice between paying the mortgage and helping their children. The future site of this center is Davison.

“We are hoping to get a great turnout from Davison and the surrounding communities,” said Strauchman. “We would love for Davison to be known not only for a state-of-the-art facility for those affected by Cerebral Palsy, but as a community that is truly generous and sympathetic to families needing this incredible care.

“I would also like to thank our generous sponsors. We are grateful for the financial support from Natural Wellness & Pain Relief Centers, Realtor - Ed Fletcher, Medicap Pharmacy of Davison, Art of Dentistry, Bossman Construction, University Compounding, Pharmacy Solutions, National Custom Solutions, National Environmental Group, as well as Stone Chiropractic, Rick Rhein Disposal, Rebekah’s Health and Nutrition, Hamilton’s Propane and Hank Graff Chevrolet of Davison.”

Learn More About Cerebral Palsy*

• Every hour a baby is born with cerebral palsy (CP).

• 1 in 323 American babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

• Globally, approximately 17 million people have cerebral palsy.

• It is the most common physical disability in childhood.

• Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of disorders. It is a condition that is permanent, but not unchanging.

• Cerebral palsy is a lifelong physical disability due to damage of the developing brain.

• In most cases, brain injury leading to cerebral palsy occurs during pregnancy.

• Cerebral palsy, except in its mildest forms, can be evident in the first 12-18 months.

• Motor disability can range from minimal to profound, depending on the individual.

• It can range from weakness in one hand, to an almost complete lack of voluntary movement requiring 24-hour care.

• Children with cerebral palsy are likely to also have other impairments in addition to their motor disability.

• Spastic hemiplegia, where one half of the body has difficulty with voluntary movement, is the most common presentation of cerebral palsy. Approximately 40% of people with CP have hemiplegia.

• There is no known cure.

*Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, www.cparf.org accessed September 10, 2017

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