This month we are going to recognize two amazing women. Sharon Butler and her daughter Paige Butler. I received a heartfelt message on instagram sharing the story of this amazing duo and was so touched, and became emotional. This story will touch the hearts of all.
Sharon Butler was a triathlete who shared her love and passion with her daughter, family, friends and community. She was an accomplished ironman. We never know when it will be our time, but every day we need to keep living, keep pushing and keep pursuing our passion. Sharon did that until the very end. Her love for the sport lives on with her daughter Paige. Please take some time to read this message from Paige…
Thank you so much for responding to my instagram message. I follow you USAT on instagram and I wanted to share with you and other triathletes how big of an impact the sport of triathlon has had on me. I want to share my story with you:
On September 6th 2015 at 6:36 p.m, before I had a chance to talk to my mom, I received a call explaining that my mom had been tragically killed in a drunk driving accident. She was riding her road bike and was only a mile from home when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver. She was killed instantly. I was planning to call her that day just like I talked to her everyday and now I would call without an answer. When I heard that the driver who killed my mom was a drunken 28 year old, I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my mind saying that she would never want one of her kids to get into a car after having a drink and causing such a tragedy based on a simple mistake. Come to find out, the driver who killed my mom was a multiple offender of drunk driving.
My mom was not just a mother to me, she was my hero and she was my best friend. We did everything together and she supported me with everything I did. She had completed the full IRONMAN three times and we had plans to complete one together when I graduate with my doctorate in 2017. We had done the Florida half IRONMAN together when I graduated from highschool and being able to complete the full together was our dream goal. My mom introduced me to triathlons at a young age and this was something we were able to share together which created a special bond between us. I always questioned why she put herself through so much pain doing the IRONMAN and now I know why. She did it to prove nothing is impossible and the first step is to try. And that’s how I feel with my views on ending drunk driving. I want to raise awareness and fundraise to support MADD. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk driving victims and survivors – serving one person every eight minutes – at no charge.
My family is just one of so many that is affected by drunk driving. I want to use my story, and my drive to support this cause because my mom never gave up on me and now I will never give up fighting for innocent victims like my mom. I plan to fundraise before every triathlon I participate in. The first one will be a half IRONMAN April 10th, 2016 in Haines City, Fl. Here is my gofundme account if you would like to check it out. https://www.gofundme.com/xgfjgp98
Any contribution to my cause will make a difference as we “tri” to end senseless deaths combined with unimaginable family suffering . Let’s “tri” to end drunk driving together. #Wortheverytri #Enddrunkdrivingwithatri. I wanted to share this with you and other members of the triathlon community because I think the sport of triathlon created a unbreakable bond between my mom and I and has given me the strength to pursue anything. Thank you so much for your time and I hope you can share my story. I attached a picture of my mom and I after completing the half Ironman in Florida on May 20th, 2012 and also a picture of her.
Sincerely, Paige Butler