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shoe4africa - make the difference!

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My name is LaRane Kasteler. I am a single mom of 3 crazies who have my whole heart. I feel honored to join an amazing group of individuals on “Team Endurathon” to raise money and awareness for the Shoe4Africa Juli Anne Perry Children Cancer Hospital. To be a part of this organization and to participate in something I love, like running in one of my most favorite cities, while also putting my heart and efforts toward a cause that is helping so many, makes me so happy. I became acquainted with Shoe4Africa and Team Endurathon from my dear friend Melanie. And from the moment she shared, I knew I HAD TO be a part of it.

As a child, my family was extremely poor and we lived very primitive. While I did not go without the necessities, we were limited in our food, water, and clothing. It was often the help or resources from others, from the state that helped fill the gaps. Additionally, my younger sister and I were born with a heart murmur. Hers was much more severe than mine. And while we both required regular medical attention, she eventually needed surgery (when I was 6 and she was 5). Surgery my parents could not afford but was needed in order for my sister to live and have a normal life of any kind. I didn’t know this as a child, but I know now, the hospital and team that worked with my family and cared for my sister and I for years and years (until we turned 18) did so at a minimal cost to us. This was because of this specific non-profit program that helped families in situations like ours. While I recognize this is not cancer and I do not live in Africa, I very much can personally relate to a need that is life changing and to feeling both blessed and reliant and at the mercy of others to step in to do something my family could not do for themselves. What others did for me, my sister, and for my family made such a difference. It changed us in a way I will forever remember. There is no way I will ever be able to repay all the people and organization who loved and cared for our family and helped us. I know this. So what I can do is work to align myself and my efforts with amazing people and causes that pay it forward and take action to improve the lives of others.

This photo, it’s of me and my best friend. It was a marathon we ran together during an extremely difficult time in my life. And it serves as a reminder that together we are better. That we need each other and having people show up for us matters.

I’m excited you’re here. We’re gonna do good things!