I’m so happy to announce that my amazing and supportive sister, Sara Ruth, is running her first half marathon to raise money for the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation!! She has greatly supported me on my MRKH journey since diagnosis and I’m so thankful she is using her first half marathon to help raise money and awareness for BYMRKH!
I am so touched by the support my sister has provided me with over the years and her decision to run for BYMRKH, that I thought it would be great to interview her about what motivated her to run her first half marathon, why she chose to raise funds for BYMRKH and how to support a family member with MRKH.
Here is what she had to say:
BYMRKH: What inspired you to run your first half marathon?
SR: I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to learn to do something new and push myself. I’ve played sports my whole life but have never tried running long distance. It was intimidating at first, but I’ve really grown to love running throughout the last four months. Training for the half marathon has become a stress reliever for me and I hope to continue running.
BYMRKH: How did you prepare for your first big run?
SR: I began by researching various training schedules online and then I chose one that I thought would work best for me. I started running one mile four times a week. I slowly started to increase my distance and was amazed to see how quickly I progressed.
BYMRKH: Why are you using your first half marathon to raise money and awareness for the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation?
SR: I’ve found it difficult to support my sister in her non-profit because we live far away from one another. I thought this would be a great opportunity to spread awareness, raise money, and motivate me to run the half marathon. I was surprised to see that this half marathon wasn’t in support of a non-profit organization, and decided I could use this opportunity to support my sister and the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation.
BYMRKH: Will you be thinking about anything in particular as you run your first race? Do you have anything to motivate you or inspire you to keep running when you start to feel exhausted?
SR: I’ve decided to dedicate each mile to someone or something. My family has been a huge support system for me. They have been on my side since day one and they will definitely be on the mind throughout the whole race. On the thirteenth mile I will be thinking about the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation and all the women and the families affected by MRKH. I will be thinking about my sister in particular who has such a passion for this Foundation. Being the younger sister, I’ve always looked up to her and it’s great to see her hard work starting to pay off. I know that this Foundation will be successful in spreading awareness and providing support to anyone who is diagnosed or affected by MRKH. I hope my big sister who has always looked out for me, will see that I am looking out for her. I dedicate this half marathon to her, for making the bold decision to talk about her journey and be a voice for the voiceless. She has truly been an inspiration and I know Amy, my sister, and the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation will be successful.
BYMRKH: How much money do you hope to raise?
SR: My goal is to raise $1000.00 for BYMRKH. I’m amazed and thankful for the support I’ve received from my co-worker, friends, family and MRKH community. It’s nice to see so many people (many who have never heard of this Foundation or the syndrome) support this Foundation. I’ve received a lot of interest and questions about BYMRKH and in running this race, I hope to not only raise money but awareness to a Foundation that is greatly needed. I feel blessed to be able run in support of my sister, women everywhere with MRKH and the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation. I hope to continue running and possibly raise funds for BYMRK in future races.
BYMRKH: Thank you for always showing support to me with me through the highs and lows of my MRKH journey. If you could give advice to other family members who are supporting someone in their family having MRKH, what would it be?
SR: I think educating yourself about the condition is the first way to start showing and becoming supportive with anyone who has MRKH. It’s impossible to understand what someone is going through when you’re not experiencing it yourself, but grasping the concept of the condition can help provide support. Having this condition might appear intimidating to young women with MRKH and their family members. In our family, we were able to talk somewhat openly about things related to MRKH and I think that not only helped my sister but the family as a whole. My sister found out that she had MRKH when she was a teenager, which is the common age to be diagnosed. Being diagnosed during such a fragile period in your life is really hard. I think receiving support when first being diagnosed is so important and letting the women with MRKH know that she can talk to her family about it (if she wants) can be very beneficial.
BYMRKH: Are there any misconceptions that you feel the general public has about MRKH after hearing it for the first time?
SR: I think in general, people struggle with anything that is different or not well known. This is such a unique condition that affects a lot of women. Spreading awareness is crucial especially within the medical community. I hope that spreading awareness about MRKH will provide strength and comfort to those diagnosed with this condition that greatly need and deserve it.
BYMRKH: There is limited support available not only to women with MRKH, but also to their families and care providers. Looking back at when I was diagnosed (13 years ago) do you think it would have been helpful for there to be more support available to family members and care providers?
SR: I believe the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation is very much needed. BYMRKH has already helped so many women with MRKH and their families by connecting them with other females with MRKH, which helps take away the feeling of isolation and provide a support system of women that understand the obstacles and triumphs that come with having MRKH. I’ve always believed there’s strength in numbers and having the opportunity to connect with other women with MRKH and their families can be powerful and life changing. After receiving a diagnosis like MRKH, anyone would need support and answers as to what their future brings. I know things would have been easier for my sister and our family, if there was a group of people or an organization, like the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation, who not only understood the journey she was about to embark on but could help support her through the process.
I couldn’t be more proud to have my sister be the first person to raise awareness and donations for BYMRKH, by achieving a personal goal of hers while helping the MRKH community! Thank you, Sara, for all of the support, love, and compassion you’ve shown me over the years, regarding MRKH and life in general. I wish you the best of luck on your first half marathon!! You are the perfect example of an MRKH supporter! You are helping us provide a voice for the voiceless! ❤