Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fiver's Flamingos 2013

How does one start something like this? I guess you go back to the beginning, which in this case would be Mel, AKA Fiver, and we are her Flamingos. Back in 2007, our friend Mel ( , AKA Fiver) was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Essentially, it causes all the motor neurons to shut down, gradually making the muscles unable to function. It's very rare (1 in 1 Million) for someone who was only 34 years old to come down with this, as it mainly affects people between 50 and 70. Life expectancy is 3-5 years from diagnosis. The disease progressively takes away movement and coordination. In September 2007, she marched with fellow LotR fans in the annual DragonCon parade. Six months later, she was wheelchair bound, now has a permanent feeding tube, and can no longer talk or move outside of blinking her eyes. To say that we all (Mel's friends) felt more then a bit helpless would be an understatement. How do you fix something that can't be fixed? The answer is, you can't. But what you can do is take a page out of Mel's book, slap a smile on your face, and always look on the funny side of life. So 4 of us did something spur of the moment in 2009, when we got together to run the inaugural Disney Princess Half Marathon (13.1 miles) at Disney World. I threw together some team jerseys with iron on letters & princess stickers, and we dubbed ourselves "Fiver's Flamingos" in honor of Mel, who loves both Flamingos and Disney more than anyone we know. In 2010 we teamed up with The ALS Association of Georgia ( to help raise some money to find both a cure and treatments for ALS, as we ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon again that year, 2011, & 2012 with some new faces on the team. ALS Research had a major breakthrough last [...]

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