You may have heard her name over the years. Lori Mitchener. You may know her only as the woman that runs for Team Rett in the purple angel dress. Who is she? How did she come to devote herself to our cause? How did we get to be “her people?”
Lori’s connection to the cause of Rett Syndrome started years ago, in Early Intervention. One of her little cherubs participated in a therapeutic play group, along with a twin set of cherubs, named Ava and Juliana, both with Rett Syndrome. Moms got to know each other, and hearts connected. Besides being a mom, a professor, an environmental scientist, and a mountain biker, Lori was an avid runner. When RSAM was offered charity bibs for the Boston Marathon, although it seemed a long-shot due to the level of commitment required, the Rett Mom asked Lori if she would be willing to raise money for the cause, and run in the Marathon on behalf of all those living with Rett Syndrome. Lori responded immediately , with an emphatic YES.
In that first fundraising year, Lori pulled together a whole community to raise money and awareness. In the process, she became a devoted helper and champion of families living with the realities of Rett. She shows up with a smile when spirits are low, helps when help is needed. Turns out, if you do a little research on Lori, you will find yourself in awe, as I did. Each picture of Lori participating in Rett events, each podcast, each newspaper article brings tears of heartache, tears of joy, but most of all admiration and appreciation for her selfless commitment to our community, our children, and our country. She runs the streets in times of crisis. The year of the bombings, Lori went back the next day and ran the marathon again, draped in an American flag with pride and honor. When COVD hit, she ran the streets of Lynnfield like a superhero, giving a sense of hope and togetherness to strangers and neighbors alike. Since 2011, Lori Mitchener has run the Boston Marathon on Team Rett in honor of our girls, boys and families. She has trained and supported others to do the same. She is an incredible athlete; not only running ultra-marathons (and often winning), but also swimming around, say, a Florida Key (also winning). Her drive, ambition and compassion is without compare. We are honored once again that she is working with Team Rett. Lori Mitchener has truly been an angel amongst our angels over the years. We are so thankful to Lori, and for her relentless contributions to our community and to Rett Angels of Massachusetts. As always, run, Lori run. You have our gratitude.