Running for Riley Wiley and the children of Hope Village
“Running for Riley is not only a story about loss and survival. It is not about running away. It is about running through the pain and tiredness, hopelessness and despair. It’s about putting one foot in front of another until you reach the finish line.”
Tell us about Relay for Riley
We organised Relay for Riley in honour of Riley Mohan who passed away from SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Children) in 2015 just 9 days after her first birthday. Since her death, Riley’s parents, along with friends and family have been running for Riley in order to raise money for children’s charity and to raise awareness about SUDC.
Our running group, the Mother Runners, who Karen (Riley’s mom) is a part of, has organised and taken part in a number of events in honour of Riley’s memory and decided to organise ‘Relay for Riley’ in July this year to raise money for Hope Village, an orphanage, which is very close to Riley’s parents hearts, to raise awareness about SUDC and to spread the joy and love that little Riley brought to so many people. The Relay will consist of 8 teams who will cover the 372KM distance between Windhoek and Swakopmund on July 06. The relay will start at 6am from the Police roadblock on the Gamsberg road and will finish in Swakop at Tiger Reef at 6pmish. Each team is expected to cover a minimum distance of 46.5km in the day.
Why did you decide to support this
I started the running group about 4 years ago and Karen was one of the first mom’s to join and given I did not know her at all when she arrived for her first run, she quickly crawled into my heart. So supporting her and Running for Riley was and is always important to me. Running to Swakop has always been on my bucket list, heaven knows why… so doing the Relay for Riley whilst running to Swakop just seemed right.
What do you hope to achieve with this event
We hope to raise awareness for Sudden Unexplained Death in Children (SUDC) – a syndrome about which very little is known and also to raise money for Hope Village, which is an incredible home that houses over 90 children, many of whom are effected by HIV AIDs. Through this relay we hope that we can help provide them with enough cloth nappies and formula for a year.
In terms of awareness, what do you hope parents will take home through this event
We hope that parents will go home with more of an awareness about SUDC. Riley’s parents, like many others, didn’t think this could happen once a child passed the age of one year. Unlike SIDS, SUDC is not something that parents are educated about. Although it’s extremely rare (1 in 100,000 children) it’s still important that parents are aware that this can happen and that more research takes place in order to try and prevent this from happening to other families in the future.
How can the public support you in this initiative
Our first prize would for those who can to contribute to our GiveToday site which can be found here: http://www.today.com.na/give/run-for-riley
We’d also love people to go to the following for more info:
Running for Riley website: https://runningforriley.wordpress.com/
Running for Riley facebook page: @runningforrileywiley
SUDC website: https://sudc.org
to educated themselves and share with others about SUDC.
If anyone is unable to contribute to the give site, Hope Village is always in need of clothing, food items and other things. They can be contacted on +264 85 128 1405 or +264 81 607 1896
What has been the most surprising part of your involvement in this project
I have been surprised at the enthusiasm of many people and their willingness to help. I think that Namibians are exceptionally generous and very ready to help in whatever way they can. I have learned that it is not only cash donations that can make a difference – Many people with many skills and resources at their disposal and using them correctly can make a difference. It will be amazing if we can reach our target to buy nappies and formula for a year : I am sure we can do it and hope those that can will support us in this.
Contact Information and Links
Hope Village: +264 85 128 1405 or +264 81 607 1896
Running for Riley Facebook: @runningforrileywiley