Thursday, February 17, 2011

Small Beginnings

Hello, my name is Daniel Jansezian and I am a baby.

In the first six months of my life, I traversed the Atlantic twice roundtrip in an airplane, I learned to roll over, I found two excellent and tasty appendages called thumbs near or on my body (I’m still figuring all of this out), I became a dual citizen, I lived through a major historic event - a revolution (or light military coup as it were) in a neighboring state and I’ve tasted some exquisite Italian delicacies such as gnocchi con cingale (wild boar) and cannoli cream. I’ve done a lot so far in my short life. And now, I’m blogging.

I decided to blog because, truth be told, most people do not understand my spoken language. It can be frustrating. But hopefully now I will be heard and understood as I continue to work on learning the popular languages around me.

Another reason for this blog, at least for now, is to track my mommy’s progress as she trains for a marathon. She is running in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 25. My father and I think she’s a bit crazy as she heads out in the rain to run for not minutes but hours. She explains a little bit of this madness in her letter here: 

Dear family and friends,
I will be running in my first marathon this year and have registered for the historic first ever Jerusalem International Marathon. I’ve been training since December and was wrestling with whether to do the half (I’ve done a few half marathons) or challenge myself and do the full.
I’ve chosen to run the full marathon, 26.2 miles (42 km). The main reason is in honor of Daniel, my son who you’ve probably heard about, maybe just a little :) Every day I tell Daniel, “There are no limits! You can do anything you put your mind to do.” Tony and I encourage him to do something new and something challenging each day. He is reaching milestones and impressing his biased family, naturally, but also his therapists. I figured that if I am constantly urging Daniel to challenge himself to attain difficult goals, then I should lead by example. So now it is my turn to practice what I preach and to learn what “no limits” means. 
In addition to running for the onerous challenge of it all, I am participating in this run to raise money and awareness for the organization that graciously and professionally cares for Daniel, completely free of charge. Shalva, the Association for Mentally & Physically Challenged Children in Israel, is an amazing organization. Shalva provides a loving and goal-oriented environment where children with special needs from birth through young adulthood can develop the skills required for better lives. Children are admitted to the program regardless of ethnicity, religion or financial status. Shalva means peace of mind in Hebrew.
Daniel was born with challenges. He has an extra chromosome on his 21st pair, otherwise known as Down syndrome, and he has a heart defect, which will require surgery in the next couple of months. At Shalva, Daniel receives physical, speech, massage, sensory and hydro therapy on a weekly basis at the “My Mommy and Me” program. The staff members are all professionals in their fields and are supported by an army of volunteers. Thanks to the help of God first and foremost, and to Shalva, Daniel is already recording milestones and is surpassing expectations. 
So I am running to raise support and to thank this organization for taking care of our family. I want to express to Shalva that we as Christians appreciate their outreach to us and thank them for including us foreigners in the land in their awesome care. As an Israeli resident I need to raise $500. That is a pittance and accounts for just a fraction of the services we receive. 
Will you cheer on Daniel and I in both of our training efforts by helping me reach my financial objective? 
If you would like to sponsor me, visit my running profile page: www.run4shalva.org/view_profile.php?id=137 to donate via credit card; or make a check payable to Shalva and send it to me at 114/6 Bethlehem Road, Jerusalem 93630 Israel. All donations to Shalva are 100 percent tax deductible.
The specter of the marathon (March 25, 2011) is quite daunting. Jerusalem is a city of hills sitting 2,400 feet above sea level. So I’ll be needing your prayers as much as your financial donations :) Thank you in advance for supporting me, the children of Shalva and their families, which now includes us. I look forward to sharing my progress with you!
Sincerely yours, 
Nicole Jansezian with Tony and Daniel
P.S. To learn more about Shalva, please visit their website at www.shalva.org and feel free to forward this letter and the site to anyone who might be interested in supporting Shalva. To learn more about the daunting Jerusalem Marathon, click here: http://www.jerusalem-marathon.com/

1 comment:

  1. Nicole,

    I have tears in my eyes as I am reading this...I hopped on FB for a quick moment and there you were! I am so proud of you and your sweet Daniel. You are an amazing mama who loves so well and an amazing model for Daniel...he can do anything. His eyes sparkle and he knows how loved he is!

    I am also crying because I am running my first marathon this year, after a stress fracture ruined the plan last year. The marathon in San Diego is on June 5th...my daughter's 5th Birthday, the 5th Birthday she will have spent in heaven. I will be running in her honor and know she will be cheering both of us on. I imagine I will be crying most of the steps I take and maybe you will be too. I will be thinking of you and praying for you as you train and run your race! Well done brave friend.

    Sending love,
    Laura Huene

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