Things I’m Thankful for, Part III

By Laura Edwards

I’m feeling bad that I didn’t post an entry for this series last night. John and I went to see a movie and afterward stayed up late making a pumpkin spice roll for Thanksgiving dessert, and it totally slipped my mind. So, technically I need to post twice today to make up for yesterday. However, I’m going to let myself off the hook just this once, because I’m anxious to get over to my parents’ house and still have a ham to cook. I also ran the Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot 8K with my brother, Stephen, this morning in Taylor’s honor and am badly in need of a shower.

So with that said, I think that today, I’m most thankful for my family and that God gave me this day to enjoy with them. I’m thankful that I have the most wonderful husband in the world who is also my best friend, the best parents – who have made so many sacrifices for me and have given me so much – the best brother and sister a girl could ask for, and grandparents with whom I’ve made more happy memories than I could ever begin to count. I’m thankful for all of the other relatives and friends I will not see today. I’m thankful that I am, for the most part, healthy and have the strength and the will to fight for my sister’s life. I’m thankful for the moments when my heart is filled with hope. In those moments, a small part of me believes that I will spend many more Thanksgivings with Taylor. And in those moments, I gather enough strength to go on for another day.

Happy Thanksgiving, and much love to all of my family and friends and everyone who continues to stick with us for the fight against Batten disease!

What I’m Thankful For

By Laura Edwards

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have a few minutes of downtime before we head over to my in-laws’ for three of my favorite things: food, football and fellowship. This morning, I ran in my second straight Turkey Trot 8K to kick off the holiday season and relieve myself of some of the guilt I’d otherwise feel later today. As I trotted 4.96 miles with 6,000 other runners on the SouthPark streets, I had some time to think about what I’m thankful for today:

  • The walkers (5K) and runners (8K) who sported their Taylor’s Tale t-shirts and logged miles this morning in support of our mission, including Sharon King, John Edwards, Debbie Carney, Joanna Ashworth, the Hines family, Sally and Ward Davis and Alyson Wheelahan.
  • The opportunity to spend time with my family this past Sunday and my husband’s family today.
  • The health of those of my loved ones who are healthy and the power of hope for those of my loved ones who are not.
  • Carolina basketball.
  • My love for football and its ability to help me enjoy watching the Panthers play – even this season.
  • A good job and a nice house – isn’t that the American Dream?
  • My friends who have stuck with me even on my darkest days; when I cannot walk, they carry me.
  • Tears. Sometimes, they are necessary.
  • A bookshelf full of tales by others waiting to be read and a blank screen on which to write my own.
  • My brother. Stephen – growing up, I never thought in a million years that we would become so close. I am so proud of you.
  • Nintendo Wii. It has an uncanny ability to help me feel like a kid again – which is a good thing.
  • Music. Words are the language of our hearts; music is the language of our soul.
  • A still-young marriage that has withstood family tragedy after family tragedy.
  • My dog. There’s nothing like a snuggle session with a furry, cuddly animal that loves you after you’ve had a bad day.
  • The sunrise.
  • The sunset.
  • The ocean. Though I don’t get to see it as much as I’d like, when I do, it has a powerful and lasting effect on me.
  • The mountains. Just last weekend, I left Charlotte behind to hike among towering trees, rushing waterfalls and autumn-draped trails. There is a whole world out there to enjoy – the playground God gave us.
  • The opportunity to take my sister to the Miley Cyrus concert on Tuesday night. The progression of the disease is overwhelming these days, but she still smiled and clapped her hands and recognized her favorite songs. Which leads me to…
  • Laughter and smiles. Even if the feeling I have inside doesn’t always match, I still try to laugh and smile – like T would.
  • Talented scientists who devote even a part of their days to finding a cure for Batten disease.
  • All those who helped make Taylor’s Tale possible – and all those whose gifts have helped us contribute to historic research.
  • Rainbows.
  • Memories. If my house burned down and I lost all the material things I own, I would still have my memories.
  • The future. Tomorrow is another day. The path before us is unknown, but our faith – if we can keep it – will light the way.
  • The word “believe.”
Be thankful for this day. It is a gift.

Turkey Trot is Almost Full!

By Laura Edwards

The Charlotte Turkey Trot features a great course and is a hugely popular race, year after year. Word has it that registration for this year’s event is about to be closed. If you’re planning on joining Taylor’s Tale for the 8K run or 5K walk and have not registered, please do so ASAP! You can register online at Don’t be a turkey – reserve your spot now to trot in honor of kids with Batten disease on Thanksgiving Day.

p.s. Just as a reminder – we have t-shirts for anyone taking part in the day’s festivities. Send me an email at with your size and the best way to catch up with you between now and Thanksgiving!

Turkey Trot for Taylor

By Laura Edwards

Join us at the Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning for the 8K run, 5K walk or one-mile fun run. Feel less guilty about eating a big meal later that day, and help us spread the word about Batten disease. Email me at if you plan to run/walk in honor of children like Taylor (who happens to have two 5Ks to her credit!). Include your t-shirt size in your email; we want everyone to wear a Taylor’s Tale t-shirt!

For more information about the race events or to register, visit Hope to see you there!