We originally created this blog to keep family and friends updated about our little man Jacob, who was diagnosed in the summer of 2011 with a rare, life-limiting genetic disease called Niemann-Pick (type A/B). Jacob earned his angel wings on November 15, 2012, but remains our daily inspiration and constant reminder that we must live in the moment and fill each day with JOY, LAUGHTER and an abundance of LOVE.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Running for Rare

We're still feeling the love from our incredibly special time spent with friends last weekend. Several months ago one of my best girlfriends, Jen asked me if I'd be interested in running a half marathon in San Francisco. I've run several endurance races in the past and even ran a half-marathon in New Orleans when I was a couple months pregnant with Jake. However, the timing wasn't right and I used my old knee injury as an excuse for not being able to run, knowing that my real reason for not running was because I would be 7 months pregnant by race day. Baby Brooks #3 was still a secret at the time.

Well, a couple months ago it turned into much more than 'just a race'. Jen had gotten together a group of our friends and other Jacob supporters to run in memory of our little angel. She even designed special running tanks with Jacob's picture that say "I'm running for a Rare ANGEL," complete with ladybugs and the words PERSEVERE ~ NPA on the back. Of course, the minute I found out, I broke out into happy tears because I was so honored that my friends would be willing to pursue a challenge of this magnitude fueled by the love they have for our little man. If you've ever run 13.1 miles, then you know it's not an easy task. There were many miles of training runs, sweat, blisters, and happy tears that went into this race.

Needless to say, I knew that even if I couldn't run the race, our family would 100% be there to cheer everyone on as they crossed the finish line! I even managed to squeeze my baby bump into one of the running tanks, because you know I'll be proudly sporting it post baby and pushing a double stroller. Josh and I wanted to support these amazing ladies just as we've felt supported throughout our journey with and without Jacob. Truth be told...we had a great time cheering on all the runners and felt nothing but JOY watching each of our friends race towards the finish line. Several of us even got a chance to share about Jake with people who inquired about our shirts, which always offers an opportunity to raise awareness.

6:00 AM pre-race photo with all the beautiful runners with hearts of gold! 

A beautiful sunrise to greet the runners and perfect weather! Photo cred goes to Linda, as we were watching the race from our hotel room window when the race started. Kelly needed her rest :)

At the starting line: Tara, Jennifer, Jen, and Shelly

Team Jacob!! Josh stayed up super late making this sign for the race.

Some of our awesome cheering squad. You can always use more cow bell!! Grace and Ela were so proud of their momma!

Jen running towards the finish and setting her own personal best record. Way to PR girlie!!

Post race hugs with a couple of my besties. Kelly's even sporting her cute ladybug dress for the occasion

Look at that enthusiasm! Linda and Shanohn rocked their first half!

One of my favorite moments of the day was when Jen's daughter, Grace grabbed a hold of our friend Linda's hand to run the last mad dash of the race to cross the finish line together. Melt my heart moment!!

These ladies were elated to complete their first half-marathon and I was just on cloud 9 just from watching all my friends achieve their personal goals all in memory of our little angel.

Last Sunday was a day filled with such wonderful memories and loving emotions. Josh and I are so touched that our friends (new found friends too) would push their bodies to the limits and run a race in honor of Jakey. I know they all felt the love surrounding them with each step as our angel was with each and every one of them. I'll say it again...we are beyond blessed to have such amazing friends in our lives, lifting us up and helping to carry us through an often indescribable journey.