Nurse Runs Marathon for Charity
July 29, 2011
Children’s ICU nurse parlays marathon into more than $10,000 to benefit patient families
Deciding to run your first marathon takes lofty aspirations and serious dedication. Running your first marathon on the Great Wall of China? That’s another story. Heidi Morse is a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Medical Center Dallas who recently ran her first 26.2-mile race in China while visiting her father in Seoul, South Korea.
Morse’s dad, Chas Morse, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, came up with the idea to turn the marathon into a fundraiser. Through grassroots efforts, word-of-mouth and social media outreach, the pair’s efforts far surpassed expectations, raising more than $10,000 to benefit the families of patients at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Morse explained that too often, she sees families who don’t have enough money to get to the hospital to see their child, or to buy proper meals during their visit. She wanted to raise money to alleviate those kinds of needs by providing taxi fares, food vouchers and other services not in the hospital’s operating budget.
“I wanted the funds to benefit the families and patients at Children’s,” said Morse. “Making a difference when families are going through a crisis is powerful. I’m on this earth to be an ambassador for the Lord, and I consider my job a 24-7 calling.”
The marathon started out on the Great Wall of China and then took runners through small communities where the village children took pictures and gave them high-fives. At mile 21, the runners hit the Wall again to endure nearly 6,000 challenging steps. Marathon organizers told the runners to add at least an additional hour to their normal marathon time to account for the steep, uneven steps of the Wall.
“The wall was crazy. The whole experience was amazing,” said Morse.
An avid runner all her life, Heidi and her father were used to running races together, but not until her first marathon had she had the opportunity to couple her passion of running with raising funds for her second passion: helping children.
“People like Heidi Morse are what make Children’s such an extraordinary place. They are driven to succeed both inside the hospital and out, and they put the health and comfort of others above themselves,” said Pete Kline, President of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “Thanks to Heidi’s and her father’s efforts, the hospital is able to go above and beyond in order to make families more comfortable during a very difficult time.”
Morse finished the Great Wall Marathon in 2nd place for women and placed 7th overall out of 500 runners. Morse, who lives in Euless, said it was an international race, with representation from almost every country.
When asked if she plans to run it again, Morse responded, “You just live one day at a time and see what God has planned.”
Now a part-time trainer at 24 Hour Fitness, Morse has decided to run the Portland marathon in October to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April, and she says she wouldn’t rule out trying out for the Olympics based on feedback she received from spectators of her run in China.
How’s that for aspirations?
Did you enjoy this story?
If you would like to receive an email when new stories like this one are posted to our website, please complete the form below.
We won't share your information, and you can unsubscribe any time.
Other Recommended Stories
Four years ago, physician-scientist Dr. Kenneth Chen and his colleagues at Children’s Medical Center turned surgically removed kidney tumors – once threats to life – into new sources of information on cancer. They sequenced the genes of dozens of tumors, and now Dr. Chen will build on their discoveries with a new ...
Hunter Pye, 16, was a high school football player, a wrestler, and strong in academics as well. Life was rockin’ along great for the Little Rock teen – but then everything changed. “I don’t feel too good, Mom,” he told his mother Jenny Pye as they were headed to a wrestling tournament in northern Arkansas ...
Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a novel metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells. “It’s long been thought that if we could target tumor-specific metabolic pathways, it could lead to effective ...