austin head for the cure 2014
Team Kai at Central Texas Head for the Cure 2014

Earlier this month we had no idea that the Head for the Cure 5K would be in Austin. After Kai’s diagnosis, we became aware of the 5K, but assumed that we would be in treatment somewhere and would be unable to join. It pains me that things all happened so quickly and here we are, able to participate in the HFTC event this year, yet Kai’s physical presence was not with us.

There was a tremendous turnout this morning. Team Kai consisted of no less than 40 members, collectively putting in over 200 kilometers! While some of us trailed at the back, pushing little ones in strollers, Team Kai featured 3 of the top 11 runners! Chris G, Chris M, and Conor all posted blistering paces. (We now have a HFTC medal generously donated to Kai.) There was even a medal earned in the under 10 age group!

Chicago Altera group race
Amazing group of Altera employees and their families running their own race in honor of Kai!

In addition, these amazing people from work (in Chicago) organized their own 5K while we participated in the Head for the Cure 5K in Austin – we can add another 150 kilometers to Team Kai! While it certainly looks colder there, at least the sun was out. Sun’s out, Kai’s out!

This morning was tough without Kai being there. Still, I felt him with us. When the sun broke through to warm us from the chilly morning we made sure to tell Maya: “Sun’s out, Kai’s out!”. maya at atx head for the cure 2014I was excited to see so many people supporting brain cancer research and supporting both survivors and victims, yet at the same time it was saddening. Writing a message to Kai on a wall at the event brought tears to my eyes. Walking with Maya in the stroller brought tears to my eyes since Kai always had the stroller position while Maya snuggled in an Ergo up against mom. Seeing a distant colleague at the same event because he also has a connection to brain cancer brought tears to my eyes. I never realized that you don’t have to go far in the circle of people that you know before you find somebody with a personal connection to brain cancer (let alone cancer in general).

We all missed Kai dearly today but are glad that events like this are around to raise awareness and funds. It was a beautiful morning and taking the time to walk the course was calming. It was a rare opportunity to speak with friends old and new. Maya was able to sport her Kai’s Choo Choo Crew t-shirt and even made a new friend when she met Pierce. Maya isn’t a happy camper when she misses her nap and Pierce was able to get her to smile, which always turns out to be contagious.

I am thankful that I felt Kai today, even though I couldn’t physically hug him. Love you, buddy.


P.S. – How perfect is it that the 5K was held at Camp Mabry? Kai would always call out “airplane” or “helicopter” whenever we drove past Camp Mabry – there are some fighter planes and helicopters on display at the edge of the Camp such that traffic on the highway drives right past them. No doubt he would have loved running within feet of them today.

8 Comments on 200 kilometers

  1. What a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. God’s peace be with you, dear ones.

  2. Shawn,
    What a wonderful tribute to your special Kai. So many loving, supportive friends to help guide you through your pain and sorrow. You are helping others in a myriad of ways through your strength and honesty as well as through sharing emotions. Know that you and your family are in the hearts of so many- mine included.

  3. Wow! What an amazing turn out. So sorry we couldn’t be there physically today, but our spirits surely were. Love you guys!

  4. I will close my tear-filled eyes in the next few minutes, & pray for your sweet family before drifting off to sleep. I’m still so very sorry for your loss, but so thankful for Kai’s love & joy. Your words speak loudly to my heart. And knowing he’s healthy & whole in Heaven is comforting. May you see God & Kai as you go about your week. And may precious memories combined with the promise of Heaven bring you comfort & HOPE!! Will be praying.

  5. So glad to see Kai’s choo choo crew out in full force with the sun and Kai shining and smiling down. With love

  6. So thankful I got to be a part of Team Kai. I know he was watching us racing for him and playing with all of the helicopters and planes in heaven at the same time 🙂

  7. Yet another day when you chose “love and life” and God smiled down on you with the sunshine outside and the Sonshine within you. Thanks for allowing many to share this special event with you via your post!

  8. We couldn’t make it to Austin, but the Altera North Central office walked a 5k near the office. We had a turnout of 30, so please add another 150 kilometers for Kai.

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