Family Fun and Social Wellness – They go Hand-in-Hand

Yesterday, my hubby and I went on a 5K walk/run with several members of my husband’s extended family. We participated in the annual Be the Match Walk/Fun Run sponsored by UAW-Ford, held at Stoney Creek Metropark, a county park in Michigan.

The Be the Match organization is run by the National Marrow Donor Program.®  This organization helps thousands of people suffering from blood cancers, by registering bone marrow donors. Bone marrow transplants save lives.

Three years ago, a bone marrow transplant (along with her own positive mental attitude) saved Bea’s sister-in-law, who had been diagnosed with Myelodysplasia (MDS). My sister-in-law’s bone marrow wasn’t working properly. It wasn’t producing enough healthy blood cells, and abnormal cells were showing up in her blood stream and/or bone marrow. So yesterday, we walked or ran to celebrate her “3rd” birthday and to give other people a chance to survive blood cancers.

It was a sunny, blue-sky day on Saturday. Thirteen of us made up Team Cathy – we ranged in age from 2 years to 60+. What was great about it? We spent time together, we exercised (good for our health), and we donated money to a great cause. Additionally, some of us (those in the 18 to 44 age range) were able to register to become marrow donors in the future.

We also enhanced our social wellness. We did this simply by being together, and showing support for the battle my sister-in-law fought for the last several years. We were a “support group” for the Be the Match organization. We laughed while we did the Zumba warm-up led by the walk’s organizers.

Why we need social wellness:

  • People with a good social network tend to add years to their lives (and life to their years)
  • People with good relationships tend to handle stress better, and have healthier hearts
  • People who nurture others tend to have stronger immune systems
  • People who have good family/friend relationships have better self-esteem. Laughing together with family and enjoying good times is a great mental health booster.

 

For further reading:

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

July is Social Wellness Month

Dimensions of Wellness: Social Wellness

Be the Match – People’s Stories