Today I am reaching out to my friends, family, colleagues, community, and especially to all parents so I can share my story and what has become my mission. Not only my mission, but my conviction, my obligation and my responsibility to keep a promise to my brother and my own children to turn my family's tragedy and pain into hope and triumph for children nationwide. My story should pull at the heartstrings of anyone that knows a child, loves a child or has a child. I ask you to read my story below, not for me but for the families who have learned to cope with the loss of a child.
On October 29, 1983, My Brother David Christopher (pictured) then a 10-year-old boy was abducted from behind our church parking lot and was brutally and sexually assaulted. The court papers would later describe a horrific and gut wrenching scene for any human, let alone a young boy to endure. After hours of what would be described as torture for this young child, by the grace of God, David was returned alive to the same place he was taken. You may be familiar with this case, as it is the infamous case that reached all the way to the Supreme Court and became a featured story on Nightline.
After years of struggling and trying to move on from his nightmare, David as an adult finally faced his abductor in a courtroom where he was convicted and is now serving a 28 year prison sentence. David was not this monster’s first nor his last abduction. David was left with many social, emotional & spiritual struggles in life and tragically David left this world 8 years ago, as his lifeless body was found by the train tracks in the early morning hours of June 16th, 2004. One of the most painful memories that haunted me through the years was that of my sister Danielle screaming outside the hospital... “He never had a life, He never had a life!" But this memory is also one of the last that I had before doing something about it and I have now turned our pain into power! David and I had a special bond, a special connection as siblings and because of this I have made a promise to him and myself to make a change.
In the summer of 2011, I became driven by our loss to do my part in making sure David did not suffer and die in vain and I created the first ever Marathon Team to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Getting into the 2011 NYC Marathon was unprecedented, as space is highly coveted and being given the invitation to represent the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was nothing short of a miracle. It took many phone calls, major persistence, and most of all faith to get in to the world’s most prestigious of Marathons.My first 5 member team was made up of my mother Patricia, Sister Danielle, myself, and two other runners who have experienced similar pain while raising over $16,000 in our 1styear!
And now on November 4, 2012, I will run 26.2 miles a 2nd time, this time alongside my youngest sister Raquel! Our team is growing and now includes a retired Detective from NJ and a Surgeon from VA, both whom also have a common reason and personal stories for running 26.2 miles! We are becoming a strong force as now 6 of us will once again run the race with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children logo across our shirts!
TEAM RUN BABY RUN is our team name, and we will again run for David, we will run for every child that has endured the fear and torment of being abducted, we will run for every parent and family member that has gone through the pain of having a child taken from them who wishes they could have told them to, “Run Baby Run!”; we will run so that no child ever has to go through what David went through. Please take a moment and consider making a generous donation to support the vital work of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children today.
93% off all revenue goes to programs like CODE ADAM which teaches local business how to become safe houses for children fleeing an abductor and the toll-free Hotline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) with phones that ring approximately every three minutes! Indeed, it is the nerve center of their entire operation, where child abductions are brought to their attention … and reports of sightings help bring missing kids home. Their Call Center Specialists are professionally trained skilled listeners and take decisive action because when a child is missing, the smallest detail can be critical, and every minute matters. In fact, in 76% of cases in which a child is abducted and murdered, the child is killed within the first three hours. So at the Call Center, they pay attention and act fast.
With our help, the National Center can give children, parents, law enforcement and others the tools they need to better protect themselves, their children, and children everywhere from lowlifes who have no respect for childhood, the law, or human decency.
Team RUN BABY RUN and I would be blessed beyond measurefor a donation of any size. We are faced with the challenge of getting donations in as quickly as possible as the November 4thrace is approaching and our Deadline is November 1st, 2012. All donations are tax deductible and go directly to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children and receipt will be mailed for all donations received! Please…
I hope and pray you will consider joining in my efforts and find it in your heart to donate to this powerful cause. Thank you very much for your consideration & time. See you at the finish line!
With great love & appreciation,
Team Captain/Founder "Run Baby Run"
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