5k race to raise money to fight deadly infection

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    By Kathryn Green

    Instead of sleeping in Saturday October 13, “have a H.A.R.T.” and run a 5K, said BYU Humanitarian Aid Relief Foundation members.

    Saturday morning, H.A.R.T is hosting a 5K race to raise money for medical equipment that will aid those suffering of the Buruli Ulcer in Ghana.

    “They desperately need all the supplies we are able to give them,” said Megan Rabner, from Springville, Utah County.

    Rabner said members of H.A.R.T. give up their time and money to go on medical aid trips to Ghana each summer.

    “I was in Ghana for two months this past summer and it was incredible to work in the clinic and be able to give the much needed supplies to the nurses,” Rabner said.

    Peter Bradshaw, race co-chair said he went on a month-long aid trip to Ghana in July 2000.

    “It was one of the most life-changing experiences I”ve ever had,” said Bradshaw, from Mapleton, Utah County.

    Bradshaw said the poverty surrounding him in Ghana was unimaginable.

    “It”s like something that you see on the news but never really imagine is real until you actually go and live in it,” he said. “People lived in mud huts and people have no electricity, no water, no anything. It”s basically people living in little huts in the middle of nowhere.”

    “It”s amazing to think that kind of world exists at the same time that our world exists right now,” Bradshaw said.

    H.A.R.T. was formed in 1992 by BYU students who sent supplies to Russia, Bradshaw said. Later, the foundation”s focus shifted to specifically fighting the Buruli Ulcer in Ghana.

    According to the World Health Organization, the Buruli Ulcer is the third most common mycobacterial infection. Only tuberculosis and leprosy are more prevalent. The Buruli Ulcer is also the most poorly understood of these three diseases, the W.H.O. website said.

    Bryson Green, 21, a freshman from Orem, who has not yet declared his major, said he plans to run the race Saturday.

    “I”d rather pay $20 for a race and know it”s going to help people than pay $5 and make some company or department richer,” Green said.

    Green also ran in the “Run For Their Lives” to help those suffering of cystic fibrosis two weeks ago on BYU campus.

    “I love being able to help others while doing something that I enjoy,” Green said. “I feel like I can make a difference.”

    According to Rabner, the foundation hopes to match last year”s total revenue of $8,000 in this year”s 5K race.

    The course for the “Have a H.A.R.T. 5K” begins at Kiwanis Park at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration cost is $15 and forms are available at the Cougar Copy Center, Gold”s Gym and the Kennedy Center located inside the HRCB.

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