LUBBOCK, Texas — March is brain injury awareness month, and Luke Siegel and his father, Tim, decided they wanted to kick it off by running a race that supports and raises awareness for those with disabilities.
Just over five years ago, Luke was in a golf cart accident that left him with a severe brain injury, and just last week, Luke and Tim flew from Lubbock to Atlanta to take on a challenge they had yet to conquer.
“First half marathon at age 57 crazy, isn’t it?” said Siegel. “My motto has been to just put one foot in front of the other.”
The marathon was hosted by The Kyle Pease Foundation, an organization that hopes to improve the lives of those with disabilities through sports, and it was a race Tim and Luke knew they had to be a part of.
“It came at a great time the day before March and to support this incredible cause,” said Siegel. “Team Luke Hope for Minds, we support children after brain injury but also this month to bring awareness, and I think awareness is the keyword. To let people know because there are so many more injuries in children than anyone could ever imagine.”
It took the team just over 3 hours to run the entire course. Tim remembers the first half going by smoothly, with the second half posing some challenges, but said he just kept reminding himself one thing.
“Mile eight, Mile nine, for you Luke and then I just remembered to fight like Luke. It gave me strength not only because I was with Luke but because I was around others in our situation,” said Siegel.
He said while it felt good to cross the finish line, having that time to spend together over those 13 miles was unmatchable.
“I felt closer to Luke. I felt like we had even more of a bond because I was doing something with him. It was not me. I didn’t do the marathon. I didn’t walk half a marathon. We did it together,” said Siegel.
March 3 is Team Luke Hope for Minds day, and the Siegel’s have asked folks to wear green and consider donating $3 or $33 since 3 is Luke’s favorite number. Those that donate $33 will also get a free Team Luke T-shirt.