We have a lot of amazing marathoners who are running The San Francisco Marathon for a cause. Check out the story below and find out how you can do good with your run.

Elizabeth Nelson – Danville, CA

Running for: Nayeli Faith Foundation

When I was 4 months pregnant our daughter Nayeli Faith was diagnosed with a severe birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). I had never heard of this birth defect. Doctors gave her 30%-40% chance to survive and suggested terminating my pregnancy. I never gave up hope for our baby girl.

Two weeks before her birth the Ronald McDonald house and Family house in SF said we were one mile too close to stay there once our daughter arrived. Knowing that that she was going to stay in the ICN at UCSF for a likely long period of time, I couldn’t bear the thought of driving across the bay bridge everyday to see her. I had thoughts about what if something happened and I wasn’t close by to see her one final time. These thoughts are not supposed to enter a new mommy’s mind at all. I was preparing for what could happen. I had to be at peace with it all.

1613903_472978272835905_8562552092983205177_nI am so happy to tell you that our daughter survived and is a pretty healthy five year old. While our stay in the ICN my husband and I stayed by Nayeli’s bedside from 7am until 11pm everyday until she came home. I wanted to stay by her bedside 24/7. We were so lucky to have found a friend that gave us an empty apartment 5 minutes away from UCSF. We laid our heads down and took showers there. We decided that no matter what the outcome was for Nayeli that we would start a non profit to assist CDH families at UCSF. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about finances for food, parking, lodging, funeral expenses and more, while dealing with an already very difficult situation.

I ran my first full marathon last year in June. I am a mommy of three. I have three year old boy/girl twins and our older daughter who is 5. It is hard to train for a marathon but I finished my first full in 6 hours and 30 minutes. I was happy that I accomplisehd something like that to help other CDH families. All I could think about is how hard our daughter fought to survive and take a breath every day is a struggle for CDH babies. Other babies don’t survive.

On March 9, 2014 I ran my 2nd full marathon in LA for the Nayeli Faith Foundation. I will be running my 3rd marathon in SF on July 27, 2014 for the the Nayeli Faith Foundation.

To learn more about the Nayeli Faith Foundation you can check out their official website or the Nayeli Faith Foundation Facebook page. If you’d like to support Elizabeth’s goals, check out her Crowdrise page.