By Rossy Sawyer
Every year, more and more folks come together to run, walk or cheer on those who participate in the Dove Dash to benefit Ryan's Reach. And every year, more teams crop up as the word of this special event spreads.
Today inside the gates of Dove Canyon, Team Braden makes its debut. At the helm is Jayne Little—housewife, mother of three, and long-distance runner—a remarkable lady with a very personal stake in this race.
The team mascot is none other than her oldest son who, at the age 2, fell from a balcony and shattered his skull. After being in a coma for a month, the once energetic toddler woke up to find he’d become a quadriplegic with very few motor and vocal skills. That was in 1990, when guidelines for treating victims of traumatic brain injuries were few and the results poor, at best.
- 13th Annual Dove Dash 5K and 10K run/walk to benefit survivors of traumatic brain injuries through Ryan's Reach.
- Event scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.
- Late Registration at 6:30 a.m. at Gold's Gym, 31941 Dove Canyon Drive: 5/10K 10 and under: $20; 5K 11 and over: $40; 10K 11 and over: $50. Includes T-Shirt, pancake breakfast and goody bag.
- Shuttle service from Gold's Gym to starting line and Dove Canyon Golf Club.
- Post-race activities include food and drinks, music, kid's activities, awards.
Because of his age, Braden’s care was entrusted to
California’s Special Ed system. The rest was left to his family. At the age of
22, Braden graduated from the system and entered High Hopes, a
rehabilitation center for victims of traumatic brain injuries that benefits from the Dove Canyon run.
“When I walked through that door with Braden and looked around, I sighed a sigh of relief as I realized that finally he was where he needed to be,” Jayne Little recalled. “These were his people. This was his place.”
Three years later, the Laguna Hills woman and her family have noticed significant improvements in Braden’s overall health.
“His skin is alive, his mood is brighter, everything’s better and that’s because he’s moving,” Little said.
Using state-of-the-art equipment specially designed to simulate a human’s natural movements and stimulate the brain, High Hopes works to retrain those who have lost functionality due to brain injuries.
Many community races have a charitable component to them, but Little said she can actually see the
benefits of the Dove Dash firsthand every time she visits High Hopes and spots
a new “donated by” sticker on a piece of equipment.
“Our bodies, our minds need movement," Little said. "That’s why the Dove Dash is so relevant. It allows those of us who can run to do it not only for ourselves, but more importantly, for those who can’t.”