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Every Step Has Purpose

Article written by Katie Heck, a Miracle Maker runner during the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Katie Heck has been running for CMN Hospitals at the Disney Princess Half Marathon since 2014.

I became involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals when my twins, Logan and Lennon, were born 7 weeks early and required immediate and ongoing care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Spending the first few weeks of their life in the hospital was overwhelming for me, and I began running to work through them, finding peace in the solitude. Once they came home, we invested in a worthy jogging stroller and began logging miles together.

When my twins were 5 months old I signed up for my first race and ran the 5k during the 2013 Walt Disney World Wine & Dine weekend. The next scheduled Run Disney event was Princess weekend and though it was sold out, I saw the link for Charity Entries. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was the presenting sponsor of the race weekend. It made perfect sense to run for the organization that supports the life-saving research and treatments at our local children’s hospital. My first Princess 1/2 Marathon was just after their first birthday, and I am overjoyed that they have joined me for the past five years as Kid’s Race participants.

Possibly due to his premature birth, Logan has continued to face additional struggles, both medical and psychological. We are lucky to have a CMN hospital nearby, John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, where Logan receives ongoing care for hearing loss due to nerve damage. Just before turning 6, he was additionally diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and went through a tonsillectomy to correct obstructive sleep apnea. Throughout all these hurdles, he remains resilient. Logan loves his caregivers, and they love him back.

This race is close to my heart. During Princess Weekend I run for my boys and the 10 million other kids just like them who are treated each year at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Every step has purpose.