5K Voice Venture – A Race with a Story

In January 2021, Apraxia Kids hosted the first ever 5K Voice Venture.  This virtual 5K was open to anyone who wanted to walk, jog, or run while honoring a special Apraxia Star or to those who just wanted to support Apraxia Kids.  The event turned out to be a huge success and we are so proud of the families, friends, professionals, and supporters who participated.

Participants had the opportunity to win prizes based on their race time, fundraising efforts, and age, but the biggest impact were the stories shared on their individual race fundraising pages.  No matter how different each apraxia journey was told, one thing remained constant, the value in spreading awareness and teaching others to practice acceptance.

“We have been spreading awareness by sharing our experience openly with friends.  By sharing our experience we can create a better future for children with CAS.  If another child had early recognition of CAS from hearing our story, or if our story resulted in better understanding and empathy for a kiddo that didn’t talk the way everyone else does, then it’s worth all the effort,” said 5K participant Leslie McMahon. 

Leslie and her family ran their 5K on a beautiful Colorado winter day in honor of her daughter, Zoe, who was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech earlier last year.  The process to her child’s diagnosis was a very emotional time which often led to more questions than answers when Leslie was researching.  Like most parents, she never felt like she was doing enough.  However, Leslie and her husband knew that they needed to be their daughter’s biggest advocates and that her success of speaking depended on their efforts. 

When signing up for the 5K Voice Venture, Leslie shared a brief description of Zoe’s challenges and treatment plan on their fundraising page.  By sharing this information, many family and friends reached out with personal messages and words of encouragement.  Leslie expressed, “It made such an isolating and sad experience feel like we had a village of people to walk this journey with us, and gave me hope that along the way we would be helped with our challenges and find beauty in the way Zoe learns to communicate and the way her challenges shape her to become a little warrior.”

The apraxia community is full of warriors.  About 1,000 miles away in Illinois, Matt Kahn and his family also participated in the 5K Voice Venture in honor of his son, Kade.  When he was about 18 months old, Matt and his wife, Kelly, were noticing that Kade had trouble with excessive drooling, biting, and speech.  When seeking answers, they had Kade evaluated for speech and occupational therapy which resulted in him attending twice per week.

Navigating this diagnosis can feel like a roller coaster ride at times.  Some days are filled with excitement produced by the highs of progress and achievement, while others dip low into overwhelming zones of worry.  “The frustrations you see from a child when they can’t communicate, the costs, and the unknown is not easy to deal with,” said Matt. “We are so thankful for the speech therapist, teachers, and resources that have been available.  Kade is doing amazing because of them, and I am so proud of the hard work he is putting in.”

Participating in any race requires time, patience, training, and dedication.  It is hard work, but the end results in a sense of accomplishment when crossing the finish line.  Although the finish line can never be predicted for children with apraxia of speech, as this is a lifelong disorder, achieving all the goals along the way are truly worth celebrating.  Even the smallest goal accomplished might have taken days, weeks, or years of practice.

The 5K Voice Venture will continue to be an annual Apraxia Kids virtual event every New Year.  However, if you are preparing to participate in a marathon, 5 to 15K, or a fun run during other times of the year, we welcome you to race in honor of a special apraxia star or just as a supporter of Apraxia Kids.  After you register for your race, visit our Apraxia Kids race page for more information on how to raise funds for Apraxia Kids as part of your running goal and set up your own page to share your story. 

You never know, your story could mean all the difference for another child’s life. 

In January 2021, Apraxia Kids hosted the first ever 5K Voice Venture.  This virtual 5K was open to anyone who wanted to walk, jog, or run while honoring a special Apraxia Star or to those who just wanted to support Apraxia Kids.  The event turned out to be a huge success and we are so proud of the families, friends, professionals, and supporters who participated.

Participants had the opportunity to win prizes based on their race time, fundraising efforts, and age, but the biggest impact were the stories shared on their individual race fundraising pages.  No matter how different each apraxia journey was told, one thing remained constant, the value in spreading awareness and teaching others to practice acceptance.

“We have been spreading awareness by sharing our experience openly with friends.  By sharing our experience we can create a better future for children with CAS.  If another child had early recognition of CAS from hearing our story, or if our story resulted in better understanding and empathy for a kiddo that didn’t talk the way everyone else does, then it’s worth all the effort,” said 5K participant Leslie McMahon. 

Leslie and her family ran their 5K on a beautiful Colorado winter day in honor of her daughter, Zoe, who was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech earlier last year.  The process to her child’s diagnosis was a very emotional time which often led to more questions than answers when Leslie was researching.  Like most parents, she never felt like she was doing enough.  However, Leslie and her husband knew that they needed to be their daughter’s biggest advocates and that her success of speaking depended on their efforts. 

When signing up for the 5K Voice Venture, Leslie shared a brief description of Zoe’s challenges and treatment plan on their fundraising page.  By sharing this information, many family and friends reached out with personal messages and words of encouragement.  Leslie expressed, “It made such an isolating and sad experience feel like we had a village of people to walk this journey with us, and gave me hope that along the way we would be helped with our challenges and find beauty in the way Zoe learns to communicate and the way her challenges shape her to become a little warrior.”

The apraxia community is full of warriors.  About 1,000 miles away in Illinois, Matt Kahn and his family also participated in the 5K Voice Venture in honor of his son, Kade.  When he was about 18 months old, Matt and his wife, Kelly, were noticing that Kade had trouble with excessive drooling, biting, and speech.  When seeking answers, they had Kade evaluated for speech and occupational therapy which resulted in him attending twice per week.

Navigating this diagnosis can feel like a roller coaster ride at times.  Some days are filled with excitement produced by the highs of progress and achievement, while others dip low into overwhelming zones of worry.  “The frustrations you see from a child when they can’t communicate, the costs, and the unknown is not easy to deal with,” said Matt. “We are so thankful for the speech therapist, teachers, and resources that have been available.  Kade is doing amazing because of them, and I am so proud of the hard work he is putting in.”

Participating in any race requires time, patience, training, and dedication.  It is hard work, but the end results in a sense of accomplishment when crossing the finish line.  Although the finish line can never be predicted for children with apraxia of speech, as this is a lifelong disorder, achieving all the goals along the way are truly worth celebrating.  Even the smallest goal accomplished might have taken days, weeks, or years of practice.

The 5K Voice Venture will continue to be an annual Apraxia Kids virtual event every New Year.  However, if you are preparing to participate in a marathon, 5 to 15K, or a fun run during other times of the year, we welcome you to race in honor of a special apraxia star or just as a supporter of Apraxia Kids.  After you register for your race, visit our Apraxia Kids race page for more information on how to raise funds for Apraxia Kids as part of your running goal and set up your own page to share your story. 

You never know, your story could mean all the difference for another child’s life. 



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