“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for extraordinary destiny.”
C. S. Lewis, author
I’m on my way to Hollywood.
Not to get my star in a ceremony on The Walk of Fame. This is a much bigger and exciting event. I have a new grandson born at The Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Mother and baby are doing fine.
We are blessed.
The little fella will be five weeks old when I meet him. I am thrilled beyond words. He is healthy and has a great Mom and Dad. A pretty good way to start life, I’d say.
I love you, Noah.
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My wife and I will take in all the sights and sounds that make Hollywood famous. And I will have the honor of meeting Ken E. Nwadike Jr.
Because of an absent father, at the age of eight, Ken became the man of the house.
The trouble was there was no house.
Ken, his mother and four other children were homeless.
Fast forward twenty years, Ken is now director of The Hollywood Half Marathon and his mission is raising money for The Los Angeles Youth Network and Covenant House California.
On any given night there are 8,000 kids homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.
They need food, clothes, shelter, health care and counseling. Ken and his organization, Super Hero Events is part of the solution.
Ken is more than happy to tell you about the most important super hero in his life – his mother. “She did her best to find work and take care of us,” he said. “Not everyone is homeless because of drugs and alcohol. My mother raised five kids and none of us had a drug problem or went to jail.”
In high school, Ken discovered a gift for running and won a college scholarship. It was his ticket out of poverty and an opportunity to create a new life. Knowing there are plenty of kids struggling on the same road he traveled, Ken made the decision to do something about it.
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April 6, 2013
It’s 6:00 AM
Along with 7,499 other runners, I’m standing on Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Dolby Theatre – home of The Academy Awards. The second annual Hollywood Half Marathon is about to start. You can see the famous HOLLYWOOD sign on the mountains above us. In 2 hours 54 minutes and 31 seconds I will cross the finish line – number 25 of 29 runners in my age group (60 to 64)
My prize is a medal in the shape of a star.
* * *
April 15, 2013
A terrorist attack at The Boston Marathon kills 3 people and injures 264 others.
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April 21, 2014
At the Boston Marathon Ken Nwadike holds up a sign, FREE HUGS. Hundreds of runners stop to hug Ken and his message will soon be seen around the world.
No matter what the question, love is the answer.