Fashion icon and global maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns will participate in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4 to raise money and awareness for Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally.
Turlington Burns’ and Every Mother Counts’ participation in the marathon is intended to highlight one of the biggest barriers millions of women across the globe struggle to overcome when they need to reach a skilled provider during pregnancy or childbirth – distance. Many women around the world have to walk a minimum of 5 kilometers, often far more, just to seek basic care, even in labor. For many, 26.2, the distance of marathon, is typical for a woman in labor to travel for emergency obstetric care. 280,000 girls and women die each year due to pregnancy and childbirth related complications, though 90% of these deaths can be prevented. Insuring access to critical care throughout pregnancy can and does save lives at birth.
“Similar to our goal in 2011, we want to run so others don’t have to walk,” said Turlington Burns. “This year our team has grown to five times its original size, strengthening our message and our impact. Together, we hope to engage more EMC supporters and educate more people about the challenges and solutions so that they are inspired to join this global effort to reduce senseless deaths.”
Turlington Burns tapped fellow maternal health advocates and friends to create a team of fifty that will run the marathon. The team includes Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter; world renowned tattoo artist Scott Campbell; Co-Owner of The Smile, Carlos Quirarte; Oiselle Founder/CEO, Sally Bergesen; CEO of Lifeway Foods, Julie Smolyanksy; Co-Founder and CEO of gDiapers, Jason Graham-Nye; Producer Dallas Brennan Rexer; and Executive Director of Every Mother Counts, Erin Thornton, among others.
Oiselle, a growing women’s apparel company dedicated to female runners, is now EMC’s official athletic apparel sponsor and will outfit the marathon team in the newly created “EMC Collection.” Available to the public in late September on oiselle.com, 40% of the proceeds will go to Every Mother Counts.
The EMC team is set to meet a fundraising goal of $280,000, double the amount they raised in 2011, to specifically address the transport barrier. Those who wish to support EMC’s Marathon runners can visit the team fundraising page on Crowdrise. Anyone inspired to find a way to get involved can also visit www.everymothercounts.org to learn more.