We're so excited to have another athlete - Nicole Abalde - who's dedicated her run to CCA.
You'll remember that Amy Stone dedicated her Triathlon to CCA this summer and now we have a runner from California racking up miles for CCA Smiles!
Nicole, an adult with Goldenhar Syndrome, found out about CCA through the recent interview with Breanna Mendoza, who we invited to our Annual Family Retreat after she endured harsh bullying at her California school. We're so excited that Breanna's story inspired Nicole and now she's helping more kids attend retreat ... Together, we're widening the circle of acceptance and making the world a kinder place.
Check out Nicole's EverydayHero page and an exclusive interview with her below.
CCA: What's your name and where are you from?
NA: I'm Nicole Abalde from Pacifica, CA.
CCA: When did you start running?
NA: This will be my first time training for a 12k or any "k" actually! Due to my recent weight gain, I’ve been trying to adapt a more healthy lifestyle and running/jogging is a simple way to integrate cardio into my life.
CCA: Running is great! And you can definitely take it at your own pace.
CCA: What’s your favorite part about running/racing?
NA: Being outside in the fresh air! Since this is my first time being part of a run with other people, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing all the crazy costumes. I’m also excited to see how long it will take me to finish the run!
CCA: That means, you'll have to send us a photo of your crazy costume, right?
CCA: What do you tell yourself when you want to quit?
NA: If you hate starting over, stop giving up.
CCA: Where did you see Breanna’s story and what was it that moved you the most?
NA: I saw Breanna’s story on huffpost.com and what moved me the most was the initiative of the Children’s Craniofacial Assocation to invite her to a retreat where she could meet other children with Goldenhar. When I was younger I always thought I was the only one with Goldenhar and it was pretty lonely! I’m glad that the CCA exists now for children who are probably going through the same things I went through at school and at home.
CCA: And we're glad adults like you are moved to give back to kids and families just starting this journey.
NA: I was painfully shy as a child in school and even with family. I remember going to many doctor’s appointments after school with my mom and step-dad and being seen by a group of interns every time! I’ve had about five reconstructive surgeries (my last one was in 2010). Post-op was always difficult but I’ve always had my family around to support me. I was never bullied but I’ve had my share of snarky comments from other kids. Most of the time, most kids were just curious and would ask me questions.
CCA: What’s your motto?
NA: Begin with the end in mind.
CCA: Do you have any other hobbies or activities you really enjoy?
NA: I enjoy streetlife photography.
CCA: What’s your advice to others who want to make the world a kinder place?
NA: Never assume anything! Everyone is struggling with their own battle and never compare hardships and tribulations as if it were a contest to see who has the greatest struggle.
Thank you, Nicole! Go get 'em!