Turning Pain into Power - Run Baby Run
I never thought myself, or any of my children would ever be victims of abuse. Recently I went to pick up my daughter Nya who was with her father at his home. I arrived to pick her up. An argument ensued over creating a parenting plan. Her father became angry and enraged and violently pushed me repeatedly while I was holding our infant daughter in my arms. I asked him to stop as I stumbled to flee from him. He continued to pursue and push us until I was able to get out of the house. The look on his face was that of sheer rage. The look on my daughters face was of pure confusion and fear.
I share this story not for obtaining sympathy, but to take a stand. I have faced harassment from his friends and community over protecting myself and my daughter by seeking legal refuge. Even though the pain of this situation has been gut wrenching for me and my family, Nya and I were fortunate to be able to escape and seek legal protection. Many parents are not given that luxury and their children go missing, or abused with no one to sheild them from the physical blows.
I ran my first half marathon when I was pregnant with Nya. I am grateful to have the physical strength that I have been afforded by running as I truly believe it saved my daughter’s life. I have strong legs which, although injured while being pushed, gave me the support to brace myself and not fall. As a pediatric nurse I have seen incidents of fathers pushing mothers who fall while holding an infant. The infants sustain life long physical and cognitive injuries as a result. I attribute the benefits of running in keeping Nya safe from harm while I was being physically attacked.
The benefits of running continue. I connected with a woman by the name of Michelle Williams whose story of her brother David is both sad and her efforts to shine on in spite of her and her families pain and tragic loss are inspirational. She created Run Baby Run which I have the great good fortune to be a part of in the ING NYC Marathon this year representing the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The mission of NCMEC is collaboration with law enforcement, legislators, corporations, and communities. Serving as the national clearinghouse – providing the resources, information, and focus needed to help recover and protect children, and prevent devastating crimes committed against children.
Run Baby Run raised 16,000$ in 2012 for NCMEC and ran in the ING NYC Marathon.
On November 3, 2013, I will run 26.2 miles, this time representing Nya and all children! 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% of every dollar will be used to help protect and find a missing child somewhere.
With Great Love and Respect,
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