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Running among royalty

This post was submitted by Michele Mattila, a runner in the 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon, for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through

In just one week I will be running among royalty at the Disney Princess Half Marathon as a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Maker. By royalty I mean many inspirational children that are themselves giving back to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, for what CMN Hospitals gave them. This is the third year that I have participated. I have never left the race less than amazed and inspired.

I run in memory of my sister Sarah. Sarah passed away over six years ago but is always in my heart. She had this amazing smile that would light up a room. She gave so much in her short life. Sarah received a tremendous amount of care from Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minnesota. Gillette is a wonderful facility full of blessed staff that give such great care. I run to try and give back to Gillette for all that they gave Sarah and our family. I run because by doing this I get back more than I could possibly give. During the run weekend I meet people that are challenged every day yet their positivity is infectious. The stories told give you hope, inspiration, and wonder. The tears shed among many stories change your outlook on life. During the run the cheers come from many of the children. If you think you are tired, can’t dig deep enough, or want to quit, you will immediately change your mind when you see one of those children smiling and yelling, “you are almost done”! From someone that fights every day that has so much meaning.

I am so honored to be a CMN Hospitals Miracle Maker. I look forward to next week and the amazing experience that I am so blessed to be a part of.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® is the presenting sponsor and celebratory charity of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Funds raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in conjunction with this magical event will help kids grow up happily ever after. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most.