Running: It’s a Family Affair

By: Carly Damman

Families are a gift. They provide us with love, comfort, support, wisdom, guidance, belonging and joy. The family unit is even more important here at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Families are the reason we do what we do each day. Our goal is to keep families close during a time in life where things don’t seem very joyful or comforting. The Columbus Ronald McDonald House is that place where families can focus on a renewed sense of love and belonging in the midst of heartache and suffering.

team-rmhc-blogSimilarly, it’s crucial to find encouragement and support in running through the love of family. Sometimes this family means close friends that become family after miles and miles of training with them. Sometimes, in the case of Brian Konopka’s story, it means real family.

Team RMHC, our Ronald McDonald House charity running team, is gearing up for another great season as members train for a 5k, 10k or half marathon. Brian, Mikey, Jessica and Danielle have decided to make training as part of Team RMHC a family affair. Brian, a longtime Team RMHC member and 5k event organizer convinced his kids, Mikey, Jessica and Danielle, to join him and train for their very first half marathon together.

What is the driving force that keeps them motivated? Love for their sweet Brady. Here is just a snippet of Brian and his family’s story:

“Our lives changed 4 years ago. Our 4 year old Grandson was diagnosed with Leukemia. Quickly we learned as much about the disease and treatments as we could. I am a person of action. I try to take care of others. I could not take the chemo and radiation treatments myself. I told myself that if he could be brave and strong for this, I could surely run a 1/2 marathon. The Ronald McDonald House was there for my family when they needed to be close to Brady. They are there every single day for families who need to be close to their sick child in the hospital..”   –Brian Konopka, Team RMHC member

Life’s not always easy. Whether fighting a serious illness or training for a long distance race, the journey includes countless road bumps, moments of heartache and seasons of doubt. However, through it all, the love of family remains.

To learn more about Team RMHC, click here.