Half Marathon Recap: Fulfilling, Humbling

Sunday was one of those rare days during which you realize you’re part of something special, something much bigger than you. On this day, less than two months after his death, Tripp Roth spoke loudly and many of the more than 22,000 runners in the Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half Marathon took notice.

Tripp died after battling a rare skin disease since birth. 67 days ago, I set out to raise money to increase EB awareness, help families with children who suffer from EB and fund research. My initial goal was $5,000 and we reached that within days. Today the fundraising total sits at $42,176 and counting. More than 500 people have contributed, including an anonymous $10,000 donation.

The day was perfect for running. Low humidity, comfortable temps, a slight breeze and spectacular sunshine. Bright red “Team Tripp” shirts dotted the race course and people yelled their support from the sidewalks. As inspirational as Tripp was during his 2 year, 8 month fight against EB, today’s experience built on that foundation.

“Go Team Tripp,” they would say. Or “Team Tripp in the house!” It was moving.

Amazingly, I felt the best I ever have running during that 13.1 miles. My last mile was my fastest. Call it adrenaline, good luck, nervous energy or whatever. But I think Tripp was with us all on Sunday.

After the race, my family and I got together with Tripp’s family — his mom, grandmother, grandfather and others — everyone in their “Team Tripp” shirts. There was even a tent bearing his name. The culmination of the past 67 days happened right there after the race. Everyone shared in the moment, talked about a brave little boy gone far too soon and the money he helped raise.

$42,000. And there will be more.

I’ll never forget Sunday, March 4, 2012. I’m a better person coming out the other side of this. I’ve learned a lot. I am eternally thankful to Tripp’s family for allowing me shine a big, bright light on their precious angel and the terrible disease he fought so bravely.

Since the day Tripp was born he knew nothing but pain. But that didn’t get in the way on Sunday. Tripp brought joy, some tears and a feeling of triumph — a sucker punch to EB and a step closer to a cure.

To everyone who donated: I can never thank you enough. You’ve helped make a difference.

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Comments

  1. Scott, this is totally inspirational. Congratulations

  2. Thank you so much Mr. Walker. My son Jonah has EB and I always called Tripp his “brother from another mother.” They are only three months apart in age, and we ache for Tripp every day. Jonah is still fighting and will continue to do so until hopefully the day there is a cure. You ran in memory of Tripp, but you also ran for all the kids still living in pain, still fighting, still hoping for their healing. God bless you for all you’ve done. You don’t know what folks like you mean to folks like me, a momma in North Carolina, hoping someday her boy can know a life without pain. Thank you sounds cheap, but THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

    • Toni :0) says:

      Beautiful post and so well said! Makes me so proud to be a part of Jonah’s auction. Maybe Mr. Walker would be interested in partcipating in Jonah’s auction next year? So awesome what he did for dEBra.org…congrats on helping to aid research into this horrible disease! Woot Woot :0)

  3. This is absolutely amazing! I live in a small town in Virginia and we have our own Eb sweetie named Evan. He is 3 years old and an amazing little boy, that makes everyone who meets him fall in love with him. It is because people like you who do such amazing things ,these children will maybe someday have a cure
    !!

  4. corrina says:

    Thank you Mr Walker for “shining a big, bright light on a precious angel and the terrible disease he fought so bravely”
    Because of people like you many more people are aware of the terrible diease that is EB and hope that someday someone will find a cure.

  5. Adrienne Provost says:

    Scott,
    We send prayers of thanks to God for you – inspired to use your talents and time for the sake of helping others. You have not only raised an INCREDIBLE amount of money for EB research and support, but you’ve provided inspiration to many more to do the same. We are an EB family in Chicago. Our youngest child, Caroline, is 6 and struggles daily with the challenges wrought by EB. When she asks us “When can I have skin like you? I don’t want EB skin!”, we can relate the story of people in New Orleans who are raising money so doctors can find a way to take the EB away. She asks us, “Can I ask God to give me normal skin?” We tell her YES, ask every day, we just don’t know when or how He’ll answer. Your support of EB research is part of His answer.

    God bless you and all of Team Tripp!! Thank you for helping get us one step closer to finding a cure for EB!

  6. You rock buddy. Thank you.

  7. Da molto lontano, dall’Italia, Sardegna, un pensiero ogni giorno per il piccolo Tripp e la sua mamma, per il grande insegnamento che mi hanno dato con la loro forza e il loro coraggio.
    Grazie
    Carla

  8. Amazing Man you have my total respect!! May Gog Bless You for all you have done!!

  9. GOD Sorry

  10. Geri Kelly says:

    Hi Scott, I am the EB Nurse Educator for DebRA and on behalf of all my families, THANK YOU! A thousand times, THANK YOU!

  11. Thank you Scott. Following the blog about Tripp has changed me as a person and has moved me beyond explanation. I applaud what you have done and am so thankful for what your gesture has done. Not only have you helped spread awareness and raised money but you have helped spread hope. Hope that we can all be better people and band together to find a cure for something so desparately needed. As I’m sure you believe too, even one person suffering from this disease is too many… much less an innocent child. Bless you.

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  1. […] already written about the remarkable community response to my half marathon run in memory of Tripp Roth, but I wanted to specifically mention a couple of […]