When Ramona Warman crossed the finish line at last year’s Races for All Paces with her cane in her hand, she was really excited. She had no idea it would feel so good to accomplish this goal just four months after having both knee joints replaced.
The oldest of eight siblings, this 81-year-old Charleston woman was so excited that she invited her brothers and sisters to join her this year. Nearly all of them will walk the one-mile fun run/walk along side her.
“Last year, Dr. (Bernie) Ranchero asked me to walk with him in the one-mile event. I had never done anything like this before and it was on my husband’s birthday. He’s been gone nine years now, so I did it in his memory,” Warman said.
Warman isn’t the only one who is challenged with knee replacements. Of those participating, they’ve had 11 knee replacements between them.
Her brother, Byron Brakenhoff, 65, of Tennessee; brother Bernie Brakenhoff, 77, and his wife, Dinah, 72, of Litchfield; brother, Leslie Brakenhoff, 71, of Litchfield; and sister Marilyn Loptien, 67, of Colorado; are all traveling to Charleston to support Warman. While another brother has a family graduation to attend, and a sister who hasn’t fully committed yet, they have one brother who will be with them in spirit who has passed away.
Her sister, Marilyn of Colorado, almost opted out of the event as it is Mother’s Day the following day. “Her husband talked her into it. With the age we’re getting, you just don’t know if we’ll all be here next year,” she said. Marilyn is planning to fly home Saturday afternoon to spend Mother’s Day at home with her family.
Her siblings have always been close, and this time, Warman is the “family planner.” “We’re planning to walk across the finish line arm-in-arm,” she added. “You can’t have more brother and sister love than we have,” Warman said of her family.
For more information about Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Races for All Paces, or to register, go to www.sarahbush.org, or call Race Director Laura Bollan, 217 345-6828.