Hi, my name is Candy Underhill and I am the founder/race director for the Mountain to Valley 10 Miler & FAST 4 Miler. Two years ago, my son, Sam, was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome. I remember the only feeling I could label was “devastation.” All the dreams we had for him were now replaced with questions–will he say mama, will he walk, how will we keep him safe, and is there hope for a cure?
I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Weeber shortly after Sam’s diagnosis. He was excited to share all the approaches his team was taking towards finding a cure or treatment for AS. As we spoke, I sensed his confidence–that there was a reason to believe in a cure for our children. I just remember hanging up the phone and telling my husband, “Why not… why not a cure?” This has been my mantra ever since that conversation.
I have been a runner for 15 years and have always seen the correlation between distance running and hope. I was thankful to have this tool in my life to cope with whatever life threw at me. So after my son’s diagnosis, it made perfect sense to do something to spread that hope–not just for my son and family, but for the entire AS/special needs community. I decided to host a race to benefit all those that were going to make a difference in Sam’s life and other children like him. There was no question who the beneficiaries should be. Mountain Valley Developmental services provided the early intervention services that were making a difference in Sam’s present life, and FAST was working hard to make a difference in his future.
On June 2nd, we hosted the 2nd Annual Mountain to Valley Races. We were excited to have Miles for Smiles’ own Deanna McCurdy, her husband David, and their two beautiful children join us. We offered a beautiful ten mile run through stunning Colorado scenery. We also had a FAST four miler and the Smilin’ Sam Fun Run, named in honor of my sweet Smilin’ Sam. The races were held in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and we were so excited for another great event. If you would like more information, visit our website at www.mountaintovalleyrace.com or call me at 970-230-1001.