Maddie's Fundraising Page
Why I'm running
This October 9th, I will be running the Chicago Marathon -- joining Team Special Olympics Chicago for the second year, to raise money in honor of my sister Kate.
As you may know, Kate died suddenly in January of this year after an unexpected epileptic seizure. Losing my big sister has left an unimaginable void in my life, and in our family, as we sink into this new reality without her. As friends so often remind me, it's helpful to lean into the things that energize me, and to honor my sister however I can. To that end, I've chosen to run the marathon this year in honor of Kate. Special Olympics Chicago was a community she cherished, and a place for her to showcase her incredible athletic ability. She especially loved her basketball team and was always eager to tell us about her wins and friends she had made at practice.
I asked Kate in 2019 what she loved about Special Olympics Chicago and she quickly shared "there are so many different activities and being able to make connections with others who go through similar struggles and have disabilities like me". It brings me hope to know that there is a place for people like Kate and that Special Olympics Chicago is working hard to make athletics accessible for everyone, no matter their ability. This year, it brings me great joy to give back to Special Olympics Chicago, for all of the hope and encouragement they have given my sister and my family.
For those of you who are able to donate, we welcome your support, and if you are unable to donate, I ask that you cheer me on from the sidelines and think of Kate often. Her spirit and bright light were beyond infectious, and I am honored to be able to remember her in this way. We see Kate in butterflies, as she so closely identified with them, and the color purple, which is also the color for epilepsy awareness.
If your employer does not match, you can Venmo me (@maddiehilbrant) and I will donate that in my name, with my employer matching 100%.
Special Olympics Chicago's "Flame of Hope" lives on in the eternal flame at Soldier Field, which is the birthplace of Special Olympics worldwide. The Flame of Hope represents that individuals with disabilities can be afforded opportunities to display their skills, abilities and talents. It depicts a more inclusive world, a world that does not judge by disability and treats everybody with dignity and respect.
Again, thank you for supporting our 7,500+ superstar Special Olympics athletes! #CANDOTHANKSTOYOU