My Why: Kylee and Madi Wooten

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on October 05, 2021 # Team Reeve

Kylee and Madi Wooten with family

On Sunday, October 10, 2021, Team Reeve will take on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! 2019 was a record-breaking year for Team Reeve Chicago, raising over $100,000 for paralysis research! We want to continue the momentum for 2021!

Kylee and Madi Wooten

What inspired you to join Team Reeve?

In July 2019, our dad, Chris Wooten, was hit in the line of duty for the NC State Highway Patrol. He broke his C2 and suffered a complete spinal cord injury, resulting in paralysis from the neck down. Our dad was extremely active, working out twice a day most days, and it was hard seeing a huge part of his life change so quickly. Despite the adversity our parents have gone through, they continue to be the most optimistic, positive people we know, and they make the best out of every situation. They have the best outlook on life and have supported each other nonstop throughout this entire journey.

The Wooten's

We are so excited to be able to run for our dad and Team Reeve this October at the 2021 Chicago Marathon. We know how transformative the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is to those living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries, and we’re looking forward to being able to play a small role. After his accident, all we wanted to do was to feel like we could help. Running and raising money for Team Reeve helped us feel like we could help in a way. The cherry on top is the fact that Chicago was one of our dad's favorite cities to run in, and it feels really special to be able to do this race together in his honor.

What has been the hardest challenge that you have overcome?

The thing that challenged us the most was knowing how much our dad loved to be active and move his body and having to come to terms with the fact that he could no longer do that with us. We have always been an extremely active family and did a lot of activities together. We both felt a lot of guilt at first when we would do those activities, knowing he couldn’t join us. But, two years out from the accident, we’re able to see how much it means to him that we’re continuing to do the things we love. Knowing that we’re doing things that make him proud makes it a lot easier to overcome the guilty feelings we had earlier.

Kylee and Madi Wooten and friendWhat are you looking forward to on the day of the race?

My sister and I have always been very close. We currently live on opposite sides of the country and no longer get to see each other in person as much as we used to. She is my favorite running buddy and to have the opportunity to run together in one of our dad’s favorite places to run is so exciting! We reached out to the Reeve Foundation right after his accident to see if we could get involved. After almost two years, we are ecstatic to finally meet our fellow teammates in person! It’s felt like a long time in the making, and it’ll be so great to see it all come together!

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.