By Elizabeth Lowe
Bradley Catterton, an 11-year-old parishioner of St. Ignatius, Hickory, had a heart transplant in April 2009.
Bridget Diveley, 4, whose family worships at Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, underwent the same procedure in March 2010, also at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
To honor their respective children, Michele Catterton and Scott Diveley wanted to create a footrace, but didn’t know where to begin. A year ago, each was elated to learn that the other had been thinking the same thing.
“It has been on my mind since 2009,” Catterton said. “I was relieved when he (Diveley) came to me, that there was a person thinking the same thing.”
The first annual Bridget and Bradley Heart 5K Run/Walk is Sept. 8 in Fallston. Proceeds benefit the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The event’s organizers are Dively and Catterton, who noted that 136 participants were registered as of Aug. 27.
Dr. Janet Scheel, a pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Bridget and Bradley’s doctor, said the race raises awareness about organ donation.
“People can see both Bradley and Bridget are doing so great and living very active lives and can see what an organ donation can do,” Scheel said.
Bradley is a healthy fifth-grader at Forest Hill Elementary School.
Diveley is excited “to show everyone our kids and how healthy they are, how they’re thriving.”
Jennifer Diveley, Bridget’s mother, said “it’s always good to have good things come out of a tragedy.”
“I never asked why God chose to do this to her because I never thought God did this to her,” she said. “I just had to have faith that God knew what he was doing.”
Needing someone to lean on, the families found each other and have found comfort in their friendship.
“You need to share your experiences,” Diveley said, “especially for us, because Bridget is so small.”
For Catterton, her family’s friendship with the Diveleys has been a source of comfort.
“We have so much in common and we’ve done so much this past year,” Catterton said. “I’m hoping the friendship stays.”
At a cookout the Cattertons hosted Aug. 19, Bradley and Bridget compared their scars.
“You could see it register on Bridget’s face,” Jennifer Diveley said. “She picked up her dress, she showed everyone her scar. It was the first time seeing something on herself mirrored on another person.”
Catholic parishes, schools, institutions and other worthy causes highlight the fall running and walking calendar.
Bridget and Bradley Heart 5K Run/Walk
Annie’s Playground, Fallston, 8 a.m.
Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K and 1-mile walk
Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University, 8:30 a.m.
Run to Remember (9/11)
World Trade Center, Pratt Street, Baltimore, 8:46 a.m.
Patriot Day 5K walk
The Residences at Bulle Rock, Havre de Grace, 11 a.m.
Jessica Meredith Jacobsen 5K Memorial Run
Immaculate Conception Church, Towson, 8 a.m.
Breathe Deep Baltimore 5K Walk/Fun Run
333. West Camden St., Baltimore, 9 a.m.
Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial 5K and 1-mile run
Diane Geppi-Aikens Field, Loyola University, 8:30 a.m.
Heat It To Beat It, 2.8 mile walk
Rash Field, Inner Harbor, 10 a.m.
Marian House 5K Race to Embrace Independence and walk
Lake Montebello, Baltimore, 9 a.m.
Notre Dame Prep Blazer Dash 5K
Notre Dame Prep, 9 a.m.
Gabriel Network’s 5K Walk/Run
Meadowbrook Park, Ellicott City, 9:30 a.m.
Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival
Camden Yards, marathon begins at 8 a.m.
St. Francis of Assisi 5K cross country race and fun run
Herring Run Park, Baltimore, 8:30 a.m.
St. Ursula 5K and 1-mile walk
St. Ursula School, Parkville, 9 a.m.
Charm City Run Kids XC Series
Loyola Blakefield, 3:30 p.m.
Run 4 Life Dustin Bauer Memorial 5K and 1-mile walk
Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville, 4 p.m.
Copyright (c) Sept. 7, 2012 CatholicReview.org