I run because I can. I can and I will run for those I love.
I have three beautiful children: Annabelle, Blair and Clark... my ABC. Annabelle and Blair have Leigh syndrome, a rare genetic mitochondrial disease that effects their ability to generate energy, causing severe global delays. Annabelle and Blair can't run… or walk.
I ran the NYC Marathon in 2015 in honor of Annabelle and Blair and raised over $15,000 for Achilles International, an organization that helps individuals with physical disabilities participate in mainstream sporting events. I had told myself "I CAN and I WILL" and then I did! That experience- pushing myself, running in honor of my kids, and raising money from people who love and support me and my family was truly one of the most powerful, empowering life experiences. And truthfully, I needed it. It was my fuel to keep me going when I felt alone and helpless with my children's disability. Prior to that, I had been very private about our situation, so that experience helped me accept our reality... our life is like a marathon and although we're on a rocky road, it has gorgeous views!
Since then, I found what keeps me going and a way to never feel alone again on this journey. I founded Steel Magnolia Moms in 2016, a non-profit organization for moms who have children with special needs. Together we share in the joys and challenges of raising children with special needs. Simply put, we get each other. We cry, we laugh, but most importantly, we love and support each other on this difficult, never ending road.
What started out as a small group in my community has grown to over 500 members in three cities, all by word of mouth. Steel Magnolia Moms provides community support with workshops, lectures, retreats and socials and online support with connectivity and resource sharing on social media. We are quickly growing and need funds to help more moms, in more ways. Specifically, funds will be used to expand in new markets and develop a secure, online portal for members.
That is why I am running the road from San Francisco to Napa Valley, 200 miles with a team of 12 Steel Magnolia Moms. We are the Super Steel Magnolias and we are running for those we love... our special treasures who brought us together and our Steel Magnolia Sisters who are all running their own marathons in life. None of us could do this alone, but together WE CAN and WE WILL.