On Saturday, April 28, My Village Northwest (previously Northwest Special Families) will partner with the Northshore YMCA to host one of Bothell’s long-standing traditions, the 10th Annual CanDo5K Run/Walk, 1-Mile Walk. Presented by Woodinville Pediatric Dentistry, the race, which supports kids with disabilities and their families, takes place at the Seattle Times North Creek facility in Bothell.
Last year’s event was a great success with 1,600 registered participants and many community teams. Together they raised over $30,000 to help fund My Village Northwest’s year-round programs and the Northshore Y’s Annual Campaign. This year, 2,000 participants are expected.
Graham Thomson is one of the participants eagerly looking forward to this year’s race. From the time Graham took his first tiny breaths as a preemie in the NICU, he’s been a superhero, defying the odds and capturing hearts. For a kid with cerebral palsy, not everything comes easily. “When Graham was diagnosed,” says Jess Thomson, Graham’s mom, “we knew we’d have to demonstrate constant positivity in everything we’d do together, and we’d have to surround ourselves with communities that did the same.” They found just that group of people in the amazing therapy providers at Rehab Without Walls, with his teachers at school, and for the last few years, through My Village Northwest, which gives Graham a place where he can prove himself in ways he might not be able to otherwise.
For his first CanDo5K, Graham’s goal was to finish the one-mile event. There were a few falls, but as a member of Rehab Without Walls’s “superheroes” team, he pushed through with his own perseverance and the encouragement of his team. “He was so proud of himself,” his mom says. Last year, he won the one-mile event and really began to consider himself an athlete. This year, with dreams of football on the horizon and a pack of friends cheering him on, he’s going to try to do it again. “For a nine-year-old who started walking at six, this is basically the equivalent of leaping a building in a single bound,” Jess says. “Now we just have to find the right cape!”
Participants can register online at www.CanDo5K.org, in person at various sponsor locations, and via mail. All donations are tax-deductible. Participants and teams are encouraged to reach out to their communities to raise funds. Proceeds support My Village Northwest programming including: Special Olympics swim team, family and teen events, sibling programs, Lego Club, ongoing education and guest lectures, future opportunities for young adults with disabilities, and family support.
A 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, My Village Northwest is dedicated to creating and cultivating relationships between the community and individuals with special needs and their families. The YMCA is committed to strengthening communities and individuals of all abilities in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
www.CanDo5K.org (race website) or www.myvillagenw.org (My Village Northwest website)