A 17-year-old Piedmont Virginia Community College student is organizing a 5K race with the proceeds going to the American Heart Association. She's hoping to help others after watching a member of her own family struggle with the effects of a disease.
Her mother, Ruth Kohl, was an avid runner before being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart enlarges and doesn't pump correctly.
Daughter Emily Kohl said that when she found out about her mom's condition she felt hopeless. As she sat in the hospital watching her mom go through surgeries she wanted to do something to help.
So Emily went about organizing a 5K, not to raise money for her own family, but to raise money for the American Heart Association to help others with a similar struggle.
"It's about everybody who goes through this, it's about trying to help other kids who are confused or lost because nobody should be without a cure," she said.
Emily is putting her own time and money into organizing the Run for Ruth. "I have no clue how to throw a race," Emily said, but yet she's put one together in just two months.
Emily estimates that she will spend $450 on the race, most of it her own money, for everything from screen printed bags, to food, drinks, water stations, and race numbers."It's little stuff but it all adds up," she said.
Emily's mother Ruth is herself now in better health, and she's back running. She'll be participating in the race Saturday along with her family.
"She's very determined and that's the other thing that's very inspirational about the race-- even with an incredibly defective heart she's still powering through everything like it's nothing," Emily said. "And that's the way she's always been, and that's the way it's always going to be."
The race takes place on Saturday at the Hoover Ridge Park, near Madison Primary School, in Madison, Virginia.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., the one-mile kids race starts at 8:30 a.m. , and the adult race kicks off at 9 a.m.
Click here for more information about how to register.