Our involvement with mTT has literally changed those of us that have participated in training runs, events, and/or been fortunate to have Captains and Angels address our offices. Not only do we have a greater understanding of the difficulties disabled individuals and their families go through every day, but we have experienced their compassion for others, their never quit attitudes, and appreciation for our interaction and participation with them. As heard frequently from mTT Angels and volunteers, while we have given of ourselves but have received much more in return!
Many of our Aon team have verbally provided personal testimonials to me and others. In fact, our employees enjoy a special bond, synergy if you will, because of our involvement it mTT captains and their families. Discussions regarding certain Captains and their families are a frequent occurrence in our office. mTT has allowed us to become an even stronger team because of our focus on mTT Captains.
Let me provide a snapshot of my own experiences.
Attached is a photograph of one of the first mTT events in which I participated. The name of the young man in the middle of the photo is Patrick, age 13 at the time, who has been blind since birth. Prior to this event, I never had any personal interaction with a blind person. In fact, the thought of a blind person being able to participate in any kind of an athletic event was out of the question. Patrick and his parents may have shared similar views. But mTT provided a vehicle allowing Patrick to be part of a milestone event: the mTT Triumph Mile that occurred the evening before the Bellin 10K run in June of 2014.
It is difficult to capture in words how excited Patrick was to run in this one mile event. A child being picked to be on a sporting team times a factor of 10? Patrick’s smile, laughter, and chatter were simply contagious to everyone around him. Smiles of his family were heartwarming and this was probably the very first time they saw Patrick being able to do things that other kids and parents take for granted. Imagine a multitude of on-lookers cheering for Triumph Mile participants but to Patrick, they were all cheering for him.
Lining up at the starting line, I did not know what to expect. Another young man serving as an Angel accompanied us. How could I help Patrick complete this event and interact with someone much younger? The starting device was sounded and we were off! Patrick, frankly, ran much faster than one would imagine. One of the Angels even had a problem keeping up the pace. But the pace was maintained while steering Patrick by his arm around chuckholes, other Triumph Mile participants and other road obstacles. We crossed the finish line with the crowd and Patrick cheering ecstatically followed by the taking of the photo in the attachment. Patrick’s mother was beaming and stated that Patrick never smiled that much in his entire life. The young man that I didn’t think would be able to run the mile experienced being “one of the gang” and indicated that he wanted to participate in other events.
The Angel to Patrick’s left in the photo is one of many young Angels that participate in mTT events. You cannot imagine the joy of being with a group of young people that unselfishly serve others. Not the normal headlines we see on the evening news.
As a corporate leader, I have often been approached for our firm to contribute financially to many worthwhile charities. Aon of Wisconsin and Aon internationally supports hundreds of charities. However, our financial gifts to mTT are enhanced by participation of our employees which is an element not shared by many other charities.
Please join us in support of this tremendous organization.
Jim Trader, Senior Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions