The funny thing about being married to someone in the health field (Trent is a physical therapist in neuro-muscular rehab) is that my glimpse into his work life is limited. He can tell me about his day, his coworkers, and sometimes he tells me he had a rough or a rewarding patient, but because of patient confidentiality, he can't tell me much more. And he absolutely never tells me the name of any of his patients, even if I know them and they've said it is OK!
Then last spring he told me he was thinking about offering to push one of his pediatric patients in the Portland marathon. He explained that he had been working with this girl for 5 years and had gotten to know her and her family pretty well. She'd always wanted to be in a race, but her disease left her wheelchair-bound. Her uncle, who was a runner, had the idea to push her in a marathon, and Trent volunteered to share the pushing duties over the 26.2 mile course.
Finally, when all this was set in stone and the newspaper had been called, Trent agreed that I was going to find out anyway, so he could tell me this special girl's name is Sarah. Sarah has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. I'm sure I will give incorrect details if I give too many (and probably will anyway), so I will summarize and say that AMC is caused when any condition leads to lack of movement in utero, which causes the joints to fuse incorrectly. It's characterized by multiple contractures (like fusing) of joints throughout the body. In Sarah's case, long-term therapy (with Trent) helps her obtain and perhaps improve her movement abilities. I wish Trent blogged so he could tell you more! You'll have to ask him in person.
Because of the microphone situation, the board chairman didn't have Sarah say anything, but did present the award first to her.
Trent didn't KNOW he was going to be asked to say something! He graciously said that Sarah and her family were his inspiration and that they were truly the heroes. (Oh, did you just ask if I was crying? Um, why do you think these photos are blurry?) Here's a shot of Trent and Sarah after the program.
I can tell Sarah's whole family loves Trent. Her big sis had previously requested to sit next to him at dinner. :) I had a great time getting to know them last night. Afterwards, I talked to Sarah and said "I thought they were going to have you say something! Were you nervous?" She said, "I thought they might, but they didn't." So I asked her what she would have said if they gave her the microphone. She told me, "I would have said, 'Thank you, Trent, for pushing me in the marathon. I will never, ever forget it."