I am excited to kick off the year with my first race of 2017 in Tanzania. I will be returning to Africa to run the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon on February 26th for the second time on behalf of Every Mother Counts. We will be raising funds to improve access to essential maternity care and raise awareness about one of the biggest barriers mothers face in accessing healthcare around the world: distance. This year there will be 18 women coming together from across the country and around the world for Team Every Mother Counts. In addition to running the race, we will have the opportunity to visit some of the programs that Every Mother Counts is supporting on the ground to improve access to essential maternity care to minimize preventable maternal deaths in Tanzania.
Since I founded Every Mother Counts in 2010, I have put in thousands of miles to raise awareness and funds to improve maternal health to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for every mother, everywhere. When I started training for my first NYC marathon back in 2011, I had no idea that I would still be running today. Since then I have completed six full marathons, nine half marathons and one 24 hour relay race! I am excited to complete my tenth half marathon in a region of Africa with the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world.
Why I run, Had I not had access to the care I received the day I became a mom, I would not have the opportunity to experience the wonder and joy of raising my own two healthy children today. One woman dies every two minutes bringing life into the world and WE have the power to change that. 98% of global maternal deaths are preventable. With access to education, transportation and supplies we can greatly reduce the number of preventable deaths that occur during and after delivery.
Why Kilimanjaro, Tanzania has special significance to Every Mother Counts. In June of 2009, a small film crew traveled to Tanzania from New York during the making of NO WOMAN, NO CRY. We learned that for women living in countries like Tanzania, especially in rural areas, distance was an enormous barrier for mothers who needed healthcare of any kind. In fact, the minimum distance a pregnant woman had to travel was 5K for prenatal care. An average distance to reach emergency obstetric care was 35K, and often times much more.
With your support, more women will have the opportunity to enter motherhood safely and when that is possible, more families will thrive.
How you can support us, you can make a donation on Crowdrise or sign up for a race on our 2017 race calendar here.
Thank you so much in advance for your support of my efforts!