Behind every major cause are people and stories that validate its existence. For the Fetal Health Foundation and its main fundraising event, The Great Candy Run, that inspiration is in the form of twin girls, Ashley and Aspen Somers.
Just over 13 years ago, Lonnie and Michelle Somers learned of complications with their pregnancy. As it was their first, they were scared and left with few answers or resources for support in trying to find treatment for their unborn babies. The babies were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a rare intrauterine disease of the placenta that affects identical twins that until recently resulted in high mortality rates for at least one of the twins.
The Somers' found answers and treatment on their own and after welcoming their twin babies into the world, founded the Fetal Health Foundation so that other families would have a reliable source for answers, support, and hope. After 12 years in Denver and around the country, their main fundraising event, The Great Candy Run, will also take place in Eden Prairie near Minneapolis in 2016. The crowd-favorite Denver race anticipates a crowd of well over 5,000 on November 6th at Washington Park.
"To know that because of me, other kids are getting a second chance at life is just amazing and I am so thankful to be able to give them that opportunity," said Aspen Somers.
The twins have been participating in the run and volunteering on Race Day for several year and are always behind the scenes in supporting families looking for answers.
Twin sister, Ashley said, "Being part of Fetal Health and The Great Candy Run makes me feel like I have a meaning to my life. I know I'm supposed to be here. I am meant to change the world."
The Fetal Health Foundation has supported thousands of families with information through its online repository of fetal syndromes, through counseling and treatment information, Travel Grants and Research Grants.