The story behind "Outrunning Mito"

So, my last post was pretty dreary. I was fearful of the future with my sister’s health, second-guessing my desire to give birth to any children, and I must confess that I was a little angry with God. Having one brother diagnosed with a degenerative, un-cured disease has been difficult enough; to have the sister you’d prayed for 12 years for is diagnosed just seems cruel. Those first 48 hours of reading Mom’s blog were pretty depressing.

Then, I went for a run. During my run, I had an epiphany; I use running for my own sanity and stress-relief. It is my “therapy”. But, what if my running had a purpose bigger than just me feeling better. In my Runner’s World magazine, there are often little excerpts about runners who have done some kind of running stunt to raise money for their charity. Has anyone heard of Dean Karnazes, aka the Fittest Man on Earth? He ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 straight days in 2006. His purpose was to raise awareness about America’s obesity epidemic. It was a very public stunt with lots of big sponsors.

Well, I’m not an ultramarathoner. Heck, I’ve never run more than 13.1 miles! But, that doesn’t mean I can’t use my miles to do good, right? So, within the past week, I have created a team called Outrun Mito to raise awareness about Mitochondrial diseases. My plan is to run at least 1 race every month from May 2011 to May 2012! I have a list of races I plan on running from May until December. My goal is to raise $5,000-$$10,000 in the next year. To do this, I will be going to businesses in Richmond and Fredericksburg in the next 2 weeks to ask for sponsorship.

To be honest, I did not expect this to start off very well. I’ve never done something like this before, I’ve never had to approach businesses before, and I’m not very good with asking people for things (that’s probably why my Pampered Chef business didn’t do well…). However, God has blessed my efforts beyond my wildest dreams and hopes! In the first week, I raised $320 for Outrunning Mito!! I’ve been in close contact with the director of MitoAction, the charity I’m sponsoring. She has been helping me with letters, logos, and answering my bazillion questions. I have a friend creating a T-shirt design so I can put it on a racing shirt (singlet) for my races. I have recruited two other people to run with me.

So, as you are reading this, please consider a few things:
1. Most importantly, please PRAY that God will continue to bless my efforts with this fundraiser. I desperately want to increase awareness about Mito and fund research to hopefully find a cure, or at least a better way to slow this disease process.
2. If you know anyone looking to join a good cause, please send them my way! 🙂 I’m looking for anyone (runner or otherwise) to help me spread the word!
3. If you have time and think of me, please pray that God will continue to give me strength as I juggle this fundraiser/running with school, clinical, and work. While I can see myself working on this for years to come, I’m afraid of jumping in head first rather than feet first. I need to be able to pace myself and make sure I spend enough time working on my classwork.

One of my friends made the astute observation: “I can’t help but think this is what you are meant to do. The color for Mito is lime green!”


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