By Libby Rosequist
Bryson Galloway is turning 12 on June 16, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Noticing his friends and family were doing drive-by birthday parties, he wanted to turn his unused quarantine time to benefit a foundation that is close to his and his family’s hearts for his birthday instead.
Bryson took up running due to his sports being canceled for the season and with the help of his father, Chris Galloway, they set up a Facebook page where people can donate to Grady’s Decision as he runs.
“When the schools and sports were shut down from COVID-19, Bryson was bummed out that he missed the end of wrestling season, and the entire baseball season was in jeopardy,” Chris Galloway said. “He started running a little bit at a time daily and built his distances up. As it got closer to June and a birthday party wasn’t looking possible, he asked if he could do a fundraiser instead.”
This fundraiser was two-fold for Bryson, he was able to stay in shape while raising money for a good cause.
“I have been doing 5Ks since I was about 8 years old and I have been running for a few months with no purpose other than to stay in shape for sports, so I figured why not run for a good cause,” Bryson said. “I wanted to do something selfless while the world was in crisis and I thought by turning my running into something positive I could help make someone else happy.”
Originally Bryson had the goal to raise $500 but he had to keep increasing his goal amount as he kept raising more and more money on the Facebook page.
“I did help Bryson get this thing of the ground, after we discussed what he wanted to do, and how we wanted to go about it, I created a Facebook page to explain what he was doing and why,” Chris Galloway said. “Within 24 hours we had already met the initial goal of $500 so we upped the goal to $1000, met that not too long after, and now have a current goal of $1,750 and those numbers don’t include the people who are donating his per mile challenges.”
Chris Galloway is also a coach for many sports in the North East community and knew his Facebook page would be the best way to reach the most amount of people.
The Galloway family is also close to the owner and founder of Grady’s Decision, Ryan Smith, who has helped them through some of their toughest times.
“I chose Grady’s Decision because my youngest brother was born premature and they helped my mom and dad through the struggles of a premature birth,” Bryson said. “Our family grew close to Ryan Smith and his family and I think he is a pretty cool guy.”
“Ryan Smith has been a right-hand man since day one for our family,” Chris Galloway said. “My wife found out she had pre-eclampsia and at 10 weeks early, Bryson’s little brother Dylon was born.
Ryan Smith and Grady’s Decision reached out to offer us some support and help. But more importantly they offer physical and mental support. Grady’s “Love team” reached out to us and also came to visit with us regularly in the hospital.
We reached out to Ryan and Grady’s to see how we could help and become a part of Grady’s Decision. It started with little fundraisers, 5Ks and golf tournaments, now six years later we are part of the Grady’s family. We couldn’t have asked for a better organization, or better people introduced into our lives during one of the hardest points of our lives.”
Grady’s Decision, a 501(c)3 no-profit organization, was created to present support to families experiencing premature births as well needing specialized medical attention.
Grady’s Decision provides an avenue for people to donate and assist these family members during this difficult and emotional time.
Assistance is managed case by case. Grady’s Decision can assist with parking costs, food, housing near hospitals and transportation needs along with emotional or spiritual support.
“It is heartwarming and inspirational to see kids that have a heart to bless others instead of using their birthday to bless themselves,” said Smith. “In this current environment, with a child’s life in disarray due to COVID, it is awesome to see that children are the ones who see the bigger picture sometimes.
This act of kindness, humility and love for other families is what this world needs I, and the entire Grady’s Decision Family, are so grateful for Bryson and his willingness to bless families, one miracle at a time!”
“Bryson has always had a good head and a kind heart,” Chris Galloway said. “At a young age he was always up for a challenge even when his mother and I would doubt him. He is a smart responsible young man and even at 11 years old, I trusted he would follow through and blow this thing out of the water. He has proved us right.”
Bryson has a goal of another 30-35 miles he would like to run before June 16, but most importantly he wants to support Grady’s Decision.
There is still time to donate to Bryson’s fundraiser as he continues to run to support this foundation.
The Facebook page is: BRYSON’s Bday fundraiser for Gradys Decision.