When Julia Branch Emrich, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., decided to run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, she knew running for a cause was a great motivator. “It just really keeps you going when you want to quit and give up,” says Julia.
She discussed the idea with a friend who also planned to run the marathon and they got to work finding a way to make their training even more fun and rewarding.
Finding a Cause
Julia’s friend suggested running for Fuller Goldsmith, a young boy in their community who was diagnosed with leukemia. They contacted Fuller’s mom, Melissa, to discuss their idea.
“I told her we wanted to run this marathon for Fuller and asked if there was any sort of cause or hospital they would want to raise money for,” says Julia. Melissa was thrilled and suggested CaringBridge as the beneficiary. Melissa uses CaringBridge to keep her circle of friends updated about Fuller’s recovery.
“We came to find out that for most of us, not only did we know Fuller, but we had other friends or family members with loved ones who were also using CaringBridge,” says Julia.
Planning the Fundraiser
Julia and her running partners worked together with the Goldsmith family and CaringBridge to create their fundraiser. The group decided to sell t–shirts which featured artwork designed by Fuller.
Others in the community heard about the fundraiser and wanted to join the initiative. “I got calls from a few other people who were already planning to run the marathon, and when they found out that we were doing this for Fuller they wanted to come on the team,” says Julia.
The team sold t–shirts to their friends, family, co–workers and neighbors and raised nearly $8,000 for CaringBridge. In a letter to CaringBridge they wrote: “We are so thankful to have this organization to allow us as friends and family to encourage and send prayers to the Goldsmiths through the website and to watch Fuller’s progression from reading Melissa’s updates.”
Their generous donation will help ensure that CaringBridge is available for all families facing a health crisis and in need of the support and connection a free, personalized website provides.