You can mark this as reason number 12,677,455,251 why we LOVE Buffalo and WNY. I mean, seriously.
A little background here. We first told you about an incredible little girl who is doing some amazing things. (READ ORIGINAL STORY) Adorable Ella – who lives with a terrible, painful motility disorder. (a condition in which the patient suffers from bloating, pain, nausea, and vomiting – as a result of intestinal muscle issues that wreak havoc on the entire digestive system) has traveled to Boston and other areas for treatment. Her parents, Nate and Jamie Wintringer – unbelievable advocates for their little girl – finally found help at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center in Columbus, Ohio – where Ella now goes for diagnostic testing and treatment. The little girl decided she wanted to do something for the OTHER kids suffering from her condition. I know, amazing.
So, she decided to make care bags to give to each child in the hospital – when she goes for her checkups. Each has some art supplies, and other fun stuff – but also medal to show the kids they are all winners – the are all special.
We told her story and the community stepped up!
Especially the running community. Rhonda Diehl and Kim Kalman of Grand Island, decided to hold a brave run in Ella’s honor. They’d never met her. Still, Rhonda says she was called to action, “The minute I read your story I knew I wanted to do a special run with special Brave Medals for Ella and the children and families she was touching. As a mom, I think those brave medals most likely encourage and show love to the parents and family as much as they do for the child.”
And so many came out to support the cause. Even on a cold, snowy day.
That’s really how it works here, right? We see something. We do something.
Kim and Rhonda met Ella and her family at the run and I can tell you one thing for certain, they saw first hand what an amazing little girl she is. She is special. All children are special, yes – but, for a little girl who has gone through so much – to just want to give back, well, that is pretty spectacular.
Kim says the run was tough, but the little girl she was inspired by is WAY tougher, “The run was cold and I wasn’t feeling great but what I can tell you is that every moment I felt like stopping I thought to myself, how lucky am I to have two healthy kids? I kept imagining the pain and sense of hopelessness that Ella’s parents probably have felt.”
Here is the amazing news. Rhonda, Kim, and their runner friends raised $336 for the care packages and collected 112 medals. Talk about an amazing accomplishment. Rhonda is floored by the support and inspired in a big way, by little Ella, “I’m still amazed at how this little girl that I didn’t know grabbed my heart and has motivated me to push harder when I didn’t want to. I believe God puts people in our paths for a reason and season, I’m excited to see what He is going to do with all the wonderful people I have met because of a story Kim tagged me in, a story you wrote, so even though we have not met…YET…I thank you!”
Thank you to Rhonda and Kim for reminding all of us that we can and should do our part to help others. And of course, thank you to Ella and her family for teaching us what courage is. 🙂
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Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.