Teamwork doesn’t just exist in two vans over 200-ish miles. For Jennie Warmouth, teamwork is helping her childhood best friend, Kristen. At Reebok Ragnar Northwest Passage, Jennie will run in honor of Jerry, Kristen’s dad, who suffered a stroke and can no longer walk or talk. She will run to fundraise for his wheelchair accessible van and in support of Kristen, who has moved back home to care for him. This is Jennie’s story:
I am running for Jerry. My best friend’s dad, Jerry Timmons, suffered a brain stem stroke that has left him unable to speak, swallow or walk. Jerry now relies upon a feeding tube and oxygen tank to survive. He communicates is basic thoughts and feelings by pointing to the letters on a laminated paper alphabet chart.
Jerry has indicated his desire to remain in the family’s home rather than in a care facility. Due to the high level of his care needs, Medicaid has been unable to locate and secure a skilled nurse to assist in his 24-hour a day care. As such, his wife, Kathy and daughter Kristen tend to his every need. Kristen relocated from San Francisco when her dad first suffered his stroke and has since resigned from her successful career as an international consultant to make herself available to assist her mom in her dad’s daily care.
Jerry’s circumstances represent both life’s fragility and the strength of family. I am running Ragnar Northwest Passage in honor of Jerry’s incredible struggle and in support of his family’s sacrifices. I think of Jerry as I gratefully take each able-bodied stride through the Seattle rain on my training runs. I will honor his family’s ability to come together as I simultaneously contribute to and rely on my Ragnar team members to complete the 200-mile endurance relay that I alone cannot.
Jerry relies entirely on the care of others, just as the completion of this relay relies on the entirety of our team.
Kristen, the most generous and compassionate person I know, has shared with me her realization that grief can live alongside joy in a person’s heart. She has shown me that even when life can be unbearably painful, people can be generous beyond belief. It is our hope that we together can raise enough funds to purchase a wheelchair accessible van to enable Jerry to once again leave the basement where he has laid in a hospital bed for the past six years since surviving his stroke. We hope to provide him and his wife Kathy with the opportunity to again visit the beach together, breathe in the fresh air, and bask in the sun as he once so enjoyed.
Learn more about Jerry and donate to his cause here.