It's that time of year again, and all our friends and family made this the most special Mini-Laps event so far. We met and exceeded our fund-raising goal, and the Little Light House raised the largest amount in school history for this event. Every year, the students of TLLH dress up in costumes and walk around a small track behind the school, as hundreds cheer them on and hear their stories. This year's theme was "The Big Apple," and we dressed Elijah up as The Phantom Of The Opera, one of the classic Broadway icons. We turned his walker into a pipe organ, and he really hammed it up.
Watch as he takes his lap for the first time on his own two legs! This accomplishment is the culmination of years of work on the part of Eli's parents (that's me), his teachers and therapists both at school and at home, and most of all Elijah himself. His first year, you may recall, he was pulled around the track in a toy car made up to look like Lightning McQueen, and at the end he scooted over the finish line on his bottom. The next year, he went around in a wagon with some farm animals attached, then he actually walked about ten steps over the line in his walker. This took place ONE DAY after returning from the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport where he received his very first pair of prosthetic legs. There were tears that year, but he made it through with flying colors.
No tears in 2011, just willpower and an adoring crowd. You'll see him take a tumble before he makes the turn, but it's no surprise that he stood up again and kept going, eventually walking the entire track on his own. He loved seeing his mom and sister waiting for him, and he's looking forward to seeing YOU there next year!
BONUS VIDEO: The day before the event, we got a call from Linda, the PT at Eli's school, suggesting we make sure he could navigate in his blue Kid Walk, which he uses all the time at our house but never before at school. This was also my only chance to see him walk his lap, since I went to Boston on Saturday and had to miss the actual event (FROWN). I took Elijah and his nurse Melody to the school, and although he got tired a few times, he never gave up.