Rose Hochgraef is getting ready to rappel down the CityScape building in downtown Phoenix on Saturday. This is her second year doing the Over the Edge event for Special Olympics Arizona.
During the event, people rappel down 27 stories to help raise money for the organization.
Hochgraef is doing this for her daughter Gracie, who suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy and passed away at the age of 12.
We featured Gracie’s story last year on Health2Fit — http://www.health2fit.com/7977-2/
While Hochgraef was a little nervous when doing this challenge, she had a lot of fun and knew she couldn’t pass up doing it in 2016. This year she will have company. Hochgraef enlisted a few family and friends to join her Over the Edge.
- I’m excited to hear that you’re doing the Special Olympics Arizona Over the Edge event on Saturday, Dec. 10. Why is it important for you to take part in this event again?
My daughter was an amazing child and inspired me through her ability to smile through her medical challenges. I was lost after her passing and wanted to find something that I could do to support and honor her. Special Olympics provides a place where individuals with special needs can feel comfortable and participate in activities that make them feel accepted.
- What was it like to rappel down 27 stories last year?
It was terrifying! I was so scared and as I was waiting on the balcony it started raining. I didn’t think I could do it! However, I put on my Gracie smile and did it quickly.
- Did you do anything differently to prepare for this year’s event?
I have continued to work out and maintain a healthy regimen in hopes that it will ease my fears and help me get to the bottom of the building.
- You have enlisted more people to go Over the Edge with you this year — Your son and Deezel Muscle.
Yes it is wonderful to have the support of friends and family this year. I look forward to spending time with the team while we wait at the balcony for our turn to Go Over the Edge.
- I know you wore a special outfit last year for Gracie. Do you plan on doing it again?
This year is a little different as there are a total of six of us. We are all wearing superhero costumes and will have a yellow cape & tutu in honor of Gracie.
- What advice can you give people doing the Special Olympics Arizona Over the Edge event for the first time?
My advice is simple – keep smiling and breathing. The fear that you will encounter is overwhelming but only temporary. This is for a greater cause as the Special Olympics athletes have to face their fears daily and overcome tremendous challenges. It took me about nine minutes to get to the bottom and changed my perspective on life forever.
- Why should people donate to this event whether by participating or giving money?
Special Olympics provides a safe and welcoming community for individuals who deserve to be able to participate in an athletic event that showcases their abilities. Their donations will allow someone to be set free from their physical disability for a short time – that is priceless!
- Where can people find your fundraising pages?
- Anything else you would like to add?
Only that I am truly blessed to have been Gracie’s mother. She changed my life in ways I never knew were possible. In her short 12 years, she taught me what it is like to embrace every day with a smile and keep having fun throughout the challenging times. She always took the time to tell me how much she loved me (even if I only left her side for a few minutes). I want to continue to honor her and share a positive impact on others’ lives. That is why I support Special Olympics.
For more information about the 2016 Special Olympics Arizona Over the Edge event visit http://www.specialolympicsarizona.org/events/over-the-edge-2016