I started running during my last year of Midwifery School after a lifetime of hating the shuffle. Running became not only another way to exhaust myself after all-night births--it was a stress reliever, a strengthener, a reminder that I was strong and could finish things, and that the families I was supporting could too.
For many women around the world, it’s not uncommon to walk an average of 8 miles to seek basic care--even when they are 9 months pregnant or in labor. Right here in the United States, the maternal mortality and morbidity rates are rising at an embarassing rate. While the majority of maternal deaths happen in the developing world, here in the U.S. we lose 2 mothers every day to pregnancy/birth complications. Women are STRONG, but they deserve better access to life-saving care--more midwives, connection to reliable transportation, local facilities equipped to serve them, education, respect, and dignity during the transition to parenthood.
While running benefits me in so many ways, I am ready to push beyond myself. I am inspired by Every Mother Counts and Run Team EMC’s mission to raise awareness and funds for the distances and difficulties women face to reach quality maternity care worldwide. As a midwifery student of grant-recipient and EMC honoree Jennie Joseph, LM and Commonsense Childbirth, I have seen firsthand what is possible on the local level through the support of Every Mother Counts. If I can give back to programs like Jennie’s by running with Team EMC, that’ll be the best runners high yet.
Now that I’ve finished midwifery school I’ve got some new goals. On my off-call days, the training begins!
WHAT: In October 2018 I will be running the Clermont Clay 15K. This 10-mile clay loop, near where I attended class, is a challenging course--praised by much fancier runners than I for its soft dirt road and hills. Olympian David Rudisha says it reminds him of his home trails in Kenya. It'll be hot, hilly, and HARD. Oh, and it's my first time running this distance!
If all goes well, my longterm fundraising goal is to run a half marathon in 2019, and in 2020 I will train to complete a marathon, even if I have to stop several times during it for pizza and naps. I’ll be at a handful of other races during this training time, proudly representing Every Mother Counts and also using Charity Miles App to add funds to the organization just by walking/running (you can do this too)!
WHY: To support other maternal health providers across the world who are making a difference in mother-baby outcomes. This is a life or death issue DAILY. There is literally nothing in this for you, no fun donor perks except watching me stumble toward finish lines in the name of maternal health. I hope my sweaty sloppy running makes you laugh, or inspires you to try it too, and even if not I hope you give a few dollars to keep me going. Every mile, every mother.