People helping people
Author: Yvonne Glass
Published On: 06/19/2017
In 2013, Jenn Krawchyk, the mother of a young boy, Kyle, with NF1, from Boardman, OH, called the NF Network looking for a way to connect with people with NF in her area and raise funds for NF research. Four years later I find myself in Boardman Park, early on a Saturday morning with a gentleman named “Ron Maxwell, like the coffee.” He introduced himself to me at the yet to-be set-up registration table for the 5th Annual #NFStrong 5K Walk for Neurofibromatosis.
After a speaking with him a few more minutes and introducing myself, I remembered that I had received a phone call from Ron after last year’s Walk telling me that he had come to the park on Saturday but missed us by an hour. I remembered to that we received a donation from a physician in honor of Ron Maxwell.
Standing in front of me now — an hour early — he reminded me that he was determined to not miss the Walk again this year. While I was cleaning up and everyone was leaving, I had the opportunity to speak to Ron again. I learned that he doesn’t drive and that he lives in Youngstown, OH, over 12 miles away. He explained that he had to ride two buses just to get to the park. I was honored to hear his story and humbled to see his determination to meet with others affected by the same disorder that he struggles with daily, but, I also learned that he wasn’t there for himself, he said that he wanted to come and raise money for the kids. He said that he was older now but that he wanted to help find a cure for the kid’s sake.
After dropping Ron off at the bus stop, I left that day with a renewed sense of the importance of helping others get connected and the need for building strong local communities.