Marathon is raising funds for local family
A pregnancy, a storm, a shared profession, caring for one’s community, an amazingly brave child, and a love of marathons have inspired Robin Mounsteven.
Teacher by day, marathon runner by night (or should that be evenings/weekends), Mounsteven has built his own 42 km running route around Mary Lake to engage the community and raise funds for a family very close to his heart.
Scarlett Seymour, daughter of Jay and Amanda Seymour, was born in 2018 with an omphalocele (her organs were on the outside of her body), scoliosis and pulmonary hypertension. A couple of surgeries, dialysis, months of hospitalization – all before the age of three – finally let the child go home.
However, her journey is not over, and on October 28, she will have another surgery – this time to put some of her organs into their proper place in her body. This slow process could require up to four more surgeries in the coming months and years.
This will require the Seymours to greatly adjust their schedules, reducing their ability to work, and even needing to take up temporary residence in Toronto to support their young daughter.
It was while at a park with his wife Jacqueline and their child, as well as Amanda and Scarlett, when Mounsteven knew what he had to do.
“I just felt compelled,” he says. “I would hope if I were in a similar situation, that the community would help look after us in the same way … I’ve run marathons around the world. They’ve always been extremely self-fulfilling, but I always wanted to create and build my own marathon and have a purpose behind it.”
Mounsteven recalls meeting Jay for the first time when a devasting storm had ripped through their neighbourhood and left trees laying across the road.
“The storm was the first time I met Scarlett’s dad Jay,” recalls Mounsteven. “He was out there with his chain saw, cutting away at fallen trees to get them out of the road so emergency vehicles could access our community. I was really taken aback by the generosity.”
But, Mounsteven explains that their families have more connections that just a storm and a very helpful neighbour. The Mounstevens and Amanda are teachers who have worked together over the years.
“If you have had a child in one of Amanda's classrooms, you understand how fortunate you are and can appreciate her thoughtfulness and commitment to the children she teaches,” says Mounsteven.
As well, Amanda and Jacqueline were pregnant at the same time, and they developed a strong bond during that time.
Mounsteven doesn’t want this to just be a one-off event and hopes to help more people as the years progress.
“The first one is to help Scarlett, but I want it to continue going forward,” he says. “We’re thinking this could become an annual event. It all comes back to our community and supporting each other at times of need.”
Those wanting to offer their support or learn more can visit Little Scarlett’s BIG Life.
By Chris Occhiuzzi, for HuntersBayRadio.com