Thursday, September 4, 2014

RODS Racing has runDisney spots - and for a GREAT CAUSE!

Hello runDisney fans! If you are still looking to run this January during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, why not run and help raise money for a very worthy cause and one that is extremely close to my heart. has limited spots available and we'd like our readers to consider joining this cause if you are still looking to run in this event. The details are below as well as CONTACT INFORMATION on how to go about reserving one of these valuable spots.

The Story of Rods Racing

With the motivation of knowing that hundreds of orphans with Down syndrome were waiting for a family to find them, Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome was launched.  Our purpose is to create awareness for these special children and raise funding that will go towards making what seemed like a distant dream of having a family of their own become a reality, one child at a time.

The seed for RODS Racing was planted in 2007 when founder Brady Murray had his newborn son placed in his arms. The doctors told him that his son has Down syndrome. What seemed like an overwhelming challenge has evolved into one of Brady’s biggest blessings. Brady’s son Nash has been the inspiration behind the creation of RODS Racing. The unconditional love that Nash shows to all and the desire to help these precious children is truly the driving force behind RODS Racing.

The athletes of RODS Racing consists of dozens of dedicated members from throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.  Whether it’s a 5k, Marathon, Sprint Triathlon or full Ironman distance, we race for the cause of helping these children find a home.

We have learned from experience that the only thing standing in the way of these children being adopted is the financial burden that must be overcome for a family to adopt internationally.  There are many families ready and willing to adopt a child who has Down syndrome but the financial burden is just too great.  On average, an international adoption costs between $30,000 – $40,000.  If at least some of this burden is taken away, children will be united with families.

Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable organization.  All donations are tax deductible and will go towards furthering the cause of uniting children with their forever families.  Since it’s creation in 2012, RODS Racing has raised over $200,000 for orphaned children who have Down syndrome.  From this funding, many children are either already home or have a family committed to adopting them.

Our organization continues to grow each and every day.  We are regularly adding both athletes to our team and dedicated volunteers who are donating their time to help further the cause.  Everybody truly can make a difference!**

The Dilemma These Kids Face

Currently there are hundreds of children with Down syndrome throughout the world that have been abandoned by their birth families because of their perceived disability.  It is common practice in many cultures that upon finding out that a newborn child has Down syndrome, that child is immediately placed in an orphanage.  This is where the child will stay for their first 5-6 years of life at which time they will be transferred to an adult mental institution.  It is not  uncommon for many of these children to pass away after being transferred to an institution because of the extremely difficult circumstances found there.

There is hope!  We have learned from experience that there are many families very eager to adopt these children.  In fact, we are confident that most if not all of these children would have a home if we could simply overcome one obstacle, the cost of international adoption.  On average, an international adoption ranges from $30,000 – $40,000.  This burden is simply too much to handle for many families.  However, when at least some of the financial burden of adoption is eased, children and families are united!

This is the purpose of RODS Racing, to raise funding and awareness for Orphans with Down Syndrome and ultimately uniting children with their forever families.**

I can't think of a better reason to support this cause, can you?

The following packages are still available:

Full Marathon
Fundraising commitment: $1300  ONLY 3 Slots left!!
This minimum fundraised amount includes:
  • One registration for the Walt Disney World® Marathon on Sunday, January 11, 2015.
  • One room night at a Disney Host Resort, on Saturday, January 10, 2015, and transportation to the race start.
  • RODS Racing accessory package.
  • All the benefits provided by runDisney.
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
Fundraising commitment: $2300
SEPTEMBER SPECIAL:  Now only $1500!!!
This minimum fundraised amount includes:
  • One registration for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which includes the Half and Full Marathon courses on Saturday, January 10, 2015 and Sunday, January 11, 2015 respectively.
  • Two room nights at a Disney Host Resort, on Friday, January 9, 2015 and Saturday, January 10, 2015, and transportation to the race start.
  • RODS Racing accessory package.
  • All the benefits provided by runDisney.
To sign up please go to:

If you'd like additional information, you can also reach out to Mollie Millington at


"People think that because I am a personal trainer, I love working out and find it easy to be motivated. That isn’t how it works for me.  I failed the Presidential Fitness test in 3rd grade, which meant I was so unfit the teacher put me on a special exercise program at home.  Then in middle school, I was the slowest girl on the football team.  My body wasn’t designed to be athletic, but I try to put up a good fight.  That fight can be exhausting however and sometimes even I need a push.

I discovered Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome (RODS) (  after my nephew, Jacob, was still born in January 2012.  In September 2011, I learned via email that Jacob was diagnosed with Down Syndrome (DS)  in vivo.  It was hard being on a beach in Greece while my family was processing the news in New York.  At first everyone was devastated but we rallied and learned as much as we could about DS.  After Jacob’s death, I felt disconnected and helpless in London.  I searched the internet for some kind of support group that could help me.  RODS seemed like the perfect fit as I needed motivation for running and gave me an outlet for my pain.  I knew that these orphans, abandoned because of their DS diagnosis, were relying on me to complete races.  Each mile I completed was another dollar raised.  It got me in my trainers and running out the door. Waking up early for a run was still tough, but with each thought of Jacob it became a bit easier.

RODS works by sponsoring one orphan at a time.  Our orphans are typically from cultures that don’t understand or accept DS.  So far, we have helped 12 orphans from China, Lithuania, and Peru, find loving homes.  We raise $15,000 (~£9,500) per child with our team of endurance athletes.  This is half of the cost of adopting a child from overseas.  

Being part of this team has inspired me to run a half marathon, something I never thought I could do. I also have run in Paris and Auckland sporting my RODS kit.  Prudential Ride London (in 2013 and 2014) is another event that pushed me to my limits- both mentally and physically.  My next big challenge is going to be Berlin Marathon 2015 (fingers crossed my Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis don’t stop me).  

I have met wonderful people who have been touched by DS through RODS.  We support each other at every race and swap training tips.  Together we are saving one orphan at a time.  RODS goal is to find a loving home for every one."

Mollie Millington is the European Regional Director and Social Media Coordinator for RODS.  Feel free to contact her with any questions you have or to get involved.  You can also follow @RODS_Euro and @RODS_Racing on Twitter and like the Facebook page  Or you can check out her blog

** This information was provided by

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