October 18, 2015 Evening
If you are new to my writings or the Christian Bryant Foundation or Team CMB, I need to explain...this was “Race Weekend.” We have a team that runs or walks for the 7Bridges Marathon/4 Bridges Half Marathon and 2 Bridges 5K in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s an incredible and very scenic race, each time you cross a bridge, you cross the Tennessee River. This was our 4th year to celebrate “Team CMB” for this race. We were the very first Team for the race and I have to say that Scenic City Multisport, which is Kenneth Radley and Jay Nevans continue to support us in amazing ways each year. I am thankful for them and their team. I do not have final numbers for our team, but I know the whole event grew tremendously this year.
Race Weekend has been amazing. Yesterday at the Expo, we had the opportunity to share the Mission of The Christian Bryant Foundation more than ever before. We met some special people yesterday. One couple, the Claytons, seemed very interested in our merchandise, I was standing off to the side, not listening, initially to their conversation with Bailey and Chris. Well I became more engaged when Bailey told me once again, we have to take credit cards. (That will be corrected before our next event)! I started talking with the couple. I learn that their son was diagnosed with leukemia at 8 years old (I hope I have that right). We talked about Christian’s story very briefly, I gave them our handout that describes the Foundation. They are from Birmingham, Al. We discussed some things about the hospital there and I shared my visit and talk with the pediatric residents at Children’s of Alabama. I learned that their child died in 1989 (I hope I have the year right). Before they left, they both hugged me and encouraged me and Chris about the future. I have their contact information and plan to contact them very soon. Another special moment was when this lady and her daughter where just looking around our tent. They started asking questions. At this point Bailey was very engaged and answering and telling them about Christian’s Foundation. They stayed for a while and just visited. We learned the Lady’s yougest daughter’s best friend has just been diagnosed with cancer, I think Leukemia. They live near Atlanta. Yesterday, It was so amazing and humbling listening to Bailey talk about The Christian Bryant Foundation with so much strength and eloquence. I am very humbled by Bailey and her ability to share hard stuff. Watching Bailey honor her sister, her closet friend’s memory is incredible. I am so blessed to be Bailey and Christian’s Mama.
This morning, we arrived very early at the Race. Our first helper was Gina Wells. Then we had other helpers arriving. Becky Cullum was in charge of our Tent today and we were honored to use Fast Break’s Tent’s today. Thank you to Michael Green and Alan Outlaw.
This is the first year we have tried to have a Team prayer prior to the race. Our first prayer was led by Cara Sandlin, and then after our marathoners started we had another prayer led by Louis Fordham. Thank you to Cara and Louis for praying for our team and our children and The Christian Bryant Foundation’s Cause.
Today, my first special moment was that Corbin Cullum arrived. I did not know she was going to be there today. We hugged tight and I cried. All of Christian’s closest friends are seniors in college now and are very busy. Today, Christian’s first friend, Kathryn Bryant ran and her roomate, Tess (placed 2nd overall for the female runners in the 5K) and Corbin, worked the tent all day. I received messages from a lot of her other close friends this weekend and I so appreciate those messages.
I really just want to thank everyone that ran or walked for Team CMB today. CMB stands for Christian Moseley Bryant. The nurses that run every year in Christian’s memory continue to inspire me. There is an incredibly special Pediatrician (he was a first year Resident when Christian was sick and he spent the last 8 weeks of her life with her and us), his name is Thomas Barros, he lives in North Carolina now and he has run every year and traveled the past 2 years to run. Today, Christian’s former assistant Cross Country Coach, Sara Gahan, ran pushing her toddler for the endurance of the half marathon, she traveled from Kentucy andbrought friends with her. Another running mate of Christian’s, Hutton Baird Ivey ran the half marathon and brought 3 friends with her from South Carolina. Another special person running today was Julie Patterson and her 10 year old son. They also traveled from South Carolina. They did the half marathon and had an incredible finish. Lela Moore, a GPS alumn, traveled for the 4th year to run from Brooklyn, NY, she ran a fast half marathon today. Many of our runners had top finishes overall and in their age division. We had so much support from our work families today, our GPS family, close friends and so many that joined Team CMB because they support our cause. At least 6 of our runners have also lost a child, having them with us today was incredibly special. I will never be able to name every team member by name, but I am so thankful that each of you want to support the Mission of The Christian Bryant Foundation. We have some amazing runners that run every year and support Christian’s Foundation. Thank you for running or walking this year. And finally, this year we had an incredible photographer, Sarah Foley, that captured the day for us. Sarah, thank you for blessing us all today with your talent and gift! I cannot wait to see the pictures. Remember to love deeply, forgive often and find your blessings - Robyn Bryant