She beat the odds for so long and inspired so many around the world. Now hundreds of people will run in the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon in honor of Gwendolyn Strong.
She was nearly eight years old when she passed away on July 25th from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the number one genetic killer among babies and infants. SMA takes away the ability to walk, eat and breathe.
Most do not make it past the age of two but Gwendolyn adopted a “Never Give Up” attitude. Her parents Bill and Victoria worked hard to give her a good childhood. Gwendolyn did many of the same activities that kids do such as going to Disneyland, ice skating, and surfing. She even participated in three half marathons as her dad pushed her while he ran the 13.1 miles.
Bill is running again this year with a heavy heart but he will have plenty of support.
Gwendolyn attended Washington Elementary School from Kindergarten through the second grade. The kids and staff included Gwendolyn in all of their fun and now a special part of the school’s library is dedicated to Gwendolyn who loved to read books.
Several staff members are running the half marathon to raise awareness and raise money for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.
The Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon is Saturday, November 7.
To find out more about the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, visit their website at www.thegsf.org