A cloudless morning.
An impossibly cool breeze for May in Florida.
Idyllic weather for a race.
Kelly laces up her running shoes and joins the enthusiastic crowd at the starting line.
Just before the countdown for the 6th Annual Run for All Children 5K race—she loses herself in the event’s signature moment. The crowd of more than 1,400 turns as one body, looks up and waves to the young patients in their hospital rooms … their little faces pressed against the glass to take in this vivid gesture of love and support.
For a moment—40-year-old Kelly is that 7-year-old again. The fearless one. The tomboy who took on a neighborhood kid in a bike race that went terribly wrong. She took a corner and flew off her bike, landing a massive head injury and many weeks in a coma.
“This hospital saved my life,” she says. “They took such good care of me.”
Kelly is not a professional runner. She’s not out for speed or form. She’s here to give back … and she’s here for the simple joy of crossing the finish line—with gratitude for all of the races in life that this hospital has made possible for her to enter.
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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