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Team Peri - It Takes A Team!!

Peri Finkelstein

Peri Finkelstein

How do you quantify success?

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 Team Peri raced in the Fitbit Miami Marathon on behalf of the children of Chai Lifeline. Our goal was to Break Barriers and achieve what was previously unimaginable for Peri. My plan was to push Peri in the jogging stroller until the 11.3 mile mark so that Peri, Team Peri’s inspiration and captain, would walk the last 1.8 miles in her gait trainer. As they say, man makes plans and G-d laughs. Peri and I started off in the first corral at 5:50am alongside the runners from Achilles. We were decked out in blue and yellow and were trained and ready to go. We were in it to slay the miles at a steady pace and have the rest of the 13 or so Team Peri members catch up to us as they all started in later corrals.

Our jogging stroller’s wheel alignment was off and as luck would have it, constantly needed re-adjusting by myself to push it in a straight path. It required a colossal amount of upper body strength and aerobic stamina going up those first 3 miles of bridges in the marathon course. Peri and I pushed through it, and for the first time in my nine years of marathoning, all that I could think of was that I needed help. I couldn’t do it alone, despite the hundreds of hours I had trained, lifted weights to build up my upper body strength, no matter how many miles I biked over the year to build up my aerobic stamina, I needed someone to come help me get Peri through to that 11.3 mile mark. And halfway through mile 5 1/2, help came in form of Team Peri member Chris Ulmer, as he had ran the entire way to reach us. He asked if he could push Peri as he could see that I was struggling, and I willingly let him take over. More Team Peri teammates caught up to us as we progressed through the race course, and we began to take turns pushing the stroller, Peri and her equipment, and eventually even Peri in her gait trainer.

That day, I needed help. I couldn’t do it alone. Help was offered and I gratefully accepted it so that I could get Peri to where she needed to be. Did I fail in reaching my goal?

Peri was born with Muscular Dystrophy. She was trached and on a ventilator by the age of 2 1/2 years old. We, as a family, were overwhelmed, exhausted and yet were reluctant to ask for help from anyone outside of our immediate family. Then, somehow, at a particularly lengthy hospital stay, Chai Lifeline found us, entered into PICU at Winthrop Hospital, came over to Peri’s bedside and offered us their help. Uncharacteristically, we accepted, because we were in a dire situation and needed someone else to lean on until we could stand on our own again. Chai Lifeline did just that, food, big brothers/big sisters, Camp Simcha, insurance advocacy. Today, Peri is 18 years old, still trached and on a ventilator 24/7, and has a bright future ahead of her due to her perseverance and tenacity and Chai Lifeline’s never-ending and unwavering support.

Can you quantify one’s success in reaching a goal even if you need help to get to the end?

About Peri’s 1.8 miles that she planned to walk on January 28, 2018 on that last leg of the windy and humid day in Miami at the Fitbit Miami Marathon….. she was able to walk a total of 1.5 miles in the end. Ask her today and she will say that she was disappointed in herself. But that day, Peri’s inner strength gave us all a light to follow. We, her teammates, her amazing Team Peri teammates, decked out in blue and yellow tutu’s, her family, her friends, her nurses, her pediatrician, her physical therapist, the Team Lifeline running coach….. we all came together, spiritually and physically to get Peri over that finish line.

To me, that is success. How can you be a part of this? It takes a team to get this all done. Join Team Peri in helping us reach our goal of raising as much money as we can for the children of Chai Lifeline. Be like Peri. Never give up on your dreams. Rather, make it happen.



raised of $3,600 goal


Go Peri!!!!
2. Baruch & Phyllis S.
In honor of Peri F. and Ellen K.
3. Florence Frenkel
Go Peri!!! 💜💙

Team Peri


Fundraising History

Total Amount Raised since 2012
raised in 2017
raised in 2016
raised in 2015
raised in 2013
raised in 2012
3 donors