A 10-year-old inspiration

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Lily Embury shows courage, maturity beyond her years

By Stevie Lowery

There are some stories, when you hear them, your jaw drops in pure amazement.
A friend shared a jaw-dropping story with me last week.
The story, which aired on WLEX18-TV recently, was about 10-year-old Lily Embury of Lexington who is currently training for the Myrtle Beach half marathon.
A 10-year-old training for a half marathon?
How can that be?
Is that even possible?
I mean, I didn't have the courage to run a half marathon until I was 30. She's only 10! Talk about a blow to the ego!
But, Lily is not your average 10-year-old.
She's an old soul.
Listening to her speak you would swear she was in her 30s. And she's also extremely disciplined for her age. Instead of enjoying slumber parties with her friends on the weekends, she's putting in long runs. And, I can empathize with her on that. It's something my running buddies and I are doing every weekend, too.
This past weekend, Lily ran 13 miles, her farthest distance yet.
And, again, I must repeat... She's only 10 years old!
But, wait, the story gets better.
Lily has Muscular Dystrophy.
Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disorder that weakens the muscles that help the body move. Muscular Dystrophy weakens muscles over time, so children, teens, and adults who have the disease can gradually lose the ability to do the things most people take for granted, like walking or sitting up.
But, Lily is defying the odds by pounding the pavement.
And, she's one focused young lady, I must say.
Her training includes three to four mile runs four days a week and a long run on the weekends.
"I have to make choices about my free time and sometimes, it can get really tough," Lily said. "But I think about my goal - what I want to accomplish - and why I want to accomplish it and then I know I can keep going."
Her goal is not only running the Myrtle Beach half marathon, which is this month, but also raising awareness and money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
According to Lily, MDA has been a big help to her and her family. She said her favorite thing about MDA is its summer camp.
"It was my first sleep away camp experience and when I got there I learned something really, really important... There are other kids just like me," she said.
MDA doesn't charge campers. That expense is paid through donations and fundraising, which is why Lily was inspired to raise money for MDA. So far, she's raised more than $2,000, and you can help her raise even more by donating. Just go to her facebook page: www.facebook.com/lilyemburyruns.
Lily is an amazing little girl.
At such a young age she is such an inspiration, and a perfect example of how young people can make a huge difference. All it takes is some determination, discipline and, in Lily's case, some good running shoes!
Rock on, Lily! I hope to have the honor of running with you someday.


A love for dogs...
The past several weeks have been tough for dogs and dog lovers in Marion County.
A Campbellsville woman confessed last week to dumping 23 dogs at the Marion County/Taylor County line. While she claims it was an isolated incident, dog dumping is a common occurrence.
Animal abuse is also all too common.
Last week, I wrote about "Sarakay," a dog that was rescued by Kay Turpin and Sarah Gribbins at the Marion County Animal Shelter after nearly starving to death. She continues to heal and make progress, which we have been documenting on our facebook page thanks to her earthly angel, June Sooter.
After sleeping for nearly 22 hours straight during the past weekend, Sarakay is feeling better. She is refusing to drink for some reason, so Sooter is giving her water with a syringe every hour. Sooter was taking her back to the vet this week for a checkup.
During the past week, I've learned that Sarakay has many followers who care about her well-being. She's touched the hearts of many. Unfortunately, there is believed to be several more dogs suffering from severe starvation and abandonment, some of which might be Sarakay's own children. The dogs are believed to be on an abandoned property on Logan Hill Road. Turpin and Gribbins have attempted to obtain a search warrant in hopes of rescuing the other animals, but they have been unsuccessful so far. It's disheartening and maddening, to say the least. But, it's par for the course in the state that leads the country in having such lax animal abuse laws.
However, Turpin and Gribbins say they aren't giving up on saving the other animals.
And Sarakay isn't giving up, either.
This dog's days are not over, people. They are just beginning.