This Saturday, May 8, locals across the area will gather virtually to run or walk in the 4th Annual Run to Believe virtual run. Since its inception four years ago, the virtual race has raised over $13,000 for Every Mother Counts, an organization founded by international supermodel Christy Turlington Burns to raise awareness and to educate the public about childbirth-related complications. This year, the Run to Believe virtual run will be donating 100% of its proceeds split evenly, between Every Mother Counts and the newly founded Believe KNT Foundation.

The Believe KNT Foundation was founded this year by Kristen Garzone, a local marathon runner and bonafide social media celebrity who also created the race itself 4 years ago. At The Believe KNT Foundation, the mission is to help raise awareness and make postpartum mental health care available for any and all mothers in the US regardless of insurance or lack thereof, class, or race. The foundation was created in honor of Kristin Nicole Thorsen, who fought hard and lost her battle to postpartum depression in June of 2017. According to Garzone, “Kristin was a beloved wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. She was an extraordinary mother; her daughter Kayden was the center of her world. She had an infectious personality and spirit that brightened every room. Kristin most recently worked in the social services industry; she was passionate about working with those individuals who needed help the most. She always put others first and her love, kindness, selflessness, and friendships were admired by all who knew her. She will forever be very much loved, cherished, and most of all, missed.”

Maternal mental health issues, such as postpartum depression, is an issue that affects 1.3 million mothers in the U.S. each year. Similarly, more than 800 women die every day from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Every Mother Counts works to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mom and is working to change those tragic statistics. “These miles will not only celebrate Kristin’s beautiful life but will also help spread awareness for women to find the help they need with ease,” says Kristen. “So today and every day, we share Kristin’s story to help others in need because that is what Kristin would want. We share so that others will not suffer this pain. We share so that we continue to believe that Kristin is always with us and that her light will shine on forever.”

On the weekend of May 8, organizers encourage participants to grab their running shoes and head out anytime, anywhere. Post a photo on social media with their virtual race bib using #RunToBelieveKNT and #RunTeamEMC.

To register for Saturday’s Run to Beleive Virtual Run, click here.