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Hi, my name is Natalie and I'm a precocious little 8-year old girl whose smile is infectious for all that know me. If you are reading this you're probably friends or family of my parents, or maybe you are my friend. If you are not you will be by joining me on this journey.
This site is going to help the people that love me tell you, my friends, how my journey is going. So please, stick around, pray hard and help me get better.
Good morning friends- yesterday brought the first day of summer break for the Fleischaker's. As with just about everything in our lives the past 2 years we entered new territory with Mollie the nanny spending the day being entertained by Jack and Emily. Our summer will be filled with Jack's baseball games, Emily's softball games, day camps for sports, art, dance, lots of pool time and a vacation to an as yet to be determined destination. We hope to have lots of fun while not letting the kids forget everything they learned this past school year.
A big part of our summer will be spent planning and preparing for Natalie's A.R.T. 5K and Fun Run. If you follow us on Facebook you probably know much of this but things have been going GREAT with a number of sponsorship commitments and a lot of people registering for the event. Many of you aren't on Facebook so we wanted to share some of the information here on Caring Bridge as well.
Last week we officially launched our website. Please visit www.nataliesart.org to learn about our mission, see a gallery of Natalie's artwork and most importantly to REGISTER for Natalie's ART 5K. It is going to be an awesome celebration honoring Natalie's memory and raising money to make a difference for children battling cancer & their families.
The packet pick up will take place at St. Thomas where you will have the chance to visit the beautiful garden that is Natalie's final resting place and a great place to connect with her.
The event itself on Saturday morning will include fun for everyone including the competitive runner, the casual jogger and the "I don't run" walker. And if you're just certain you don't want to run or walk the course you can come out for an awesome breakfast from Chris Cakes. There will be fun activities for adults & kids of all ages.
I've had several people ask "what if I can't run that far." There are lots of ways to answer that- the easiest is to just do what your body tells you to do. If you jog some & walk most that's great, if you walk the whole course you'll get the same cheers when you cross the finish line as the fastest man/woman. If you start and after a little way you decide you've had enough you can stop & head back to the host area.
My favorite answer is that you can use this as motivation to set a personal goal, train a couple days a week for the next 8-12 weeks & celebrate your accomplishments w/ Natalie on September 6th. Last year at this time I couldn't run more than a couple blocks. This week I've run nearly 9 miles. With Natalie as my motivation I registered for a race. When I started training I couldn't run for more than 30 seconds at a time, maybe 2 blocks. No matter how sick she was Natalie never quite so I sure couldn't quite on myself. On Thanksgiving day I ran my first 5K. It is all about setting your mind to do it, finding your groove (I like to run alone w/ headphones but others I know have to run in a group & talk to each other) and just doing it. Crossing the finish line is such a rush, I hope each of you gets the chance to do it.
So, what's next. I encourage each of you to visit Natalie's A.R.T. Foundation website at www.nataliesart.org. It is a very cool site that was originally designed by a local high school sophomore as her class project this past semester (thank you Jessica) and is being maintained by our friend Vicky who is a talented web & graphic designer that gets credit for our logo and a lot of our Foundation branding. The site includes pictures of Nat & her friends, a gallery with some of her art work and information about our mission, ways to help, etc.
If you are a Facebook user, a Twitter user or both please like/follow our pages on both. There are links to them on our website or you can search Natalie's ART Foundation (Facebook) and @nataliesart (Twitter).
We really hope all of you can join us on September 6 and that you will follow Natalie's A.R.T. Foundation for ways that you can get involved in honoring her memory and celebrating her life by making a difference in the childhood cancer fight!