Running To Make The World A Better Place
Little TuVan, the runner of Sunflower Mission family, outdid herself again with tenacity and diligence. This year, Tu Van ran an excellent race in the age group of 15-19 because she was incorrectly entered into the computer as aged 19… Little TuVan is only 11 years old! Even with that mistake, TuVan came in 99th place out of more than 3000 runners. Her enthusiastic sponsors and donors have helped her to raise $2900, surpassing the $2100 she set for herself. TuVan wishes to dedicate the fund raised to three charities of her heart:
- MS Police department: $700
- MD Anderson: $1050
- Sunflower Mission: $1050
This is the third year Little TuVan ran to help make a huge difference in the lives of many impoverished children of Vietnam with her donation to Sunflower Mission.
Running the day of the race is the easy part. The training and daily routine are the harder part. This year, TuVan faced several obstacles that could have deterred any adult, let alone a kid, from continuing. But TuVan never stopped. The first hurdle came in the summer of 2008 with a knee injury that halted all her training until January of 2009. With light training, little TuVan started to gain her rhythm and strength. However, 6 weeks before the real 5K race, she once again injured herself while doing some work at the gym at school. Once again the intense training stopped to give her leg time to heal. During this break, TuVan continued to do bicycle pedaling and weight training to keep her stamina and strength. Three weeks before the real race, the rigorous daily routine resumes preparing her for the real race.
Saturday arrived! TuVan ran hard and came in at 24:39, beating her previous year’s time of 26:08. At the finish line, her parents waited for little TuVan who could only think of one thing: RESTROOM PLEASE!
Although TuVan ran against kids who are so much older than her (due to computer mistake mentioned above) and as a result did not place first, we could not be more proud of her tenacity and compassion. After the race was over, TuVan shared that through all the training and the actual race, her leg was still in pain. She did not reveal her pain to her parents for fear of having to stop the training … and she simply could not stop because she was running for the children of Vietnam and for the 10 year old Lauren Rosales who was diagnosed recently with ovarian cancer at aged 10. TuVan has decided to present her Silver Metal to Lauren!
Little Tu Van also excels in school with her recent acceptance into the Gifted and Talented program for the coming school year.
CONGRATULATIONS, LITTLE TUVAN, our little athlete and scholar! Many children will benefit from your gift of compassion and incredible hard work, every drop of sweat of it!
By Duy-Loan Le
May 17, 2009