Lavyn our daughter (3 months old), Matt
and Kim at the Olympic Torch relay, January 02.
Other column entries:
Matt with some very special friends..(from
left to right, Ben, Ryan, Matt and Garrett) Garrett, who is blind
and is fighting cancer, motivates Matt to keep going!
September 1, 2004
Its been a long time since I have written. Four years...a lot has
happened in our lives since our trip to Sydney, Australia.
and I now have an almost 3 year old daughter, Lavyn. Lavyn will be
3, on October 6, a week after Matt return's from Greece. October
is a busy month as we will also celebrate our 7th wedding
anniversary. And our second child will be born in December.
Athens Games is our third Paralympic medal pursuit. When Matt and
I made the decision for him to compete at the 2004 Cycling Trials to,
hopefully, make the 2004 Athens Paralympic cycling team, we were very
well acquainted with the physical, mental, and financial challenges that
would come with accomplishing such a dream. We knew the training
schedule coupled with Matt's IBM job responsibilities, raising a 2 year
old and me being pregnant would be exhausting. Also, we wanted our first
child, born one year after the 2000 Sydney Games to benefit from this
experience. We knew, despite fundraising and penny watching, we
would be left with cycling bills. It is truly a family-stretching
the stretching feels overwhelming, we remind ourselves of the many
examples of positive change we have experienced. For instance, we
can think of Garrett and his family. His father, Eric, read a
Gazette newspaper article about Matt and decided to give him a
call. (click here and you can read the Gazette
article). Eric was depressed because his six-year old son was
being blinded by brain cancer, and he assumed Garrett's life would be
horribly diminished. Now, Eric has started the Rush
Miller-Foundation aiding parents buying tandem bikes for blind children, and
Garrett is excelling. (At the left you can see a photo of Matt with
Garrett Rush-Miller (right) and his brother's, Ryan (top left) and
Benjamin (bottom left).
can really appreciate the stories of sacrifice and toil accompanying
every athlete approaching the starting line at an elite international
competition such as the Olympics or Paralympics. All who succeed
do so only with help from many others and a tremendous passion.
Matt and I love working together in being a part of the
Paralympic movement, it has truly been a very important part of our
marriage and the Paralympic movement will continue to be an important
part of our family.
Thank you to
everyone who has helped us through the year's. We truly appreciate
your support. We do know...we couldn't have done it without you! Kim
Guide Dog puppy
(photo below): Hearty, the guide dog puppy that we volunteered to raise,
unfortunately, was dropped from the Guide Dog program because of
allergies. Hearty made it to level 8 which means she only had one more
level to graduate and would have then went on to "class" -
which means she would have been matched with a blind person. Matt and I
adopted Hearty and now she is a permanent resident at the King
household...So sad, but we are proud of her and her success at
school. Unfortunately, on Mother's Day - May 2001, we were forced
to find Hearty a new home because Kim had a terrible allergic reaction
to the grasses Hearty was bringing into our home. We found her a
loving home four blocks from us and she seems to be doing great. We miss
her terribly and giving her to a new family was one of the hardest times
of our life, but we know she is safe and happy.
Hearty went to
Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.'s school in Boring, Oregon, on May 20.
you are interested, please read more about how to become a volunteer guide
dog puppy raiser). Volunteering to raise Hearty was one of the most challenging and
rewarding experiences of our lives. (You can see a photo of Hearty below).
If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser and live in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, please contact Guide
Dogs for the Blind - Leading with Love Puppy raising group. If you
live in the eastern United States you can also raise a guide dog
puppy through Guiding Eyes for the Blind, for more information contact Guiding
Eyes for the Blind at www.guiding-eyes.org