In this episode, Host Annette Hines honors the legacies of Boston Marathon competitor Rick Hoyt and her daughter, Elizabeth, through a tribute to author and previous Parenting Impossible guest, Jess Ronne, and her use of the word “grit” to mean a will to persevere amidst the challenges of living as a special needs family.

Rick Hoyt and his father, Dick Hoyt, showed continual grit as Team Hoyt as they entered as dual Boston Marathon participants for the first time in 2012 with Dick pushing Rick in his wheelchair during the course. The marathon administration had to develop a new classification for their participation because no one before them had ever entered to run as a team.  Rick Hoyt’s cerebral palsy left him as a quadriplegic, and he recently passed away on May 22 due to complications in his respiratory system.  Team Hoyt persevered with grit to complete the Boston Marathon course 32 times as well as over 1,000 other races, and their courage, determination, and indomitable spirit stand as a model to others that Yes You Can set goals, challenge yourself, and accomplish the difficult.

Hines also recounts the grit of her daughter, Elizabeth, who passed away 10 years ago in November of 2023.  That same year in April, the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred right at the same time as  Elizabeth’s entrance into hospice and gradual ultimate decline.  Each May, which is Elizabeth’s birth month, Hines retells the legacy of her daughter and how Elizabeth fueled Hines’ passion and desire to provide the resources families with disabilities need to protect themselves and their loved ones.  Hines reminds listeners that despite the hardships and difficult moments that families and individuals with disabilities encounter, it’s essential to cherish life and live in the present with grit.

You can learn more about Hines’ own story as a special needs mom in the previous three-part episode series, Telling Her Story:

Telling Her Story with Annette Hines
Telling Her Story: Part 2 with Annette Hines
Telling Her Story: Part 3 with Annette Hines

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