Monday, July 25, 2016

And the Winner of the Inaugural Assisted Division of the Peachtree Road Race is...INCLUSION!

Ricardo and Matt win the Inaugural Assisted Division Peachtree Road Race.
PHOTO BY JORDAN D. HILL/JORDAN.HILL@AJC.COM
Hello K Peasey Nation...If you think the weather has been hot during the month of July, the Foundation schedule has been scalding. 

KPF started off the month on America's birthday with Atlanta's iconic race, The Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10k in the entire country with over 60,000 participants. That's a lot of athletes!

Peachtree even has a wheel chair division which was made up of 62 athletes this year. Brent and I have been working very hard along with the Atlanta Track Club and The Shepherd Center to create the first assisted division in the race's long and historic history. 

The inaugural assisted division was made up of five teams with the winners being Ricardo Aranda and Matt Shechtman who finished in a blistering time of just over 38 minutes. 

In an article published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Matt thanked Ricardo for his reassurance as "Schectman’s endurance weakened over time".
“Ricardo is an amazing lead and he keeps pushing me the whole way. He talked me off the ledge and kept me going. He’s an awesome puller.”
He continued, “The Peachtree is all about inclusion,” Schectman said. “Sixty thousand different people out here with 60,000 stories.”
It was a very historic Fourth of July with fire works all through the day and a perfect day to celebrate both independence and inclusion. What a perfect pair as in many ways the two travel hand in hand. 

Two days after Peachtree, Brent and I packed our suitcases and hit the road in the KPF RV with a final destination of Muncie, IN for the Muncie 70.3 1/2 Ironman.

It was great to see some familiar faces on the course each of which inspired us to a personal best of 33 minutes for the 1.2 mile swim. We followed that up with a great bike portion of 3:56 for the 56 miles ride and followed that up with a very solid 1/2 marathon for a personal record of 6:28:00.  

We can't thank KPF athletes Tina and Naomi Hicks enough as they made their way to IN to support us. 

Brent is participating in his own full Ironman race this weekend in Sonoma Valley, CA at Vineman. We will be rooting him on and encourage him to spend more time on the course than in the vineyards. 

We are getting ready for a very busy schedule with the Lekotek Fun Run on August 13, a local triathlon on August 27 and then the People's Marathon aka the Marine Corp Marathon on October 30th in the Nation's capitol just a few days before the presidential election.  

Don't forget to check out our site for information about Bowling with Kpeasey, The Jake Vinson Family Grant and of course, Camp Wheel a Way!

As always, Together We Wheel!

Friday, June 17, 2016

KPF Schedule Is As Pretty as a Peach (Tree)

It seems as though I start off each blog post with the same general sentiment and that is to say, "It's a busy time of year for the Kyle Pease Foundation and our calendar is filling up by the week." That's because it's a busy time of year for the Kyle Pease Foundation and our calendar is filling up by the week.

We had a record breaking turnout for the Virginia Highlands 5k and everybody seemed to have a great time including new and veteran athletes alike. Now we turn our attention to the largest 10K in the United States;  The Peachtree Road Race which just happens to be in our back yard of good ol' Atlanta, GA.  

We so excited that the Atlanta Track Club and the Shepard Center has allowed us to compete in the race with bibs for five teams. Just a couple years ago, Brent and I were dubbed as pioneers as the first assisted team to run this race and now thanks to these two organizations we have grown five-fold.

We have a whole weekend of happenings and this is one of our biggest fund raisers of the year. Greg and Christy Smith have graciously opened their home for an evening of fun that will highlight the Peachtree Road Race and The Kyle Pease Foundation. We are so grateful and excited to share the gift of inclusion with some amazing people. Thank you to the Smiths for opening their home to our foundation. 

Join us in our friendly bet where KPF Fans can wager to support their KPF favorite team at our website. This is a fun way to support KPF while cheering for your favorite KPF team.  

The Monday following the race, Brent and Kyle will hit the road for the 70.3 mile Half Ironman in Muncie, IN on Saturday, July 9.

So as stated earlier, it is a busy few weeks.  As always don't forget to apply for the Jake Vincent Family Grant and to sign up for Camp Wheel Away.

And do not forget, Together We Wheel. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spreading the Message of the Kyle Pease Foundation from Coast to Coast

It's been quite a stretch for the Kyle Pease Foundation as we have done everything from speaking at SAP Financial in the City of Brotherly of Love to traveling to Montgomery, AL for another speaking engagement. We then flew to the west coast for the Bay to Breakers Race with our main man, Curtis Ward to cap off an incredible two weeks. 

Curtis and I have had a very special relationship for the longest time as we played adaptive sports together several years ago and now he shares the road with me as a member of Walking with KPeasey. It is a true honor that our paths crossed again.

Curtis shared his thoughts about our trip together following the race, "My experience in San Francisco was perhaps the best race I have competed in so far. The Bay to Breakers was an interesting event as the racers threw soft shell tacos into the crowd along with marshmallows. Though that was interesting the highlight of the race was running with my friends."

There were two fundraisers held in CA for us. One was put on by
Brent's very good friend, Jeremy Carter, who also pushed Curtis. Jeremy works in Napa in wine country. The event was a Low Country Boil where they served sausage, corn, shrimp and wine. It was a great event and a wonderful time was had by all. 

One of my very first caretakers from Emory University was Suzanne Becker. She threw a fundraiser for us at a local bar. It was great to see her and her husband, as well as, seeing my former caregiver Anna Shields. 

It was great to spread the mission and to make more people aware of what we do. 

As always it was great to hang out with my brother, Brent and to spend some quality bro-time. 

Don't forget about submitting your application for the Jake Vinson Family Grant and until next time, Together We Wheel. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Kyle Pease Foundation: We're On The Road Again

Though Willie made it famous, Kpeasey is putting it into practice over the next couple weeks, taking the Kyle Pease Foundation on the road.
 
As I'm writing this, we are in the midst of the "Boston Sweet Tea Pahty", with our own Atlanta Hawks tossing the Celtics into Boston "Hahbah", while the Braves scalped the "Sahx" in the final game of their four game set. How good it feels to rub it in the face of our social media director "Tahd" who makes the "Bahston" area his home.
 

Now that that's out of the way, we have a busy couple weeks on both the speaking and the racing circuit that will take us from coast to coast. At the end of April, Kpeasey was all over the state of Georgia, enjoying races in Augusta and Atlanta.
Little Miss Naomi has been on a roll, racing  every weekend throughout the month of April. We are so proud of her and thrilled that fans think of the Kyle Pease Foundation whenever they see her race. She is becoming one of the many familiar faces of KPF.

Brent and I, along with Michael Ragan and Naomi, joined Greg Smith and Marin, at the Pace Academy 5K (Marin's school) last week. We were also joined by Jim Balckburn, Tina Marie Hicks, Cary Liner and Joltin' John Pulliam. Well represented team of KPF blue.
 
We are so excited and honored to be speaking next week at SAP Financial in Philadelphia. How fitting that Brent and I get to speak in the "City of Brotherly Love".
 
We will be following that up with a trip to the left coast where Zappos.com Bay to Breakers 12K on May 15th.  Curtis Ward will be joining us in San Francisco and enjoying the beautiful sites the city has to offer. We will also be speaking at two locations in "The Golden Gate City" while raising funds for KPF.
Don't forget to sign up for the Jake Vinson Family Grant. You can visit our website to apply.

Getting ready to pack the suitcase, blast some Willie and get on the road....again. Remember, Where there's a wheel there's a way.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Doorways

Open a door for Kyle, and it has a tremendously positive impact on his day. Without people opening doors for Kyle, for us, we'd still be sitting outside with our metaphorical nose "pressed against the window" hoping to be invited inside.

Yesterday, names were drawn for entry into the Ironman World Championships and our name was excluded. That door has not yet been opened. We both badly want to race Kona. It's been a personal goal of ours since our first triathlon together, but there is an added goal of helping to open more doors for the athletes we serve.

They say when one door closes another opens, so we are now searching for another opportunity for a door to swing ajar.

Racing brings us great joy, a thrill of competition we both yearn for and we hope that many doors remain open for that.

To those that have opened doors for us, we thank you. For those that remain closed, we simply ask that you hold one open and help us roll through. For as Kyle says, "where there's a wheel, there's a way".

Together we wheel
#kpeasey2kona
~~~~~~~
 
 
https://teamorder.serviziocorse.com/index.aspx?pc=1710B1A2-9C17-4289-AFE5-0C591D1889DC

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

KPeasey Turns Over The Microphone to the Other KPF Athletes

One of my favorite parts when watching a concert is when the lead singer refrains from singing, holds his microphone out over the adoring crowd and lets the audience shout out the words to the band's hit song. There is something magically exciting and refreshing when the fans shout out the lyrics to a familiar hit song. 

So following last weekend's incredible Publix Georgia Half Marathon, where we were blessed to have 28 athletes and over 100 volunteers cruising the streets of Atlanta wearing KPeasey blue, it seems equally exciting and refreshing to turn the blog over to the athletes and their families and revel in the words and feelings of their personal experiences. 

Before I turn it over completely, however, Brent and I, along with the Kyle Pease Foundation Board want to thank everyone who participated in making this the high water mark to date of the Kyle Pease Foundation brief history. As is always the case after a big weekend like this it takes me a few days to finally come down from the high we all rode.  And what a special weekend this was.  The growth of this event and the growth of our crew at the starting line is a testament to each of you. Whether this was your first Publix with us or your fourth, we thank you all for joining us!

What we saw in the starting corral at 6:40 on Sunday morning was built by all of you. Your trust, your courage and your faith in proving that where there is a wheel there is a way was seen in a sea of blue!!

We cannot thank each of you enough for your dedication to our mission and we look forward to sharing the road with you again soon.
 -Brent and Kyle 
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one of you. Today. Was. PERFECT. And you guys made that happen!!

I can't thank Brent & Kyle enough for allowing me to be a part of today. Gotta say, looking back at a sea of blue at 6:50 this morning had to have been one of the most joyful moments of my life! 
Until Next Time...Helen Gardner

Today was my husband and my first time as push assists. We had the honor of being a part of Team Destiny and Team Sherry. This experience has forever changed the way we run. Being a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and helping athlete's and family's dreams come true was, to say the least, life changing for us. We are so grateful for organizations like Children's and The Kyle Pease Foundation that make it all possible. #togetherwewheel. 
 -Thank You! Emily Stoniecki


There was a moment during the race when I asked myself the question so many runners have asked themselves. Why am I doing this? Yes, I know running these races is for my daughter but there are plenty of fantastic volunteers who would love to push her. I don't have to be the one to run behind her. Than I looked up and saw a street sign: Hudson. Hudson is a little boy who is no longer with us. He was the first child I knew with the same condition as my Rebecca and seeing his name reminded me that every moment with Rebecca is a special one.  It's been almost five years since Hudson passed away. Time does not heal all wounds, but we can choose to keep running, have fun, and finish the race. This morning I packed up the Publix half medal, shirt, and Kyle's book and mailed to Hudson's mom. 
- Marjan Holbrook



Today, I rode my bike in the Georgia half marathon with the Kyle
Pease Foundation. The Kyle Pease foundation is a group that helps people with disabilities. We got put up in a hotel by them yesterday afternoon. It was so awesome. They also provided dinner for all of the runners and I met my runners at dinner. I had four girls who ran with me. Kyle and Brent (his brother) talked at the dinner. There were 28 wheelchair athletes who were being pushed. There were a lot of runners. There were a lot of people cheering me on the way. It made me feel awesome, normal and good about myself.  
-Hank Poore

Thought for the day: Where do I start? 
  • hearing Rebecca cheer for her mom to run faster
  • stopping in the highlands so Sara and Bill could cheer and hug Rebecca and Marjan, awww
  • the five of us crossing the finish line together smiling, laughing and ready for more.
  • struggling at miles 10-11 and realizing that my struggles are nothing compared to what the Holbrooks deal with daily. 
Nothing can describe how wonderful it is to see what the Pease Foundation does for children like Rebecca. I can say wholeheartedly that throughout the years, I've seen Rebecca at her best and her worst. Rebecca's at her best during these events; when we're pushing her at these races and she's smiling and cheering and yelling "runner/wheelchair back" in her own special Rebecca way, and at her worst when I'm caring for her in the hospital and watching the KP joyful paradox is indescribably wonderful. Bless the Pease Brothers/family and all those who are involved that help make these special moments and dreams come true. 
                                                    Sincerely, Gary Harris, RN, BSN

I knew this was a worthy cause,  but being a part of the actual race will change the way I look at racing as well as those with disabilities. We met some amazing people that have battled the odds to cross that finish line.

A special thank you to our Captain, Matthew and his mom, Karen. They made the long trip from Rome, GA away from the comforts of home on Saturday to be ready for the race on Sunday. With a 4:45 AM time for departure from the hotel, it was a long day for all.  

Matthew did great.  He loved the crowd, the sun (at the end), the cheering, the music and especially the speed bumps and potholes. At first we tried to avoid them, but then saw him laugh and smile when we did hit them, so we kept on hitting them. His laughter lit up the course and was infectious to those who ran near us. The picture I have included shows just a taste of his amazing smile. We finished strong as a team, got our medals and have already discussed plans for next year.

I can't thank you enough again for your donations.  Please contact me if you would like to hear more about the race or the KPF. 

                                                                     Thanks, Matt Harrison

Dear Helen, 
I was able to catch up with Brent at the finish line, but didn't see you to tell you thanks personally. I cannot thank you and Brent and Kyle enough...the entire experience - pre-race communication, fundraising, the race (both Saturday's pre-race events and Sunday) was absolutely perfect. For me, this was by far the most fulfilling race experience I've ever been a part of...truly life changing to push Matthew with Larry and Matt and watch him grinning. I tear up and get chills just thinking about the joy that was on his face the entire time. We already asked Karen if we could push him for next year's race. 

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. Cannot wait to participate in more events with you guys! 
                                                                                    Tony Berwald

I've heard Brent say that "I loan Kyle my legs, and I use his spirit." -and I truly understood that yesterday, pushing Hank Poore in his chair. No matter if it became windy at times, or a little cold or hot, Hank never let up-pedaling the entire way (making our jobs easier with his constant work!), sharing with us the sheer joy he felt to be out there, and inspiring us to keep going. 

I had worried that it would be much more difficult to run a half-marathon, while pushing a wheelchair. In fact, although I may have done the physical pushing, Hank was the one who pulled us through, all the way to the finish line, with his indomitable will. 
Darria Long Gillespie

Yesterday was so awesome.  My favorite part was when, en masse, our whole group started making our way to the start line and a large group of runners waiting in the port-a-john line spontaneously started applauding as we passed.  That made me so happy.
Standing at the starting line, I felt like I was part of something big. Part of a movement that is going to grow and grow.  I've done over a hundred races that were all about me, but it's way more rewarding to run for a cause like KPF and I look forward many more.  Kyle is a hero of mine and I am so lucky to know him. 
-Cordially, Scott Stafford

Thank you all for one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  The smile on Matthew's face during the race was something I will never forget and the other athletes I met along the way will be in my thoughts every time I go out for a run.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help in the future! 
-Larry Lindberg


When I first learned about the opportunity to participate in the Georgia Half Marathon as a pusher, I immediately thought of my cousin Trevor. Trevor spent all nine years of his life between his bed and his wheelchair, with his view of the world largely confined to what he could see from his bedroom or out the car window. To think of what this opportunity could have meant to him, not to mention his parents, made the opportunity to push Sherry that much more special for me. In my nearly eight years at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, I’ve been fortunate to play witness to some intensely humbling and emotionally charged moments. Sunday’s race afforded me a unique opportunity to be a part of such a moment, and it’s a feeling that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am grateful to Sherry and her family for trusting in our team to get her across the finish line, and I am in awe of the people who give tirelessly of themselves to make such experiences possible for both the in-chair athletes and those of us blessed  enough to be among the pushers.



Meg Flynn
Manager, Social Media and Content
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Kyle, Brent, and Helen,
I submitted the survey but I also wanted to personally thank you for
letting me run with you guys this weekend. It was an amazing race and an amazing experience. I loved running with Curtis and my team. I know everyone is still coming down from the craziness of the weekend but I wanted to let you guys know that I'd love to run with y'all again at the Peachtree Road Race if there's a spot on a team available. I'd much rather run with someone again and have a blast than hope to get selected in the lottery to run by myself. Also, I've been talking you guys up here in Augusta trying to get some other runners interested in joining the team. Take care and I hope see and run with y'all again soon. 
-Mike Laird

And before we go, check out the view of
 the race from Team Naomi's chair...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Wave of KPF Blue To Take Over Publix Half This Weekend

Among the hundreds of unforgettable moments we have experienced since the birth of the Kyle Pease Foundation, in a mere 48 hours we will be in the midst of experiencing the Grand Daddy of them all.
 
When the starter's pistol sounds on Sunday morning, Publix Georgia Half Marathon, 28 KPF athletes and their volunteer will be crossing the starting line, representing the largest contingent of  half marathoners to ever don KPF blue. That's right, over two dozen athletes and nearly 100 volunteers will be rolling through the streets of downtown Atlanta for 13.1 incredible miles.
 
I am absolutely overwhelmed at the number of people who will be participating and envision a wall of blue traveling through the city. This is our biggest year to date and every year we continue to grow.


Personally, Publix is my favorite local race, not only because it is in  our back yard, but also because I am of course a long time Publix employee. It gives me great pride working for an organization that sponsors this incredible hometown race.


The crowds will be amazing especially around the Rally Corner at Virginia Highlands and I can't wait for the wheels to hit the pavement. 



We would like to thank all of our sponsors. Children's Hospital of Atlanta  has come forward to be a supporter for this race as well as a special thanks to all of our other wonderful sponsors.


If you're in the Atlanta area, this weekend, please come out and cheer on our athletes, as well as, meeting the athletes on Saturday,  March 19 at Gordon Biersch Restaurant in Buckhead where we will be hosting an event to thank our volunteers, rev up our athletes and meet our friends and fans.
 
If that isn't enough exciting news, we will be joined by two incredibly special guests who will be running with us this weekend.  Brent and I are so excited be joined by Amy Downes and Kamran Zokai, the incredible duo who helped Brent and I complete the NYC Marathon when our running chair disintegrated. We are thrilled to be hosting them for the race and help that the KPeasey faithful will thank them for their willingness to help us last November.

Together We Wheel ~