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Editor’s Note: The Fourth Annual Run for Ella has been scheduled for Sept. 8 at The Cotton Mill Preserve on the Shelbyville Highway. Sara Brown, mother of Ella Brown, for whom the annual event is named, shares her family’s story and the importance of supporting this worthy cause.
By Sara Brown, Special to The Times
Have you ever stopped to wonder what you would do if your child was injured in an accident? How would you pay for weeks and/or months of hospital stays, therapies, doctor’s visits? Would you use that Christmas Club money? How about that money you’ve stashed away for a summer vacation? Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones with an “emergency fund”. I can tell you from experience, whatever you think would be enough to pay for a long-term illness will most likely fall short.
If you are like me, you don’t have a savings account set aside for “the day tragedy strikes your home”. Luckily, when Ella was hurt almost three years ago now, we were fortunate to have an amazing community who rallied around us and helped us weather the storm.
Often when we think of long-term illness or accidents, we think only of the astronomical medical bills that are associated. However, the day-to-day expenses are almost as staggering. Eating out three meals a day, gas money to go back and forth home, hotels, all while still maintaining a household for family back home is very difficult. In fact, it is almost like you have two homes, two lives. Your mortgage must still be paid. You still have to buy groceries for the family back home. It is simply amazing how quickly that “emergency fund” will dwindle to nothing.
When Ella was hurt, we were fortunate to have numerous groups and individuals come to our aid and raise funds to help us bridge the gap between hospital and home. Without your help, we would have quite possibly lost everything we had. As a result of those efforts, one of the fundraising events, the “Run for Ella,” has become an annual event hosted by a group of individuals whose goal it is to be able to assist other families facing tragedies.
In the last three years, all of the funds collected have gone to assist families in their times of need. The “Run for Ella” has raised over $32,000 and has been able to help six families in our community. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of love our community shows for families in need.
It is time, once again, for the 4th annual “Run for Ella.” I am pleased to say that the little girl who started this all is about to start the 5th grade at Unity Elementary. She also played orphan “July” in Carriage House Players’ recent production of “Annie”. I am amazed when I think of how far she has come and what a special role our community had in her recovery.
I am also proud to have Ella’s name tied to such a worthy cause. I never anticipated that our family would need the help of the community simply because I never thought anything like this would happen to us. But, it does happen, and it does not discriminate. Any family can be struck by tragedy at anytime. No one is immune to it.
It has been unfortunate to see several other children in our community experience incidents similar to Ella’s. However, it is good to know that the “Run for Ella” funds are there to assist those families in their time of need.
Please consider participating or sponsoring this worthwhile event this year. The run is scheduled for Sept. 8 and will include a 10k, 5k and 1-mile fun run/walk. The 10k and 5k races will begin at 8 a.m. with the Fun Run at 9 a.m. Please help us continue to help children and families cope with life-changing events.
For more information on registration and sponsorship, please visit the website www.runforella.com or contact Steve Swindall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931.205.3118.