Christy Turlington Burns – who was due to run the ING New York Marathon during the weekend in support of her charity, Every Mother Counts – has blogged about the cancellation of the event in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“Our hearts go out to all the families so deeply impacted by tragedy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy,” she wrote. "With that held in our hearts, we’re also disappointed because, like thousands of other marathoners, we’re 100% committed to the cause we’ve been running for. We know how disappointed some of us are and the distances and sacrifices involved. This week has been a rollercoaster and we’re not sure when this ride is going to end. We know, however, we’re eternally grateful for your generosity and ongoing support. While we might not be able to lace up our sneakers this Sunday and run the distance to honor your donations, we can come together as a community and still make a big difference.
“We ran our first marathon last year to highlight one of the greatest barriers women face trying to access maternity healthcare – distance. The marathon has become symbolic for us as an advocacy organization that focuses on the challenges and solutions around the solvable crisis of maternal mortality. The distances we run, 26.2 miles and 5K, equal distances laboring women walk while in labor. It’s not uncommon for women to travel 26.2 miles to access emergency obstetric care. The shortest distance she might walk to reach basic health care is 5K. Our team significantly grew this year because our reason for running resonated with so many others.
“That’s where some of our disappointment rests now that the Marathon is cancelled. People don’t run marathons just for themselves. Last year they ran for 210 different charities and raised more than $34 million. Many of those dollars are funneled directly into charities that serve the people and Burroughs hardest hit by Sandy.
“When Sandy hit, we didn’t know how badly the city and its Burroughs would be impacted. When we got the news earlier this week that the marathon would go on as scheduled we imagined it would bring people together and we supported that idea. The marathon has an incredible uniting force under normal circumstances. We hoped the power of bringing so many communities together would further unite us. Now that the Marathon is cancelled, New Yorkers and citizens from all over the world will find another magnet to inspire the work we’ll need to do to rebuild and restore in our immediate future. This city has been through a lot together. These five Burroughs together make this city what it is and all of us who choose to live here are resilient. Those who traveled here despite these barriers are also resilient. Now that we know we will not run, we’re inspired to find other empowering outlets to honor your generosity, raise awareness about the work Every Mother Counts does and pull our community back together.
“What’s really been amazing is the outpouring of support we’re receiving from people all over the country asking how they can help. Even though we can’t run on Sunday alongside 47,000 world citizens, we’re keeping that spirit of community and service in mind and putting it into action to honor your continued support of EMC and to help support our city’s recovery.”
To read Christy’s full blog, visit EveryMotherCounts.org.