This past weekend marked a monumental moment for me—a journey that intertwined personal dedication, professional support, and a heartfelt cause. As I laced up my running shoes and participated in the St. Jude's Memphis Marathon, I couldn't help but reflect on the incredible path that led me there and the unwavering support from WestPac Wealth Partners, a company that champions life-work integration®.
The marathon wasn't just about running 26.2 miles—it was a tribute to the memory of a brave soul, Hudson Baker. At the tender age of 4, Hudson battled Sonic Hedgehog Medulloblastoma with a courage that inspired everyone around him. Sadly, in early November, Hudson passed away, leaving behind a legacy of joy, love, and remarkable strength.
Hudson wasn't just a name; he was the nephew of a dear friend and colleague, Bridget Orr. I had the privilege of meeting Hudson earlier this year, and his spirit had an indelible impact on me. His relentless optimism, despite the challenges he faced, continues to resonate deeply within me.
As I took on this marathon with St. Jude's, I didn't just run for the finish line—I also fundraised for Strong Like Hudson, an initiative dedicated to continuing Hudson's legacy and supporting families battling similar adversities.
The road to this marathon was both physically and emotionally demanding. Yet, amid the training regimen, WestPac Wealth Partners stood by me, embodying its belief in life-work integration. The company's flexible schedules and supportive environment allowed me to pursue my training without compromising my professional responsibilities. Their encouragement and understanding made this journey possible.
During the race, the emotional intensity peaked as the course wound through the heart of the Memphis St. Jude's campus. Every step along the way was met with heartwarming and inspirational messages from the resilient children courageously battling cancer. These messages, lining the path, carried immense significance, infusing each stride with purpose and motivation. Running amidst the indomitable spirit and determination of these incredible children was a poignant reminder of the vital importance of our commitment to supporting St. Jude's mission. Their unwavering strength and positivity were profoundly moving and served as a powerful source of inspiration throughout the marathon.
I'm profoundly grateful for the overwhelming support and generosity from friends, colleagues, and the WestPac Wealth Partners' community. Your contributions have not only brought hope and healing to children and families facing challenges similar to Hudson's but have also exemplified the spirit of compassion and solidarity that resonates deeply within us all.
This marathon wasn't just a personal triumph; it was a testament to the values and culture fostered by WestPac Wealth Partners—a commitment to individuals pursuing their passions while making a meaningful impact on the world around them.
As I reflect on this experience, I carry Hudson's spirit with me, drawing strength from his resilience. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined me in honoring Hudson's memory and making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Thank you for being part of this journey and for your unwavering support for a cause that holds immense significance for me and countless others. Together, we continue to spread hope and positivity in the face of adversity.