Meet Miracle Mile Champion #5: Brett Kingsley

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon is October 21st and we’re honored to be the event’s title beneficiary. As we countdown to the Marathon we’ll introduce you to our “mile champions.” These 26 special children and teens, each with a moving story to share, will be designated a mile along the event course. They will serve as patient ambassadors – to motivate participants and engage the entire community in this vital fundraising event. Each child will have a fundraising page for their mile and many of the miles will have corporate sponsors.

This week we introduce you to Brett Kingsley and “Brett’s Brigade”
Age: 6
Hometown: Columbus
Condition: Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Last Holiday season we introduced you to 6 year-old superhero Brett Kingsley. He has defied every statistic and redefined what is possible for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1, an incurable genetic disease that affects the voluntary muscles of the body. Most children with SMA pass away before their third birthdays. Now at age six, Brett has beaten the odds and continues to do so. Although his muscles are affected and he relies on a ventilator to breath, Brett’s mind is unaffected by his disease. He is a bright, funny, social little boy with so much to give.

Brett and his family are busy advocates for SMA research to find a cure, including the work of researchers here at Nationwide Children’s. If you want an inspiring start to your week, read Brett’s “Mile Champion Page” for the Marathon – Here’s an excerpt: “I am participating in the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon as a Patient Champion. I am determined to make each step/push of the race count by fundraising for SMA research and the Family Resource Center at NCH.

The next photo is with my friend Becki. My mom mentioned she was looking for someone to push me the last mile of the race so I could make another impossible task become possible by crossing the finish line of a marathon. She will be picking me up on mile 25 (The last 1.2 miles are uphill!) and we will cross the finish line together! I will be smiling and I guarantee Becki will be crying. I am thrilled to be able to share this moment with her. Together we are Champions for NCH and for life!

There is a poem by Mattie Stepanik that I really like titled On Being A Champion. A few lines state: There can be a champion in each of us, if we live as a winner, if we live as a member of the team, if we live with a hopeful spirit, for life. It is so true. I can’t fight this alone. Consider being a champion of Brett’s Brigade by donating to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Any amount is greatly appreciated. I also invite you to cheer us on as we cross the finish line of the 2012 Columbus Marathon on October 21st. It will be a moment you will not want to miss!

What Moves You? Get Involved!
Sign up for the Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) or Full Marathon (26.2 miles) – Runners and Walkers Welcome –

Become a Children’s Champion – If you’re already registered for the Marathon help fundraise for Nationwide Children’s Hospital while you train. We have all the tools to help you get started and motivate you along the way.

Give to “Brett’s Brigade”– Anyone can help – make a contribution to Brett’s mile.

Volunteer –Just email Lindsey at Lindsey.Gulliver@nationwidechildrens.org. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages are welcome and needed.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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