My heart spilled emotion from my eyes today. I interviewed a beautiful soul, Josefina Larraín Lagos, who has created a resource of education for Mérida Mexico’s Down’s Syndrome children. I am learning so much about women and children. Choosing the platform to focus on women and children’s health for the documentary I was cast in (Ruta del Sol) has changed my life.
As I meet people in my travels, I listen to their stories. Often the beat of my heart is put in shock as I reach for words of comfort for both the pain and joy in their eyes. Every struggle is a beckoning light of hope, and choosing to believe that good will come is often their only resource.
My soul cries with stories of abuse, cancer, disability, pain, fear, and more. There is hurt all over the world. We often don’t know other peoples stories or how we can help. What I know, I will continue to share my story, to inspire hope, faith, love and trust in women and children around the world.
With friends currently in treatment therapies for breast cancer, and the children who have touched my core in the last few months, today I dedicate my half marathon run to you. I’m not running alone, I am carrying you with me to cross the finish line. I want you to know you can do hard things, and that when you feel alone, you are not.
Today, will you join me in raising funds for Asociación Cedi Down (a Down Syndrome Foundation) in Mérida? For every mile I finish without walking (I am crossing the finish line at 13.1) will you donate $10 USD? It is $130 USD. In Mérida, this money can go a long way. It can provide a month’s with of services – education, orientation for families, reading/speech/communication therapies, early intervention program for newborns, physical therapy, sensory education programs, and more.
These kids need education. They have limited access to schooling. 80% of them are sexually abused due to vulnerability. Being able to get them basic social education can enhance their lives and give them hope for the future. These children are incredibly open and loving, giving pure joy to everyone they meet. Their love is something we can all learn from.
As a frequent visitor to Mérida, and travel and lifestyle columnist for the Yucatán Times, I made a promise to the Secretary of Tourism that I would run in the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon this evening. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. It’s not easy for me to run 13.1 miles. Yet, I am here, and I want to make a difference.
Are you willing to donate? Last year I helped raise funds for childhood cancer in my first half marathon in New Orleans. This year, I want to give back to a community that has taught me so much. Mérida is a special place in my heart, and these children deserve a chance.
To donate, please send me an email and I will send you the information to send money and receive a tax receipt. I promise I won’t let you all down today.
Follow Asociación Cedi Down on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/cedidown/?fref=ts