EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMILES FOR MADI
from Eyewitness News Online
One Dad's Quest To Help Daughter And Kids Nationwide
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Kristin Keeling
Reported: Sep. 23, 2012 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 23, 2012 6:48 PM EDT
Hurricane , Putnam County , West Virginia
A father will soon face a challenge that will take hundreds of miles to finish. But he's doing it to make a difference in his daughter's life and beyond.
6-year old Madi Arthur is a beautiful, happy, and curious little girl. She plays and acts like a typical six year old. But Madi's father, Ron, says around this time last year it was a different story.
"Her personality was different. She could hardly hold her head up. She had no energy. I would ask her what was wrong and she would tear up and say she didn't know what was wrong," said Ron Arthur.
Doctors soon diagnosed Madi with Type 1 Diabetes. That means Madi's body doesn't produce any insulin, keeping the hormone from converting sugar and other foods into energy. "When we were laying in the hospital and she was in the ICU with IVs hooked up to her and went from hardly being able to hold her head up, to just feeling strong. And all of a sudden she's the first person to start laughing and lifting everyone's spirit," he said.
That's when Ron, who is a state trooper, said he had to make a change. Not just for Madi, but for all young people diagnosed with the disease. And since Ron is an avid biker, runner, and swimmer he decided to take that to a new level. "I wanted to do something all the way across the state to promote physical fitness but mostly to raise money and awareness for Type 1 juvenile diabetes."
This Wednesday, Ron will put his mind and body to the test in the Almost Heaven Epic Challenge. It's a challenge that is 100 miles longer than an Ironman.
He plans to swim 5 miles in Cheat Lake, jump onto his bike and ride 200 miles from Morgantown to Hurricane, then run 40 miles--nearly two marathons from Hurricane to Marshall University Stadium.
Ron says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. "I've had to really calm myself down when I'm training and hold back a bit because I'm training and it starts to hurt, and I think about all the people who have shown support and got involved. And I think about Madi and all the people who have called my wife about their child."
An ultimate challenge that in the end illustrates the unconditional love this father has for his little girl. "Anytime you think you're tough, God will give you a daughter and you realize that you're a pushover."
Ron's challenge starts on Wednesday morning and he hopes to finish by Thursday evening.
If you want to find out more about the Almost Heaven Epic Challenge, just go on Facebook and search "Miles For Madi".
The page is filled with information on how you can get involved and help make a difference.
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