On September 15, 2019, I will run the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia as part of the Compete 4 CMV team to raise funds for the National CMV Foundation. The mission of the National CMV Foundation is to bring awareness to congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). The most common viral infection that infants are born with in the United States, occurring in 1 in 200 births.
Because CMV is a silent disease – meaning most people who are infected have no signs or symptoms – the mother is likely unaware she has an infection during pregnancy. Babies born with congenital CMV may have birth defects and/or experience a vast range of developmental disabilities. And 91% of women DON’T know about it.
As many of you know, this is a personal cause for me. My niece, Evelyn Grace Spytek, was diagnosed with congential CMV just days after she was born in March 2013. As a result, Evelyn endured seizures and hearing, vision and cognitive challenges during her short life. She passed away unexpectedly in December 2014 due to a surgical complication related to CMV.
Evelyn's strength and grace continue to inspire me daily, and I will be running my first half marathon in loving memory of her. I anticipate that race day will be both physically and emotionally challenging, and I need your help to get me to the finish line.
Please join me in supporting the National CMV Foundation. Your donation will help promote awareness, provide access to resources, and share prevention information to help eliminate congenital CMV. I have set a goal to raise $2,000 by race day. Through the generosity of my friends and family, I know I will succeed. Thank you in advance for your support!
Kate (Spytek) Linaugh