Erica Simmons Ahimah
MEMBER SINCE - May, 2014
I will be running Dopey again in 2018 in support of RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), a wonderful organization that raises the adoption expenses so orphans with Down Syndrome can find their forever homes. This will be my fourth runDisney event with RODS, and I am even more inspired by the RODS team and especially another RODS athlete that has decided to adopt one of the orphans we recently funded. Over the next few months I will pound the pavement, training for these challenge, raising money, and sharing the RODS story.
Currently there are hundreds of children with Down Syndrome throughout the world that have been abandoned by their birth families because of their perceived disability. It is common practice in many cultures that upon finding out that a newborn child has Down Syndrome, that child is immediately placed in an orphanage. This is where the child will stay for their first 5-6 years of life at which time they will be transferred to an adult mental institution. It is not uncommon for many of these children to pass away after being transferred to an institution because of the extremely difficult circumstances found there. The only thing standing in the way of these children being adopted is the financial burden that must be overcome for a family to adopt internationally. There are many families ready and willing to adopt a child who has Down Syndrome but the financial burden is just too great. On average, an international adoption costs between $30,000 – $40,000. If at least some of this burden is taken away, children will be united with families.
My goal is to raise $3,200 for RODS Racing, as well as to finish the races in an upright position! We are currently raising funds for Spring and every dollar I raise will go directly into funding her adoption. There is something so fulfilling to do something I enjoy for such a wonderful cause. I have made a commitment to run this challenge to bring us 48.6 miles closer to providing a home for an orphan. I am hopeful you will join me in the journey with a donation.