Celebrating Our Differences One Run at a Time
At Intouch Solutions, we’re characterized by our passion ... passion for our work; passion for our hobbies; passion for helping others.
One Intoucher truly embodies our company’s spirit and is making a significant difference in the lives of a Virginia Beach, VA teenager and his family. Adam Shafer, a senior front end developer in the KC office, and his wife, Sarah, a civil engineer at Black & Veatch, are involved in a program called I Run 4 Michael (IR4) that matches athletes of all levels with children and adults who have special physical, mental and/or developmental needs.
Launched as a private group of 10 runners and the individuals they run for, IR4 has grown quickly over the past several years, and today has made more than 11,000 matches. Among them are Adam and Sarah, who are paired with 16-year-old Noah Mosley, his mother Cynthia and father Keith. Noah, who doesn’t speak or walk, communicates with Adam and Sarah through an interactive device called the Accent 1200, which scans through communication choices and lets Noah regularly share music, notes and more.
Since matching with Noah in November 2014, Adam and Sarah have run countless races in Noah’s name. After completing each run, they send their medals and T-shirts to Noah, which he hangs on his wall. “From the first time we talked to them, it was like we had known each other forever. Even though we only see each other sporadically, it doesn’t feel like we are apart,” said Cynthia.
Adam, Sarah and Noah first met when they ran a race in Virginia. Soon after, the group collectively raised money to purchase Noah a young-adult pushchair, which allows him to join the runs as well. This year, both families participated in a race at Disney World, as well as another run in Virginia.
Adam and Sarah’s relationship with Noah and his family extends beyond running and exchanging prizes, though. It’s based on solidifying healthy habits for both families, sharing goals and learning how differences bring people together.
“IR4 gives people the opportunity to meet someone who doesn’t fit in the same box as them, as far as abilities — it gives them something to share that helps them learn about each other,” said Cynthia. “Adam and Sarah learn about how Noah does things differently. The inclusion element of the program helps everyone see that we have similarities that connect us.”
Adam and Sarah encourage others to get involved with initiatives close to their hearts. “Programs like IR4 allow you to meet others and share your talents, especially because you may not realize the impact of what you take for granted,” said Adam and Sarah. “We would never have known we could make such an impact on another person, or that other people could make an impact on us.”
This summer alone, Adam and Sarah have participated in 20 healthcare-focused runs and walks for Noah through #ALLin’s Feet on the Ground challenge.
“The encouragement and support we receive from Intouch has been awe-inspiring and has pushed us to meet other people who are interested in fundraising programs. We’ve heard so many stories from people affected or touched by different diseases — be it sarcoma or supporting lifelong pet health,” said Adam and Sarah. “Without Intouch’s support, we wouldn’t be able to take part in these initiatives to the extent that we do.”