Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A 5k for a Great Cause

It’s May which means it’s almost spring here in Michigan. Spring to me means one thing – 5k season. I’ll be honest, I’m not good at running a 5k. It’s not as though I’m the world’s fastest runner anyway, but the 5k distance baffles me. When I started running I was training for a marathon, and I’ve never been able to adjust to running 3.1 miles.

Despite my love/hate relationship with the 5k distance, I love the races. They are short, effective and quite often for good causes. This weekend I am running the 1st Annual Kayla Stanford Memorial 5k. As far as good causes go, this one is second to none.

 Kayla Stanford was just 12 years old in 2006 when she collapsed and died from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Her death was completely unexpected and yet 300 Michigan youths die annually from SCA. 

I didn’t know Kayla, but I work with her mother Kelly. She has worked for the last five years to raise awareness of SCA and to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are installed in Michigan’s schools. To date every school in the Ypsilanti Public School District has an AED because of Kelly’s efforts. 

In our workplace we have AEDs and are trained in CPR and in how to use the AED. According to the American Heart Association an average of only 6% of SCA victims survive without CPR or defibrillation. This cause is so important to save lives. All proceeds from the 5k will go to further the goals of the Kayla Foundation.

I can’t even comprehend the heartache SCA must cause a family, and the goals of the Kayla Foundation are so important to help prevent that heartache. If you are in the Ypsilanti area (or close by – it’s worth an hour or so drive) sign up for the race. It’s only 3.1 miles, and it’s really the least we can do.

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