Last Friday, the 4th of July, I had the opportunity to volunteer as an Angel for my TEAM TRIUMPH The Light of Las Vegas Chapter. myTEAM TRIUMPH is a nationwide athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. The Light of Las Vegas Chapter was founded by an amazing woman named Eden Capsouto who has 3 disabled children of her own. She is a runner and would run pushing one of her daughters and started noticing so many positive changes with her behavior, speech and academics. Inspired by Dick Hoyt, and with the help of his publicist, Eden was able to form the Las Vegas Chapter.
my TEAM TRIUMPH The Light of Las Vegas Chapter is a fairly new organization, only going back to last September, but they are growing and hope to expand to reach every person in Las Vegas with disabilities that would like experience these events. Until now they have only completed 5ks, but they are aiming to be in full force at the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in November.
I met up with Eden and her husband Tony prior to the race to go over the details and the operation of the racing chair. Each Captain (the disabled person) is put with two Angels (the pushers) and I got to be paired up with an amazing Angel named Craig and an even more amazing Captain named David. I got to meet David’s mother and his two brothers as well, who are all such wonderful people. When running a race, everyone cheers for the Captain because it is their race. If they place in the race amongst the my TRIUMPH TEAM, the Captain gets the award, so the Angels try their hardest to help them win.
I can say from my experience in pushing David that these kids absolutely love doing this. David was so excited, he was laughing and dancing to the music before the race. During the race he just loved when we would go fast down some of the hills, laughing and giggling the whole time. All of the Captains were equipped with spray water bottles and he kept us cool by spraying us for the duration of the race. We were able to help David come in second place out of the my TEAM TRIUMPH, which was very cool because that meant he got an award! What a highlight to the event!
my TEAM TRIUMPH is such a great organization, and Eden is such a special person with an amazing heart. They are a non-profit organization and rely solely on donations. They are in need of better racing chairs and a bigger vehicle to transport the chairs to the events. If you wish to donate to their organization, you can do so through their website here.
This was such a rewarding experience and I am so happy I got to meet David and his family, Eden, and all of the other members of my TEAM TRIUMPH. I hope that I will have the opportunity to be an Angel again.
Also, we have a Fellow Flowers winner!