Mollie Millington tells us her story about the charity that motivates her to keep running.
People think that because I am a personal trainer, I love working out and find it easy to be motivated. This isn’t how it works for me. In primary school, I was so unfit that my teacher put me on a special exercise programme to practice at home. Then in secondary school, I was the slowest girl on the football team. My body wasn’t designed to be athletic, but I try to put up a good fight. This fight can be exhausting and sometimes even I need a push.
In early 2012, I needed motivation for running and an Internet search led me to Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome (RODS) (www.rodsracing.org). I started this search as I had recently learned that my nephew Jacob was prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome (DS) and was stillborn in January 2012. My family and I were devastated with this news; they were living in New York, while I felt disconnected and helpless in London. I needed some kind of support group that could help me and RODS seemed like the perfect fit. This charity gave me an outlet for my pain and the inspiration that I needed to continue running. RODS Racing raise funds to find families for abandoned orphans with DS and I know that these children are relying on me to complete races. Each mile I complete is another pound raised. Waking up for an early morning run is still tough, but each thought of Jacob makes it a bit easier.
RODS works by sponsoring one orphan at a time. Our orphans are typically from cultures that don’t understand or accept DS. So far, we have helped 12 orphans from China, Lithuania, and Peru to find loving homes. We raise £9,500 per child with our team of endurance athletes; this is half of the cost of adopting a child from overseas.
Being part of this team has inspired me to run a half marathon, something I never thought I could do. I have also run in Paris and Auckland sporting my RODS kit. Prudential Ride London in 2013 and 2014 was another event that pushed me to my limits- both mentally and physically. My next big challenge is going to be the Berlin Marathon in September 2015 (fingers crossed that my Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis don’t stop me!).
I have met wonderful people through RODs who have also been touched by DS. We support each other at every race and swap training tips. Together we are saving one orphan at a time and RODS’ goal is to find a loving home for every single one.
Mollie is the European Regional Director and Social Media Coordinator for RODS. Feel free to contact her with any questions that you have or to #getinvolved at firstname.lastname@example.org, @PtMollie. You can check out her blog at www.ptmollie.com. You can also follow @RODS_Euro and @RODS_Racing on Twitter and like the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RodsRacing.