Erik Milam, UCP’s Board President, was one of over 60 people who signed up to train with Team Rio to run in one of the the Country Music Marathon races in 2014. Each Team Rio member also commits to raise money for United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee.
Erik chose to run the 5K Race, 3.1 miles. Anyone who runs regularly knows it takes endurance and determination — and even more so for Erik, because he has cerebral palsy. As a child, Erik had multiple surgeries and therapies to help him develop ambulatory capacities and speech skills.
Erik’s race notes:
“Honestly, when I committed to run the 5k I wasn’t sure I could do it. I did have some self-doubt and fear leading up to the race. I can’t really express how exciting it was to do this. Finishing that race was amazing!
When I got to the starting line the runner next to me said his 5 year-old grandson has mild CP and he was wondering how it would impact his life. How cool is that! We had a good conversation to say the least! I talked with him after the race as well.
A bunch of fellow runners were cheering me on during the race which was really cool. One lady and I kept passing each other during the race and she found me afterwards and thanked me for inspiring her to run harder and not give up. In case you are wondering I did pass her on the home-stretch for good!
It is because of my cerebral palsy that I am intensely passionate about helping others capitalize on opportunities and live more meaningful lives. There are very severe physical disabilities that affect many Middle Tennesseans. These disabilities are draining to financial and emotional bank accounts of individuals and their families. Sadly there is little assistance available for those in need in Tennessee. UCP is one of the few organizations that serves people with physical disabilities in our community. At UCP we build wheelchair ramps on homes, provide a free exchange of expensive durable medical equipment, coordinate an all together kids summer program. UCP does all we can to help individuals with physical disabilities in middle TN have opportunities to succeed in life.”
UCP is grateful to Erik, as well as all of our Team Rio members and volunteers who raise critically-needed dollars for UCP.